Mihajlo has 205 games totaling a value of $3,709.19 USD and a playtime of 4,181.57 hours. That’s right: he’s spent enough money to buy a used car and has dedicated roughly 5 months to playing games. The real issue is that out of those 205 games, roughly 25% have actually been completed. That leaves him with 148 games he’s yet to finish. Quite the backlog some would say.
Kings Bounty: The Legend is a 3D Isometric turn-based strategy game, which is a mouthful to say and enough to scare many people away as it is. It is similar to games such as Heroes of Might and Magic or Age of Wonders. This means that you’ll be spending the majority of your time doing menial quests (“Let’s clear out vegetables!”) and collecting new units to use in your army like you’re playing Pokémon. As with Heroes of Might and Magic, you find yourself trying to circumnavigate enemy mobs as they stand there blocking your path, counting up the number of units as you recruit them and guessing how many units “Horde” REALLY stands for.
The game definitely plays on the nostalgia vibe, mainly due to the unique genre it lends itself to, and that’s not a bad thing. As mentioned above, the game is very similar to Heroes of Might and Magic – Select your hero, recruit your units, kill the wandering mobs. Kings Bounty has this down pat and it doesn’t do much to stray away from the formula, it’s safe, it’s easy, and it invites you in. My main concern with this is that it tends to simplify the game too much. The game forces you to work with only five different units in your army which doesn’t allow for much diversity, this is good and bad. The good being it forces you to use what limited resources you have, meaning you have to be crafty with the five units you have, the bad being that it doesn’t really let you experiment with what’s good and what isn’t.
I say this because Kings Bounty ramps up its difficulty quickly, really quickly. Especially after you leave the first area. This is the make or break moment of the game. Has the combination of ragtag misfits you put together achieved something? Or will they fall apart as soon as a zombie as much as decays on them? It’s a welcome break from the constant plant removal you are doing for the first 1.5 hours of the game.
Combat in King’s Bounty isn’t really something to write home about. Each team takes turns moving their five units, the units are numbered based on the amount you have, and have special abilities (like move twice, attack an area, etc). The heroes themselves don’t actually do any combat, instead they are used for utility i.e casting spells that heal or damage units and teleport you around the map. But that’s not all, each hero unit can be upgraded with a multitude of items – boots, swords, shields, trinkets. These items act as you may expect them to, they add random abilities or statistics to your hero. They don’t make much of a difference on their own but later in the game, you start to realise how important it is to buy those boots you’ve been looking up at the shop.
That being said, you won’t always have to pony up money to buy those slippers, for King’s Bounty has quests. Oh so many quests. These quests range from murdering backyard plants, murdering bandits to collect stolen tax, murdering werewolves to cure a werewolf curse, murdering fish to collect… fish. Overall there isn’t a lot of variety within the game, it mainly focuses on the one thing it was designed to do, provide five versus five tactical turn-based combat. Admittedly it can get a bit tiresome, so much so that they allow battles to be played out automatically by the AI (Do this if you want to see some really stupid plays).
I found it was best to play this game in short bursts across the weeks. This is thanks to the atmosphere that Kings Bounty creates. It all feels like one big joke, a dad-joke at that, as each quest is filled with silly lines or jokes that just make you go “Huh..”. This doesn’t always work for the game as it can easily break the tension. Imagine this – you just got out of an intense battle, at LEAST five plants were attacking your army, you were sweating bullets, shit’s getting a bit messy, you just manage to win by the skin of your teeth and you go talk to the quest giver.
“When I was your age I could do this blindfolded – heh, heh, heh”
And there it goes, all the tension has left the building and you realise that this game isn’t serious, it’s just a light-hearted game designed to give you a fantasy story that takes the piss out of other fantasy stories.
Overall, King’s Bounty felt like a chore at times, it felt quite repetitive and drawn out. This was mainly thanks to the way I was trying to play the game (Read: Binge playing), it got infinitely better when I treated it as a light game to play for thirty odd minutes at a time, and for $8.59 you can’t go wrong with that.
Just watch out for the plants.
- Easy to pick up
- Cheap price
- Solid game formula
- Small unit roster
- Reptitive quests
- Generic audio for everything