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”
10 word description: Blend of interactive storytelling and resource management. Conflict, mythology, community.
10 word review: Deep and disturbingly engrossing; Civilisation played as a fantasy novel.
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!
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.
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.
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.”
Arcadelife rating: 92/100
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 2.0.1
A Sharp / KoDP website link