Kingdom Tales from Cateia Games is an interesting mix of town-building mobile game, and the Settlers of Catan board game. In the midst of a war between humans and dragons, you must stand up and help rebuild your damaged kingdom, all while making your way to the Dragon’s Keep to hopefully end this war once and for all. You have to practice resource management as well as town building while completing challenges to progress through the game’s worlds. The game is far from perfect, but all in all it is still a fun experience for everyone who loves this style of puzzler.
The story of Kingdom Tales revolves around some of the most classical of fantasy elements – kings, knights, fairies and of course dragons. Humans and Dragons have always been at odds with one another and nowthe latter have decided that it is their time to rule and have begin waging war upon the land. Humans, fae, and a whole wealth of other fantasy creatures are under threat and it is up to the new King of the land to take up arms, and help rebuild his fallen kingdom, all while making his way to the dragon’s den.
The story feels a little cliche and derrivative, but it still manages to bring a certain charm to the whole package. As you might expect, the story really takes a back seat to the gameplay, and aside from a handful of small cut-scenes and some sections of dialogue between characters, it doesn’t really impact on the overall game in the slightest.
Kingdom Tales is by and large a puzzle game. It combines traditional puzzle elements and combines them with town-building video game mechanics, and throws in some Settlers of Catan in for good measure. Each stage has you fulfilling three different objectives. These objectives can range from “build X Tents” to “Amass X happiness points” (which are collected by having your villagers collect water from wells.
When it comes to building your little settlement and completing the goals, it is very much a game of resource management. Everything costs gold, materials or a combination of the two and it is up to you to efficiently and economically build your town without running out of money, all before the clock winds down.
When you begin, you can select from two different game modes – Adventure and Relaxed. Adventure has you playing through the missions as normal, adhering to the time limits that each stage imposes on you. Relaxed retains all of the same gameplay mechanics but eliminates the time limit, allowing you to tackle the missions at your own leisure. The choice means that he game is accessible to almost everyone no matter how finely tuned their puzzle solving senses are.
Something that does need to be brought up is that although it is a free download, Kingdom Tales is not a free game. You are given a few levels to play around with when you download it, but unlocking the remainder of the game will set you back $2.99 as an in-app purchase. I am hugely opposed to this style of deceptive marketing – hiding your game’s price behind a “Free” pricetag so this almost killed the experience for me. However, as a silver lining, aside from the game unlock, there are no OTHER in-app purchases like more gold or materials.
Visuals & Audio
Kingdom Tales has a cute little art style that is very befitting of the setting of the game, but it can conflict a little with the tone. The fairy is always bright and cheerful and smiling, even when she is describing how dragons ravaged her land. The game does feature a nice little cinematic cut scene to introduce us to the game’s world, but it feels a little outdated and features some choppy frame rate issues as well as some texture problems.
In-game is a lot different, you are zoomed pretty far out so you only get to see everything at a distance and it would have been easy for the devs to skimp out on the detail. However, this wasn’t the case and even from the distant viewpoint, you can see a heap of intricate detail on the building. You can count individual cobblestones on a rooftop or the dark eyes of a wolf blocking the path. It is pretty cool to see the work that went into it.
So Kingdom Tales has its fair share of problems; a somewhat derivative story, questionable marketing tactics and some out of place visuals, but really it is still a fun game. If you are into puzzles, then the clever mix of town building and Settlers of Catan will have you hooked from the beginning. Once unlocked, the game features 45 levels for you to play through, each with three missions to complete and a bunch of secrets to find.
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