26/10/2018

⚔️ Review: Hero of the Kingdom 3 "A casual game for casual people" ⚔️ #IndieGame #GameDev

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Developer: Lonely Troops
Platform Reviewed: (PC) Steam
I haven’t played the two previous games in the series but from what I can gather this is more of the same. 

The Hero of the Kingdom series seems to be geared more towards causal players as the game has the faintest whiff of a story about it but the real focus here appears to be grinding and passing time, two factors that make me feel that this would be more at home on a tablet or phone than a PC.

Set in a medieval setting and viewed from an isometric perspective, Hero of the Kingdom 3 casts you in the role of a young man raised by his uncle who ventures out into the world to make a name for himself. The game play is completely controlled by the mouse and one button and so is pretty accessible. You need strength to make actions and certain weapons or potions in order to defeat certain enemies, such as a sword and health potion for rats or a blue potion and hammer for zombies. 

It all seems quite arbitrary and locked-down as the game states there are side-quests but in reality, all quests have to be completed in order to make any progress. For instance, you can’t ignore fishing as at some point you will need that skill in order to proceed (even if that’s indirectly, as in you’ll need to catch fish to raise enough money to move forwards at a certain point). The visuals are reminiscent of hi-res PC strategy games in the mid 90s and feel nostalgic but the game play is so light and grind-heavy that you quickly fall into a routine that descends into tedium (for me, at least).

The main issue is that you constantly need to eat in order to restore your strength to complete actions and this artificially extends the game. You can sleep at any time by clicking on the ‘camp’ icon in the bottom-right corner which takes you to a separate screen in which you can cook (if you’ve unlocked the skill) and eat provisions… you’ll be seeing this screen a lot. The entire game seems to be designed to slow your progress as much as possible, with no real fluidity of movement. 

Every few attacks your sword will break or you’ll run out of a specific potion to kill an enemy which is blocking your path. Perhaps you’ll be sent on an errand which requires a certain amount of gold, which you’ll need to spend some time grinding in order to obtain. I seemed to make a few steps forward, then something would break or I’d need to buy a specific item and then I’d spend some time getting myself back up to speed. 


Hero of the Kingdom 3 isn’t a particularly long game but after a couple of hours of play and reaching a big city, where a load of other fetch / gathering quests were unlocked I just felt beaten down by the sheer boredom of completing the same actions over and over.

Breaking up the main thrust of the game are some quests which are played out as hidden object puzzles. Someone may ask you to collect twenty blue butterflies or a certain mushroom, for example and you move through the screens clicking on each one. This is initially fine but it’s a very, very basic level of pixel-hunting which has no real longevity, it only adds a brief sojourn away from the main mechanics.

The in-game conversations are staid and bland (coincidentally, the names of my eyes) adding little to in-game lore. You essentially move from place to place, clicking, eating and sleeping.

Hero of the Kingdom 3 would be at home on a touch-screen device. There are no paywall or micro-transactions here which is a massive blessing but there feels like a focus on quantity over quality which is an issue for me, but at the same time it seems like that very factor is what is drawing some people to the series. As I mentioned earlier, I haven’t played the previous titles but I have to assume that the third game doesn’t deviate from the formula much. I played for a few hours which is far, far longer than  I expected to but I think that I assumed the early stages of the game were sort of a tutorial that would eventually open up somehow but the game just goes on and on, repeating very similar quests just worded slightly differently. Whenever I discovered a new enemy, I wasn’t excited for the variety, I just sighed and wondered what string of items I’d need to farm in order to defeat it (bearing in mind that combat in the game is handled by just having the right items and clicking on the enemy once to defeat it. Your character can’t die or even be wounded as there’s no health bar in the game) and move on to the next enemy which would repeat the sequence.
Summary 
Hero of the Kingdom 3 is a causal game for people who just want to turn off their minds and click their way through a game. 

There’s clearly a market for this genre  as illustrated by the strong reviews of the series thus far but that market definitely isn’t me I felt like I was just passing time as opposed to actually enjoying myself. 
It’s not a bad game as in there are no bugs or glitches; everything is just generic from the visuals to the music, in-game text and setting. 
If you are hips-deep into the series, then I’m sure you’ll get what you want from Hero of the Kingdom 3, otherwise, there really isn’t anything here to get stuck into.
💧❄️ RATING: MELTING ❄️💧

Ratings Explained
ICE COOL (Great Game Recommended)
MELTING (Recommended with reservations, one to consider if you are a fan of the genre)
MELTED (Not A Recommended Purchase)