Adult Swim’s latest in their foray into game publishing (think Amateur Surgeon, Duck Game, etc) is probably their most ambitious. In Kingsway you the player are tasked with traveling through a vast fantasy world in your quest to answer the King’s summons. Sound’s pretty cut and dry, and it would be were it not the most gripping operating system simulator of 2017. You’ll start with creating your character from one of the five-or-so types options available to you at the start, although it seems that this largely accounts for the array of abilities that you have access to in the beginning of the game. Once you’ve rolled a character it’s time to adventure. You navigate the world through clicking on nodes that are available through the world map. Travel between nodes is represented by a progress bar that’s something out of Windows 95. On occasion you’ll be attacked in between nodes by skeletons, bandits and the like. You’ll have to beat them back by an interesting combat system that differs from anything I’ve ever seen before.
Enemies appear as popups on your screen. Your abilities are represented by buttons on the popup window, and clicking one creates a progress bar like traveling does. Enemies attack in the same way. They’ll drop loot most of the time which you can drag and drop into your bag, which functions like a folder on your desktop. As you progress through the random-ish events of the game you’ll gain levels which allow you to upgrade your stats and use more powerful spells and equipment just like in any other RPG. As I write this I reflect upon how difficult it is to actually convey the way that the gameplay works over text. So difficult, in fact, that I’ve included a brief game play video below. Check it out.
That’s just a small sampling from the first few minutes of the game, but you’ll get the gist. It’s really quite fun and quickly gets entirely overwhelming. What you don’t get a lot of from that video is just how fantastic the game’s art is as well. Enemy portraits are absolutely amazing, and evoke a sort of macabre Adventure Time sort of vibe. Here’s a bestiary entry for the “Priest” enemy that I’ve shameless ripped from the game’s wikia.
I don’t know if this is particularly evocative for you guys, but I really dig this style of art. It evokes a nostalgia for something that I’m not sure I ever experienced.
In addition to the art, the music is unbelievably good. Remember that super dank moon song from the Ducktales game? Imagine a bunch of tracks in that style, except you can play them whenever you want during the game. You have complete autonomy over the game’s music via an application on your simulated desktop.
As you play more and more, you’ll be able to unlock certain quality of life updates for your Kingsway operating system. The first one that I opted for, which you can see me using at the end of the video is the ability to close all windows currently open via the escape key. I’m not certain as to how useful this has actually been in practice, but it’s a start. I’m assuming that as you play more and more and unlock more hotkeys, play speeds up quite a bit. Other unlockables include the ability to open your bag with a hotkey, and other similar functions.
At 10 bucks, it’s definitely worth your consideration. I can’t say I’ve played a tremendous amount of Kingsway thus far, but I can see myself spending a lot of time with it in the near future.