Shadow Kings Review
Shadow Kings is a strategy and building MMO by Goodgame Studios. You are tasked with building a settlement, upgrading your buildings, collecting resources, raising an army and battling the forces of evil. While elements of the game are very fun, the experience was unfortunately dragged down by a microtransaction business model.
Elements of the game function like many other browser-based strategy games. You place buildings in your settlement, and upgrade them to become more effective. Each upgrade takes time, and you can only build one building at a time. You can unlock a second building slot, but only by using diamonds, which are available to purchase with real world currency. You can also speed up your building, but only if you use the diamonds you purchase with real world currency.
The game makes it exceedingly easy to spend your real money on the diamonds. You have a bar at the top left of the screen showing how many diamonds you currently have. You can click on the purple plus purchase more. You can also see the large icon on my screen with the star, this was to remind me that there was a great deal on diamonds at the time. Not only did the icon remain throughout my playtime, it also shook itself, so you could never forget its presence. It was a special three-day sale, and it looks like the icon will never go away.
In my playtime, I earned 3-5 diamonds for completing quests. To unlock the second building slot, you need 14,900. You may also notice the small encampment outside my settlement, that is a wandering trader who sells various boosts, all of which can only be purchased by diamonds.
The area where Shadow Kings really excels is the combat. There are enemy camps all over the world map, and you send your forces to defeat them. After recruiting warriors and building tools, you designate troops and tools for the front, as well as the right and left flanks. It’s a cool system, but most attack tools, like catapults and dragon’s fist, are only available for purchase with diamonds. Defending your city works similarly, you raise troops and tools and assign them to various towers. Once again, half of the tools are only available for purchase with diamonds.
While a lot of tools are only available for purchase with diamonds, your offensive and defensive units are purchased with coins. The coins are actually generated in game, by taxing your population. To collect taxes, you have to select a time period to tax over: five, ten, fifteen or thirty minutes and actually click to collect after that time expires. Collecting early or late will result in a loss of resources viagra soft g.
Another interesting system in the game is a productivity meter. The happier your population is, the more productive they are, leading to optimal gains in resource gathering and income. You increase happiness by building up city defenses and decorations. It decreases when you increase the population. It is a very interesting mechanic and it made this the very first game where I cared for my minions’ happiness.
Overall, Shadow Kings is a fun, free game that is only brought down by the microtransaction business model. You can play it for free on GamesFreak.net. The game was released on PC, iOS, and Android on Aug. 14.