King of Dragon Pass is a text-heavy strategy and simulation game about leading your clan out of the Dark Ages, and into to fame and riches. If you don’t enjoy large blocks of text, this isn’t the game for you, but under that text there is a huge amount of lore to delve into including a whole pantheon of gods, and the scope of the actual game is equally deep. The primary form of currency is cattle, but because the game relies heavily on the barter system you will likely be trading quite a bit with neighboring clans. Will your leadership stand the test of time and bring prosperity? Or will the gods turn a blind eye to your efforts? For the clan’s consideration, I present: King of Dragon Pass.
As the game begins you will learn a fair bit about that lore of this world, as well as make decisions that will effect your disposition toward the different tribes and races. Do your ancestors believe in slavery? Free work is always nice, but if your slave pens are empty your clan magic will suffer. How did they feel towards dragons or trolls? Are they peaceful or warlike? The range of possibilities offering an extremely vast gaming experience that is fun to tinker with. Members of your council ring tend to remind you of your history, and keeping in line with your ancestors’ decisions will make more magic available to be spent during the Sacred Time on a number of buffs for war, trade, crops, and more.
In addition to what is spent during sacred time, cattle can be sacrificed in order to learn the blessings of the gods. Building a shrine will make the blessing permanent, but also require a number of goods and cattle for annual upkeep. Offering new temples will encourage other clans to visit, possibly forming new alliances. Once the alliance is strong enough, you might even begin negotiations to form a tribe. Approaching each clan and haggling agreeable terms is difficult, and you still might not be elected the king of the clan you created. Politics is a fantastically elaborate quilt of petty arguments and disagreements, and King of Dragon Pass showcases this beautifully.
King of Dragon Pass is an absolute pleasure to sit down with, easily absorbing me for hours at a time. The mouse-based controls and underwhelming sound effects seem to stain what is otherwise a fantastically constructed game, but both are easily overlooked for the variety of likeable music and superb writing. I understand this game is a phone port, but it translates much better than something more action-based. It took me about 6 or 7 hours of gameplay to ever see a random event twice. For a mobile port, I think the price is high but for the amount of content offered it isn’t a bad exchange for fantasy-lovers who appreciate a good read. I applaud A#(A-Sharp) and Herocraft, and hope to see more quite soon.
Fun Factor- 4/10
Sound FX- 1/10
Level Design- 6/10
Final Score: 3.3/5 Stars
Summary: Text-heavy clan-management simulation rife with politics, intrigue, and complex decisions.
Verdict: Fantasy-lovers who appreciate a good read will surely get their money’s worth.
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