Kingdom of Loot Steam Game Screenshot

Genre: MMORPG
Game Page: Game On Steam
Should You Buy It: Wait for early access to end

Today, I wanted to take a look at the game called “Kingdom of Loot:” I did not stumble upon it randomly, its ad has been displayed to me on Facebook. The game is in early access, so lots of work is planned ahead.

About The Game

The game is a massive multiplayer rpg game, made fully in pixel art. The game’s aesthetic is definitely well-thought out: the palette is colorful, the pixel art is well done and shows lots of care put into it.

Pros and cons

The ui is well-drawn, but clumsy. To equip a new item, you need to unequip the previous one. You can’t quick sell items (at least I did not find the way). You need to drag every one of your items towards “sell” button, which can become tedious if you take into account how much loot the game actually drops. There are no quick way to compare the item that you are going to equip with the item that you already have equiped. I could go on, but I think you get the picture.

You’ll have to pick up lots of loot. Luckily, this mechanic is well-done. The hitting animations and reward collections is polished fine, which is important. Every time enemy drops coins / weapons – there are visible effects and pleasant sounds on pickup. One thing that I would change is the loot attraction distance. Right now, you have to be almost on the coins in order to loot them. This brings some unnecessary walking around. Ideally, it would be much more entertaining if the coins were pulled towards you from 2-3 tile distance.

However, when it comes to gameplay, the game faces a serious challenge: right now, after level 5, the game throws you into the dungeon. Unfortunately, this is the only dungeon you can go to. I’ve tried playing with two melee classes and an archer, and did not see any active skills upon reaching level 5. All I got was passive attack enhancements, which essentially reduced the gameplay towards hitting the space button and drinking potion occasionally.

At this point, there is not much variety: one location to get to level 5, then dungeon to get to progress further. It’s better to group up for that one, since monsters are getting tougher and much harder to kill.

Summary

From the development perspective, the game is in peculiar state: if the game is being actively marketed, there’s not much content to keep player’s playing. The thing that can definitely be improved is an early game: players gather most of impressions from it, and if they just need to roam around and simply grind right from the start (except for one quest) – a lot of people are going to be lured by awesome graphics and polish, but not many are going to stay.

If it was up to me – I’d add more early game content specifically and work on basic UI improvements: that way the players will be able to better see the promise the game shows and follow it closer. A few things that could definitely make it much more entertaining would be early early game location alternatives, active skills for all classes, UI that would allow selling loot quickly (after all, the game is about loot, right?). Essentially, focusing all effort on the early game, to improve retention (more active players means that new players will be able to find the party easier and form friendships, thus forming additional bond with the game world).

Kingdom of Loot is the game that shows a lot of potential, but feels like it went into early access too soon. Overall, keep your eyes open for this one, but wait before it actually leaves early access.

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Feature Image taken from the game store page, here

Strike Tactics Classical RTS screenshot

Genre: Classical RTS / Multiplayer
Game Page: Game Page
Should You Buy It: If you are a fan of classical RTS games

About The Game

Strike Tactics is a multiplayer rts. What makes it different and original is that it can be played from your browser. Yes, you’ve heard correctly. Full-featured RTS game, playable in Chrome (recommended by developer) or Firefox (tested by me and it ran fine).

My Take on the game

First of all, I love RTS games. But ultimately, I pretty much suck at them because I’m not really a multitasking person. In this regard, I’m looking at them like a daydreaming office clerk looks at racing cars: imagining how awesome would it be to drive one and be behind the wheel, and ultimately messing things up when he actually gets a chance to do it. So if I am being frank with you, I don’t think I’m qualified to review the game because I’m just not good enough, but I’ve played about three hours, a few versus AI games and three 1v1 games against actual players and just wanted to share my casual feedback, first impressions and simply inform you about its existence.

Gameplay loop

Strike Tactics starts like a usual rts game: you have workers that mine the basic mineral, carbon. The mining robots can get it from the trees that are often placed in most parts of the map. There’s an advanced mineral, ore, that is much rarer and is used for later game resources. You usually get 1-2 fields near your starting point, but will have to expand later on. The units take supply slots, so you need to build “silos,” special buildings that can shorten drop-off points for your drones.

What makes this game different is greater focus on macro rather than micro. The graphics also follow this doctrine: it’s a 2d game with clearly distinguishable units, so you can easily understand what’s going on at any point of the game, even when lots of stuff is happening on the screen.

The combat is done well: units shoot projectiles that can miss the target, so micro is rewarded (if you control your troops well – you can dodge a lot of stuff). One significant difference is abundance of air units with different functions: in this game, air units play major role. Instead of simply supporting ground attacks, they should often compose about 50% of your army because they can counter some ground units effectively and easily take out the workers-gatherers (who are also flying). There are about 20 units now, each has its own purpose. Anti-air, tanks, damage soakers, long range artillery, bombers, super-weapons, flying gunships, everything has a distinguished role, its own strengths and weaknesses. This makes an interesting mix and opens a lot of strategy space. I’ve played against a player who focused on ground units at first, quickly dodging my attacks with his great micro and then fighting the battle of attrition. I’ve also played a game where my base got rushed by air units: lots of my workers got destroyed because I did not have decent anti-air defenses, and from then on it became really hard to stabilize, which eventually led to my defeat.

Strike Tactics - Classical RTS screenshot

Impressions

Overall, the game has a thought-out gameplay loop that requires you to gather resources effectively and build smart. The unit choice adds to the depth: there’s just plenty of combinations and you have to effectively plan your combat approach and quickly adapt to enemy tactics. A lot of effort went into music: most of it is hard-rock’ish, which contributes to immersion of the game.

One minor thing that caught my attention was inability to move the map with WASD. ForgeableSum, the developer of the game mentioned that arrows are there for that, but for me this is a crucial feature, simply because arrow keys are far off from other shortcuts and it takes away precious moments when speed matters. So having it configurable would be really nice.

One thing that is important for RTS games is “uniqueness”. What do I mean by it? The units should not be feeling generic. In Strike Tactics, the unit ideas and art seem pretty new and you can distinguish most units from one another (except for artillery and the normal tank in my case), but other than that – they are not very memorable and don’t have this “wow” factor, apart from the flying battleship. Since units don’t have unique audio tracks (voice commands?), they feel quite generic, lacking the “soul.” If you remember red alert 2: in my opinion, what made it so exceptional is the unit voices and unit types. There were not simply “soldiers,” but characters. Tanya, Crazy Ivan, Chrono Commando, Yuri. Because the game created those personalities, it helped player to get immersed into the game world and made it recognizable and memorable. At this point, Strike Tactics lacks this. The gameplay is good, but if you will ask me in 5 years – I’m sure as hell going to remember Red Alert 2 (even though it was far from being as deep as this game when it came to gameplay decisions), but I can’t be sure that I’ll say the same about Strike Tactics.

There is an observer mode, but no replays yet. And yes, this is the type of game where I’d actually be happy to look at replays in order to learn.

Summary

It all depends now whethere the game is going to get its critical mass of players. The components for success are there, but theres still a good way to go.

The game’s planned release is on July 31 or early August. There’s going to be a free deathmatch mode, and I actually urge you to try it (link below) since you don’t have to install anything and can just run it in your browser. From the information I have, the core game is going to cost about $20. For me personally, this seems a bit too expensive. But on the other hand, it’s a niche game that offers a well-thought out and deep gameplay. The skill ceiling is also incredibly high, so if you are into classical RTS games – this might just be something that you were looking for.

Have something to add? Make sure to join our Steam group, discord chat https://discordapp.com/invite/013oJVAEt1l3JM1wC or join our facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/ColdwildGames/

Feature Image taken from the game page, Game Page