Earlier this year, we brought you a preview of Playdemic's Kingdom Quest, one of the many third-party games that are now available to play on Zynga.com (or Facebook). Now that the game has been available for some time, we've been able to see what makes the game different from Zynga's own CastleVille, and what remains the same between the two.
Kingdom Quest starts in a large, destroyed Kingdom that is in desperate need of repairs. You'll help the Kingdom's King build stores, decorations, functional buildings and more as you try to return the land to its former state. Progress is pushed along via a quest system that sees you interacting with a variety of characters, each with his or her own personality. You'll unlock most of the game's buildings via these quests, as the store is used more for the purchase of decorations and crafting materials.
Like another Playdemic game Village Life, Kingdom Quest has some interesting features that make it stand apart from other traditional Facebook games. For one, everything inside the Kingdom's wall is available for interaction right from the beginning, without expanding. Furthermore, while the Kingdom is full of debris like stone rubble, dead trees and weeds, they can be removed without spending massive amounts of energy by simply deleting them while in the "Clear" menu.
Additionally, coins are earned in an interesting way, as you'll need to create a marketplace full of resources that can be sold either to friends or to virtual customers. If your friends have produced something that you need for your own buildings, you can purchase them with coins, but if not, you always have the option of purchasing those items with Florins, the game's premium currency. If you don't have many friends playing the game with you, you can sell items over time via small market stalls. All of these market stalls and ingredient production workers must be placed on "Castle Plots," rather than just dirt, which is an interesting restriction to say the least.
Unlike Village Life, Kingdom Quest offers some substantial progress pretty quickly, getting players setup with mine, shops and more within the first five levels thanks to the ongoing quest series. While that's great, it's also difficult to become truly comfortable with the game due to it having so many different types of currency. Coins and Florins are easy to understand, but Keys and Speedups over-complicate things.
Speedups do as the name suggests - they speed up the production of something, while Keys are used to unlock ingredients in the store. There's little sense in locking these ingredients until we decide to spend Keys to unlock them, as they could simply unlock as we progressed in Levels to achieve the same end. What's more, since the game progresses in a very linear fashion, if a player decides to spend these Keys without necessarily being told to, they could back themselves into a corner of not being able to unlock something they actually need until they continue to Level up and earn more Keys.
Like so many other Playdemic games, Kingdom Quest is hard to really judge. Its pastel color theme and art style are lovely, but its unnecessarily complicated currency system is hard to understand. There's great freedom in being able to delete debris whenever we'd like without wasting coins or energy, but at the same time, we're limited to the growth of our Kingdom since so many items are locked until quests arrive to unlock them. If you already have some friends playing Kingdom Quest, the game is definitely worth giving a shot, but if you're going in alone, it might not be everything you're looking for.
Play Kingdom Quest on Zynga.com now >
Have you tried Kingdom Quest on Zynga.com or Facebook? What do you think of this take on the medieval Kingdom-building game? Let us know in the comments!