Developer: GAMEVIL
Price: Free
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4S

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Controls Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

In a way, Kingdom Royale is proof that freemium/social games are in fact evolving. Make no mistake, Kingdom Royale itself is a serviceable but ultimately forgettable entry in a quickly expanding genre. However, it’s encouraging to see just how much the standards for this genre really have been raised.

A new evil threatens the land and it’s up to the player to raise an army and build a kingdom strong enough to conquer it. The plot isn’t exactly groundbreaking material but there are a few interestingly progressive story details. For example, the player’s kingdom is comprised of humans, orcs, and elves and the game states that this interracial alliance is a new development. When it comes down it though, the story is just one of many aspects of Kingdom Royale that players have seen before. The anime artwork will be instantly recognizable to anyone familiar with one of Gamevil’s other franchises Zenonia. Even the music loops often enough the most will have it involuntarily memorized after a few minutes.

Then there’s the gameplay itself, the most familiar aspect of all. Players build structures, gather resources, complete quests, recruit social media friends, and attack neighboring areas in turn-based strategic battles. This is all handled perfectly fine but again, nothing about it feels fresh. It’s telling that the coolest thing about the battle system is that the characters are constantly running at each other, a simple visual gimmick. At least the freemium elements feel slightly less intrusive here than they do in some other contemporaries. Rarely will a session be halted just because the player refuses to pay more, although this doesn’t mean it is any less frustrating when that does happen. The only really egregious examples are the occasional moments when enemies bases can’t be attacked for a few hours because they are “building defenses” or some other excuse.

Overall though, Kingdom Royale is a solid game that never quite manages to justify its own existence. Anyone who checks it out will probably have a fun experience, there are just so many other games that offer that same experience.


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