King Mania Review
Posted on Friday, June 26, 2009
Real time strategy meets acid trip ...uh, I mean fantasy? What a great idea!
King Mania is a casual game that takes some of the more familiar aspects of the "Build and Kill" genre and breathes new life into it with some innovative ideas. The story places you as a king who has no other hobbies but to go to war; which he does constantly. You start with a map displaying your path to victory with all the areas you must conquer along the way. Clicking on one of these locations opens the main window where you can attempt to defeat your enemy.
Here's how King Mania is different from many others in this game genre.
Enemy Castle The action takes place in an ethereal world of odd buildings comprised of castles, wizard towers, villages and more. Your goal on each is to capture the enemy castle by building up your army, defending your own castle, and taking his castle. You start each level with at least a castle. Other buildings on the level will be the enemy castle and several neutral buildings. Taking these buildings serves the dual purpose of providing you with more resources and keeping them away from the enemy. You can easily tell who controls which buildings. Your buildings have blue circles around them, neutral buildings are not marked and enemy buildings have red circles around theirs. Actually, the enemy circles looked kind of orange to me, but maybe it's my monitor.
Total units (10)
seen in upper corner
Attacking units (6)
shown on green bar. Information for any building you control is accessed by left mouse clicking on it. The box that appears displays the number of peasants and soldiers inside as well as the number that will be sent on any attack. You can increase or decrease that number by clicking on the red boxes below the unit icons. You may be tempted to send all your soldiers to attack but leaving your buildings defenseless will certainly prompt a counterattack and probable loss of that building. The overall production of the building will be shown in the status bar located at the top of the game window. To find out information about enemy or neutral buildings, just move the cursor over it. Two icons will indicate the number of peasants and soldiers in the building.
Fireball Attack! To attack, just left click on any of your buildings with soldiers and right click on your target. The preselected number of soldiers will leave your building and march towards the target. If you have a larger force, you'll take the building and use it to help in your conquest. The same technique is used to send soldiers to reinforce buildings you already control.
Although you can't build anything new, you can enhance the buildings you have which adds a new aspect to the game. There are four basic types of upgrades, enhancement of the building's defense, creating new offensive units, increasing resource or unit production, and creating or enhancing spells.
Defensive and production upgrades make your buildings more efficient and harder to take over. The offensive and spell upgrades are more interesting. You can build monsters and dragons to lay waste to your enemies or create spells like fireball to inflict massive damage. Some of the effects are really impressive.
King Mania can be thought of as Real Time Strategy Lite. There is no long buildup phase, armies move to their objectives and fight each other inside the building so you never actually see it, and there are only five types of buildings with a total of 31 upgrades. What takes the place of micro managing troops and villages is a very aggressive gameplay; it starts fast and stays that way. Since there is no buildup phase, successful attacks require few soldiers and must start at once since early conquest of neutral buildings is essential. If your conquests go too far, your forces will be spread too thin and you will lose much of your gains to the enemy. Even with the best planning, your enemy will send multiple attacks to your weak points and you will have to constantly redeploy your forces to stop the invaders. King Mania is a really engrossing game that will provide hours of great gameplay.
This is how I rate King Mania
Cost - Really cheap at only $9.99.
Available Platforms - Pc and Mac
Gameplay - Fast and furious. Once the battles start, you'll be scrambling to keep up. The introductory tutorial levels are a bit slow but they have to be so you can learn the game. After that, you'll have to find the right balance of offense, defense and resources to find final victory.
Graphics - Very original graphics place you in an ethereal world that really sets the tone for this game.
Originality - A fresh look at the RTS game genre with the focus on action.
Strong Points - Very aggressive gameplay for those who like RTS with lots of action.
Weak Points - Not as much planning and building as in typical RTS games. If your favorite part of a game is the planning aspect, you may not like this game. The attack AI could be a bit tougher.
Boredom/Frustration Ratio: 1/1 - Lively gameplay keeps you constantly alert as you juggle defense, offense and resources. Increasing difficulty along with new building enhancements appear with new levels and keep the game challenging.
Overall Rating: 9 - The attack AI could be a bit tougher which lost it the one point.
Conclusion: King Mania is new take on the RTS genre that focuses on action. Superior gameplay and graphics at a low price make this a great game value.
Download King Mania for PC
Download King Mania for Mac
from The Shareware Genie and try it for one hour free. The price has been reduced to $9.99.