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King of Dragon Pass review (iPod/iPhone)

October 1, 2011

“Kill the king, the king is dead, long live the king
I am the king, God save the king”

The hand-drawn artwork is of a very high quality throughout the game

10 word description: Blend of interactive storytelling and resource management. Conflict, mythology, community.

The advisers all tend to make a lot of sense but, ultimately, it's you who has to decide what to do

10 word review: Deep and disturbingly engrossing; Civilisation played as a fantasy novel.

Luckily, the manual is included within the game ... somewhere...

You will like this if you enjoy: Civilisation type games (but with a lot more to read). Medieval city management/conquest games (but with a lot more to read). Unclassifiable games. Addictive games where you have to actually think!

Forget "right and wrong". Think more along the lines of "will my decision come back to bite me in the butt 5 years from now?"

The good news: It’s an excellent port of a 1999 Windows/Mac game, perfectly tailored for the touch-screen. The quality of artwork and writing is very high. The amount of “stuff to do” is also incredibly high. Even if you’re a sceptical, bitter Asteroids addict (like me) you’re going to start feeling genuine emotion at the outcome of some of your decisions and various other game events. It’s a heck of a deep game.

Before embarking on any kind of quest (or "suicide mission" as we like to call them), at least do a small amount of research

The bad news: If you found, played and loved King of Dragon Pass on the PC or Mac, you’ll miss out on the thrill of discovering this gem of a game on your iOS device. I bet you’ll still get it again anyway.

Sacrificing everyone you meet to random gods might not be the best plan ever...

Arcadelife verdict: The quality and depth is probably because it’s a port of a PC game. If someone tried to create something like this from scratch for the iPhone, there would be time and funding issues that would result in a rushed release full of typos, grammatical cock-ups and a couple of million bugs. However, that doesn’t take anything away from the experience on offer here, which is a pretty damn good one. Not for everyone, obviously, but then what is? Although it can be played in small chunks, auto-saving quietly behind every move you make, it’s the kind of game where you always have something you want to do next, right after telling yourself, “I’ll just do this and then get some sleep.”

See, I told you we shouldn't have outsourced gift distribution

Arcadelife rating: 92/100

Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 2.0.1
iTunes link

A Sharp / KoDP website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
4th gen iPod Touch (OS 4.3.5)
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