For The King
Reviewed by: Senpavo
Developed by: IronOak Games
Published by: Curve Digital
Category: RPG, Tabletop, Strategy, Adventure
Release Date: May 09, 2019
When I first heard of “For The King”, it looked just like a game I would be hooked up to for a while. Was I right? Yes, but that doesn’t mean that the game doesn’t come with its baggage of issues.
For The King is a roguelike tabletop RPG, with a heavy focus on building up up your characters and planning ahead, before you get killed by a giant clam, witches or magical skeletons. In each new run, you start with 3 new characters, and you can choose from four different classes, though the more you go on with the game, the more you will unlock. The starting classes are the Blacksmith, the Hunter, the Scholar and the Minstrel. Each class comes with its set of various skills and abilities. For example, the Minstrel is more of a support class that will focus on buffing the party and debuffing the enemies, while the Hunter is more of a tank unit, focused on dealing heavy damage to enemies.
The “story” for the game is quite simple: the king of Fahrul has been murdered by an unknown assassin, and your party is tasked by the queen to bring peace to the realm once again. You must explore the kingdom, defeat evil forces, explore dungeons and defeat bosses. The map is procedurally generated but it follows the same pattern so that each gameplay feels new but not too confusing. It also features random events and encounters, which outcomes are determined by two factors: luck and your characters’ statistics. The Scholar, for example, will be most useful for events revolving around intelligence, while the Blacksmith will be heavily built around strength.
Battles are turn-based, and the characters’ turn is determined by their speed. Your abilities are determined by your equipment, that can be looted from enemies, found in chests in dungeons or bought in towns. The party has at its disposal swords, spears, axes, bows, lutes, tomes, staves and more, but some characters will be more productive with some weapons than others due to their stats. There is a great variety of enemies, that are separated by the different areas of the game. Each type of enemy has different abilities and skills, just like your party. There are two kinds of attacks: “normal” attacks, which usually have higher accuracy, and special attacks, such as Stun or Burn, that are less accurate but can inflict special effects to enemies or allies. The player can use Focus points in order to make their attacks more accurate.
Dungeons are scattered around the world, and with each dungeon comes a ton of treasures, but reaching them is not an easy feat. Dungeons are riddled with monsters and traps, but also with treasure chests and random events that can benefit your party. Since dungeons are randomly generated too, each one of them is different: you might find a goblin merchant that will sell you various items, a treasure room, stairs in which you can use your tinder pouch to regain health or bosses at the end of the floor. In the final room, there’s usually a treasure chest filled with tons of items or a chaos generator. Chaos is an evil force in the game that will make things more difficult to the player, increasing the health of enemies little by little. Destroying a chaos generator will give the option to gain an extra life for one of the party members, reduce Chaos by one or cancel an upcoming scourge.
Scourges, once active, will plague the world with nasty effects, such as randomly stealing loot or removing a turn from a character. They spawn in Haunts, that spawn randomly on the map and they can be defeated whenever they are dormant or active. If dormant, they will be removed from the timeline, if active, their effect will be removed from the world.
While the gameplay becomes addictive once you get the hang of it, the game has quite the baggage of technical issues.
First of all, the framerate is just ugly, both in handheld and TV mode. It doesn’t look like a slideshow, but it’s nearly there. The game mostly goes around 20-25 FPS, but it can reach lower levels, especially in handheld.
To add to that, there’s even lots of annoying input lag, that is especially noticeable in the world map. Loading screens can get annoying, the text is usually very small and movement commands are broken since sometimes the characters decide to move wherever they want.
In conclusion, while the list of issues is not easily forgivable, the game is filled with so much content, the gameplay is addictive, the music is good enough and there’s always something new in each run. Do not forget that this version contains all of the DLC so your adventure will be quite the journey. If the game is updated, I will be more than willing to give it a higher score, but for now, it is what it is.
Buy For The King
Check out IronOak Games!
Check out Curve Digital too!