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Developer: Herocraft Ukraine
Price: $2.99
Version: 1.0.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★★
User Interface Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

I must admit, as a fan (not fanatic, just fan) of real-time strategy games, I found Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim utterly perplexing when I first started it up. I figured out how to build things easy enough, and upgrading existing structures was simple, but when it came time to actually do anything I was completely lost. Fortunately I was able to finally “get it” after a second attempt. I couldn’t be happier that it finally clicked with me, because Majesty is one heck of an awesome iOS game.

Okay, so it’s not really an iOS game so much as an iOS port of a PC game, but that doesn’t make Majesty any less fun to play. Players take on the role of a sort of “absentee strategist,” never having any direct control over their heroes but instead creating helpful structures and placing bounties to give them a nudge in the right direction. See, heroes (knights, rangers, wizards, etc.) can all be trained from their specific buildings, but once they’re available they just kind of do their own thing. This includes wandering around killing monsters, hunting for treasures and even buying better gear at the marketplace. As the ruler of the kingdom, it’s the player’s job to make sure they have all they need to survive whatever activity they decide to partake in.

As I understand it, Majesty has been tweaked a little bit during the transition from PC to iOS. It’s pretty much just some visual and interface adjustments, but I think Herocraft deserves at least some credit for the delightful graphics on display here. As for the gameplay itself, it’s more-or-less unchanged from its PC counterpart, a fact that makes me want to track down aid counterpart because it’s a heck of a lot of fun, and a nice change of pace from a typical RTS.

While I completely understand and even applaud the unorthodox approach to strategy, being unable to directly command units can still make the game frustrating. I’ve had buildings destroyed because all of my heroes were off exploring the wilderness (the town guards are practically useless), watched a bunch of them attack an enemy spawn point and then have all but one wander off once it’s destroyed (leaving the lone sap to face all those pissed-off and homeless goblins) and more. Again, I get it, but I can’t help but wish I had just a bit more control.

I feel like Majesty came out of nowhere. I suppose as someone who was never able to sample most of the PC’s classics it kind of did. I’m glad I finally had the chance to play it this time around, and I hope that it gets all the attention it so rightly deserves.

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