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Kingdom: New Lands Review - Just a pretty face or is there substance as well as style?

For: iPhone
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Get off my land - actually, no, I need your money

Product: Kingdom: New Lands | Format: iPhone | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.2.4
Kingdom: New Lands is a side-scrolling adventure game that sees you taking control of a random monarch who's constantly mounted on their trusty steed. 

Released on Steam in August last year, it still holds onto its positive rating, and for good reason. If its charming, pixelated art style doesn't grab you, its challenging resource-based gameplay certainly will. 

This land is my land

The long and the short of it is that you have to build up your kingdom, gain subjects, and harvest money to help you build up more. Ultimately you can fix up a boat, gather some pals, head out to the next place, and start all over again at a higher difficulty. 

Oh, and you've also got to keep the demons at bay wherever you go so, when in doubt, hire lots and lots of bowmen. 

Your one and only use is quite literally collecting and dispersing money. You can flick a coin out at poor peasant folks to welcome them into your kingdom, you can also use coins to hire workers, build walls and defences, and to repair landmarks. 

That may sound boring, but it's quite the opposite - it's endearing and really hard sometimes. After all, if you don't put enough money into your defences and the demons break through, you can only watch in heartbreak and despair as everything crumbles around you. 

That kind of helplessness is the cherry on top of this ice-cream sundae of the game. 

One little thing to point out is the game's attention to detail. The art style is beautiful, but you'll only appreciate its complexity once you see it in motion. From little puffs of dust kicked up by your monarch's horse, to the gradually changing season, it's a real joy to behold.

This land is your land

Given that the controls are so simple - swipe left to run left, swipe right to run right, and tap to spend money - the game feels a natural fit for mobile, which is always a worry in ported titles. 

If there's one gripe, it's that occasionally the character doesn't respond when you want them to move. It happened very rarely but it was quite noticeable in play. 

Sometimes the game mistakes your movement requests for the redistribution of wealth as well. You attempt to swipe in a direction, only to shower coins upon your subjects. 

No wait, that's my land

Even with these little niggles, Kingdom: New Lands is still a really interest and entertaining game.

It may be a little steep on the price-front for a mobile title, but for an expansive game which offers up strategy, complexity, and the right kind of difficulty curve, it's definitely worth it.
Kingdom: New Lands Review - Just a pretty face or is there substance as well as style?
Reviewer photo
Emily Sowden | 10 March 2017
Kingdom: New Lands is as much as a joy on mobile as it was on PC, and feels right at home on a touch-screen
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