King's Bounty: The Legend
Critically acclaimed and popular with gamers, the game serves up a successful blend of role-play and strategy in a similar vein to Heroes of Might and Magic, but packed with fun battles and combat. It's the perfect game for gamers who aren't fans of pure turn-based gaming, because players cross the game world in real time. For fans of strategy and military thinking with a tenacious streak.
King's Bounty is a game with real history! First released in 1989, this game was clearly the inspiration for the iconic Heroes of Might and Magic series, to which it is often unwittingly compared. And here at Blacknut, we've brought you the latest version updated to suit modern tastes, combining elements from the original game with a modernised interface and mechanics.
The game places the player in the shoes of a "royal treasure hunter", whose job it is to complete quests for the king in an unashamedly heroic fantasy world. And just like in most RPGs, you'll be travelling across a map dotted with villages, monsters, non-player characters, and shops.
At the beginning of your journey, you'll need to choose one of four different classes: Archers, who can kill enemies from a distance; Mages, who can cast spells; Thieves, with the power of teleportation; and Knights, who excel in melee combat. And to add a bit of depth to the experience, each of these classes can learn new skills over the course of the game.
Be ready to spend plenty of time fighting. But that's a good thing! King's Bounty's turn-based combat system is simply amazing. The battles are simple, but this simplicity belies some real depth and a stiff challenge. The battles take place on hexagonal grids, and while your chosen hero doesn't play a direct role in the battle, you can use spells to turn the tide of the battle.
And here's the bad news, but also what makes the game so unique: when the battle is over, any of your troops who were killed stay dead. You can, however, buy more to replenish your ranks. This means you'll need to do some strategic thinking before you launch your attack.
We strongly advise newbies to the RPG genre to play the game in Easy mode first. This will mean you'll always have plenty of funds and face fewer enemies in battle. Because the combat is really challenging, and experience and level-ups are earned only slowly.
The game also encourages you to save often, with the quick save/load buttons highlighted during the loading screens.
Here's a little Blacknut tip just for you: right click to preview the strength of the enemy and to check the skills of the characters you are recruiting. It's an essential feature that's not in the tutorial!
Despite the challenging combat, we liked how the game never really punishes players: if you come across an enemy army that's too much for you, just avoid it and come back later once you've levelled up and hired some more powerful units. There's never any worry that the enemy army will locate your base and wipe you out.
And if you're too scared to lead battle against your enemies, you can always choose to automatically resolve them. Power to the people!
With its excellent graphics, strategic layer, and long playtime, this is a game that no self-respecting turn-based strategy fan should miss.
Publisher: Fulqrum Publishing
Developer: Fulqrum Publishing
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