We were given the opportunity to test “For the King” , an RPG Strategy Indie game developed by IronOak games. This game is currently in a state of Early Access on Steam with “very positive” overall reviews which decorate its store page. So let’s see what it’s all about shall we?
Right off the bat, before even installing the game in fact, you will most likely notice the very clean looking low-poly style this game is presenting via the screenshots on its storepage. This style is consistent throughout the game and rarely ceases to look good. While such a style often comes bundled with a very strong Bloom effect, you can – probably as expected – turn it off if it doesn’t fit your taste very well.
Now lets take a look at the gameplay and start off with the “idea” behind this game. The first thing you get is a pretty straightforward character creation, choose a class, choose his pallet, choose a name and done. Once started, everyone who ever tried the conventional hexagonal strategy game will probably understand the principle of walking from tile to tile, interacting with what is on them and passing the turn. Here is where For the King starts getting a little unique, merging into the RPG genre.
Instead of using this Hexagonal “board” to move and manage multiple units in a strategic fashion, every player gets his own character to move around. For example the distance you can move each turn is dependent on your characters stats. Now this part is a bit of a bummer, because if you play it in single-player – you have to manage all three characters at once. Basically the game loads the coop mode where you get to cooperate with yourself.
Now at this point I would complain that it is harder to connect or identify with three characters at once in single-player compared to coop, it does not really matter because For the King has rougelike tendencies. And by rougelike tendencies I mean every time you die it is all gone anyways. This comes with a bright side too, since every new game is different from the last one in terms of Map and Setting.
Now where would the fun be if you could only lose by making mistakes. How about doing the right things not quick enough? Don’t you worry child For the King has got you covered there too. Every scenario starts with a questline where each step has a turn limit to complete. Once you timer runs out, its the same as death. Criticism on this enters the realm of personal preferences. While I think its a good thing to have incentive to progress the “dire” and “urgent” situation of the main quest line, I often found to be struggling with time as much as using it all up just to get to certain places. Now there is a thing that sticks around after you die. You get awarded with a currency called “Lore” that you can spend on new classes, encounters and other things that serve to give the player a sense of progression.
Overall I can clearly see a huge potential in this game being a go-to alternative title for an awesome coop experience. As far as single player is concerned the experience doesn’t come close to an awesome afternoon with a couple of friends in coop mode. I still recommend this game and cannot stress enough that it is in Early Access. Issues I might have experienced or features that might have rounded up the single-player experience might be planned but missing. But all in all the coop mode looks very promising and enjoyable in the games current state already so make sure to check out: