GDC 2018: Kingdom: Two Crowns Hands-On: Heir To The Throne

It's dangerous to build an empire alone. Why not bring a friend along for the adventure?

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When I first laid my eyes on Raw Fury's original Kingdom a year or so ago I was instantly enamored. It was such a fresh take on the roguelike genre with a nuanced intricacy that could’ve easily been mistaken for simplicity if one did not take the time to dive deeper. Once that surface was peeled back though, I found myself in a masochistic cycle or strategic building and budgeting my currency in a vain attempt to keep my subjects safe and expand my empire.

It was an enjoyable, but daunting task that always ended with my crown stolen and my empire in shambles. It would seem I wasn’t the only one who could’ve used a little help as the upcoming Kingdom: Two Crowns not only tweaks some of the difficulty but adds co-op gameplay into the mix.

Gameplay in Kingdom: Two Crowns is easy to wrap your brain around: Players take on the role of a King or Queen riding a horse on a 2D plane. After establishing a new village, players can explore to the left or right to discover lost treasure, ancient shrines, and wandering peasants. Players can then use the gold they’ve found to recruit NPCs into villagers to help build up their castle defenses and amenities or defend it as an archer or hunter. When night falls, evil creatures appear to ransack your fledgling Kingdom to steal your gold and possibly even the crown that makes you a ruler.

The first and most obvious benefit to co-op is that twice as much territory can be explored in a day if one person goes left and the other heads to the right. Coinage can also be shared, so if one player is short on building a guard tower or wall, it’s easy to throw some change their way. Another big bonus is that if one player has their crown stolen the game doesn’t end. The crownless player can’t build anything, but they can still gather gold coins and hand them off to the remaining ruler.

Another nice detail is that once both players do lose their crown, their Kingdom won’t have to be completely rebuilt on the next playthrough. While time will have passed and it will be in disrepair, it’s much better than starting over from the bottom. Other new features include brand new military units, as well as hermits and townspeople. Fire weapons will also be available this time around along with new steeds that can be found and bought in the wild. During my brief hands-on time with the PC version of the game I came upon a unicorn steed, but sadly I didn’t have the coinage to make it mine. At least I have a good excuse to pour some time into Kingdom: Two Crowns when it launches.

Kingdom: Two Crowns does not have a launch window yet, but will be coming to PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC when it does release.

Reviews Editor

Blake has been writing and making videos about pop-culture and games for over 10 years now. Although he'd probably prefer you thought of him as a musician and listened to his band, www.cartoonviolencemusic.com. If you see him on the street, buy him a taco or something. Follow him on twitter @ProfRobot

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