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Kingdom Maker Test - the dynasty factory

Attention, please everybody! Welcome to this Kingdom Maker review. Follow me into the virtual medieval lands of this new original license from Scopely, the publisher and developer known for its work on Marvel Strike Force, WWE Champions or Star Trek Fleet Command. But is the new Kingdom Maker up to the standard of the big strategy games on mobile? I propose you to discover it together.

Kingdom Maker Test: gameplay with family management

Let's start this Kingdom Maker test with the heart of the game: its gameplay and its story. At the start of the game, the castle and its surroundings have just been besieged and destroyed by orcs. While rebuilding your citadel, you have to exterminate this vermin from your lands and free the captured nobles. As you wander on quests, you'll learn how to construct buildings, make children, build alliances, defeat enemy camps and conduct research.

Kingdom Maker Test: strategy game from Scopely

Accomplishing missions and base building

In my opinion, the missions in Kingdom Maker follow each other a bit too perfectly, as in most games of this kind, which will make you feel overly guided at times. This calms down a bit after level 15 where you start to enjoy some freedom. Before that, you'll be protected by a beginner's shield to allow you to test as many gameplay options as possible at your own pace. My advice: max out everything you can before your castle reaches this level. That way you'll be properly armed for the big leagues.

Medieval base construction on mobile

Even if there is no real construction mode as such in this Kingdom Maker Test, drag and drop works very well to arrange your base as you wish. Intuitive without being too heavy, this building system is obviously a standard in strategy games with an open map and a personal instance.

Available on Android and iOS, the title benefits from compatibility with many smartphones. But if you want to save your battery, play on a larger screen and farm in multi-instance, better to continue in sessions on a desktop and play Kingdom Maker on PC.

The PvE and PvP system

Compared to other titles, the game really lets you farm camps easily to keep you busy during construction or research time. During my review of Kingdom Maker, this allowed me to get a lot of experience for my characters and to quickly build up the strength of my army.

Kingdom Maker Review army system

Unfortunately, the PvE system seems incomplete. For example, it seems to lack a search function for camps by level, compared to other mobile strategy games. This could make attacks more convenient. Still, this lack of a search tool also pushes you to explore the map by yourself, which is not necessarily annoying. Overall, the gameplay is pleasant and could be improved with future updates.

In immersion, I regret a bit the lack of control over the troops on the battlefield (either directing them or drag and drop). And, unless you're doing PvP, you'll have a hard time understanding how the layout of your kingdom changes much. On the other hand, if you're used to city builders, you'll be delighted to be able to place your buildings in a totally free and natural way on your land.

Discover map Kingdom Maker camps

In my opinion, the Kingdom Maker experience could also benefit from a troop report to establish a clear strategy, eventually. But surprisingly, even without these usual finishing touches, the title offers a good grip.

The fact that its combat system does not limit you to 3 confrontations every 30 minutes also allows you to have more freedom in what you want to do and where you want to go. In the end, the whole is very coherent and the atmosphere of the game will keep you immersed.

An atmosphere worked for the royal immersion

Speaking of which, let's talk a bit about my opinion of the atmosphere of Kingdom Maker. The approach of the title to focus on your lineage and the social interactions of power games in addition to the usual strategy background is for me a winning bet. As the quests and interactions unfold, you wonder what place your family will take in the world order and what the future holds for each member of your house.

The visibility of the castle and the possibility to move your characters is a little extra that will make you come back to take advantage of the bonuses and optimize your current activities (construction, research, troop production, etc.).

Management of the castle and room bonuses
View from afar and maximum zoom of a room in the castle

Moreover, the use of the portrait mode is interesting although I find the interface a bit busy. The latter is not very well organized and lacks links between menus, which means that we spend a lot of time going backwards, especially after a fight. We are not used to it anymore!

On the other hand, the portrait mode makes it an easy game for transportation or any other activity with a one-handed grip.

The strong point of the title is obviously its writing, which offers dialogues and popular references that are much better than most titles on the market (excluding narrative games) with a very good French localization.

Test of Kingdom Maker with units on the ramparts

The army structure seems more realistic than in most titles. And the fact that you can turn your villagers into fighters instead of creating warriors from scratch does a lot for population management. There is also a mechanic of happiness and taxes which reminds me of the Stronghold era which used these elements very well. In the siege phase, your foot units will even climb on the ramparts to quickly cross and knock down the archers that rain arrows on your army.

As far as graphics are concerned, Kingdom Maker opts for a simple but effective style and we particularly appreciate the fluidity of the zoom transitions, the view of the fights even in PvE and the activity of the villagers visible in maximum zoom which brings life to the whole. It is this kind of detail that will make you really enjoy the view of your kingdom.

Active villagers at the castle on mobile

For a better long term effect, I hope we will see building customization that would give a better feeling of accomplishment for active players.

A very soft business model

As for the economic model, Kingdom Maker is very protective of players. You will be able to start the game at your own pace and get used to it for several hours without having to face any PvP confrontation that could make you question the balance between F2P and premium accounts.

Kingdom Maker Test, a mobile strategy game

Moreover, unlike the experience offered by many mobile games of the same genre, your gaming session on Kingdom Maker will not make you the target of frequent and aggressive pop-ups to make you buy anything and everything. Also say goodbye to the dozens of flashing store items on the interface of the usual strategy games and enjoy a soothing game without spending constraints.

Conclusion of my Kingdom Maker review

Overall, this Kingdom Maker Test allowed me to discover an enjoyable mobile game, original enough to pique the interest of strategy players used to classic formulas with a slightly different family management and relationships with other players. On the other hand, the title lacks some finishing touches at this stage in some game systems and a little variation to keep the player's attention in the long term.

In any case, the attention to detail of the units animates your kingdom in a unique way that brings your little virtual world to life behind well-guarded fences. We will obviously have to follow the developments of Kingdom Maker to see where Scopely will take this title!

This test made in collaboration with the publisher for the launch of the game.

For more strategy games on mobile, check out our category dedicated to the 4X and auto-chess genre on Android and iOS.

Kingdom Maker Test - the dynasty factory

Positive points

  • Great attention to graphic detail
  • Appreciable lineage system
  • Visible, realistic combat
  • Full translation and localization

Negative points

  • Interface navigation issues
  • A troop report is missing
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  • History - 8
  • Gameplay - 7
  • Atmosphere - 8.5
  • Business model - 9
Yaya Yaya would never have spent a single cent on a mobile game. At least, that's what the legend says.

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