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Kingdom Two Crowns: Dead Lands

Posted by GG Goblin On May - 13 - 2020

My micro strategy game has been Bloodstained.

 
Raw Fury’s Kingdom Two Crowns has been around for a while now, offering players an unusual take on the strategy genre. Keeping things fresh, and perhaps introducing new fans to the game, the developers have recently released a free update called Dead Lands. This expansion gives the game a makeover in collaboration with action RPG Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, bringing not only a creepy new setting in which to build, expand and defend, but also new monarchs and mounts. Happy days indeed.

 


 
As this crossover update will be introducing new players to the joys of Kingdom Two Crowns, a little explanation of the core game is in order. Kingdom Two Crowns is a very unique take on the strategy genre in which the player takes control of a pixel monarch as they trudge back and forth across a 2D side-scrolling landscape. Very simple to control, the player mostly only has to trouble themselves with collecting the coins dropped along the land, or found in chests, and then spending those coins on recruiting peasants, making the equipment to give them jobs, and building structures to provide either new sources of revenue, or new ways to defend the new kingdom. Defend the kingdom from what? The Greed of course. Each night these strange creatures will come and attack the kingdom, taking whatever they can in an attempt to remove the monarch from power.

 
The joy and frustration of Kingdom Two Crowns comes from the minimal direction the player is given. Outside of a very simple tutorial, the player really is left to their own devices as they work out what they are supposed to do and how they are to survive. This can be tricky as many of the first times the player reaches a milestone will be left with some confusion as to what happens, or is supposed to happen, next. However, this also feeds into the joy of discovery as the player works it out and progresses. Kingdom Two Crowns is incredibly compelling and packed full of surprises that will keep the player coming back just to find out what happens next.

 
The new Dead Lands update, which is free, doesn’t do a whole lot to change the core gameplay. That’s no bad thing, as the game is very enjoyable already. However, starting a new game, the player is able to choose the Dead Lands as their setting and then bask in the Bloodstained overlay to the game. There are some fun new things to discover though.

 


 
The thematic changes come first, with the world given a much darker look, with plentiful use of purples and reds that will be familiar to fans of Bloodstained. The pixel environments seem more twisted and creepy, and backdrops feature massive statues in the distance, when the cloud clears long enough to see them. It’s a simple change, but very effective.

 
Perhaps the thing that existing players will enjoy the most about this update comes with the new monarchs. Players will start out in this new land in control of Miriam, straight from Bloodstained. In a new twist for the game though, the player will not have to stay with Miriam as three other Bloodstained characters also make an appearance and can be unlocked to use as monarchs. Zangetsu, Gebel and Alfred can be changed to once they are unlocked, giving the player a choice of four different looking monarchs to rule as.

 
But that is not all that the new choices of monarchs bring, as each one also has their own skill that will make ruling the kingdom and fighting back the Greed that bit easier. For example, Miriam can freeze the Greed in place for a couple of seconds, perhaps making it easier for the archers to finish them off, while Gebel can transform into a bat, allowing much faster travelling across the land.

 
On the subject of travelling, players will also have access to a variety of new steeds that also follow the Bloodstained theme. Even these come with abilities, but the discovery is all part of the fun. Either way, the returning players will have plenty of new stuff to discover, and plenty of new ways to strategise.

 


 
As the Dead Lands update is free for anyone who owns the core game, there is no way not to recommend it. However, had there been a charge for the content, I would still say it would be worth paying. Fans of Bloodstained who are new to the game will still have to fork out for Kingdom Two Crowns, but I would say it is worth picking up anyway, as it really is a great game. The lack of direction can be frustrating, but it really does all become clear through practice. For fans of Kingdom Two Crowns, now is the time to jump back in and enjoy a Bloodstained kingdom. It’s a free update that happens to be quite good. What’s not to like?

 

 ★★★★★★★★★☆ 



 

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