• Hero of the Kingdom III review by Rick Moscatello

    A fully sedated role playing game.

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    A few years ago, there was a huge roaring debate over what, exactly, constitutes a role-playing game (RPG). For the most part, the arguments were every bit as precise as those arguing for the number of angels which can dance on the head of a pin, but one idea did surface:

    “If you can’t have a total party kill (TPK) against the will of the players, it’s not a role playing game.”

    The key concept in the above is if the players can’t possibly lose, ever, then that means the game is really about creating a story, a “story game,” and the story is inevitable because the players can’t lose.

    Now, in a computer game, if you/your party get wiped out, you just reload from an old save and carry on, but the simple fact that the heroes can, even theoretically, fail in their quest keeps these games being RPGs instead of story games.

    Hero of the Kingdom III (HK3) would classify as a story game because you simply cannot fail, but such pedantic details pale against the simple fact that, whatever you want to call this thing, it’s a very playable game.

    You start as a simple peasant boy, living in a peasant hovel; your peasant uncle who’s been taking care of you will be gone soon enough, and you can write off the hovel, too. Before checking out, he’ll give you a bow and some arrows…and then it’s off to adventure!

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    So much stuff to do!

    Find a rabbit, click on it, and arrows are subtracted from you inventory, as is health (better called “stamina” in this game). If you have insufficient of either (or somehow don’t have a bow), then nothing happens…you’ll just have to get more arrows/rest before beating that rabbit.

    And that’s pretty much the combat system for the whole game. Want to beat a zombie? Then you have to have the right kind of club, and right kind of potions, the right melee skill level (improved through fighting lesser foes) and stamina to spare. If you don’t, you can’t. You literally cannot lose a fight in this game, because you can only enter fights you are guaranteed to win.

    So, we have a very, very, calm RPG here. You simply click around the map, collecting resources (and there are lots of hidden treasures) and bashing foes within your abilities.

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    You have a near infinite inventory.

    Ultimately, this is a resource management game. Your main resource is stamina, which you’ll lose doing most every activity. When it gets too low to do anything, you can make camp, and eat. Food is expensive, but you can learn how to cook eventually…you’ll need lots of gold to beat the more difficult foes blocking your past (more accurately, you’ll need to buy lots of potions, which much like food you’ll be able to craft, eventually).

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    A wide world to explore.

    For all the simplicity, there’s surprising depth here, and you’ll always have choices as far as what to do next, so many choices that I often found myself overloaded with options. It’s not a problem, you can always just click around and do stuff, improving skills and quite possibly just accidentally solving a quest or two.

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    Set up camp to make the things you need.

    HK3 certainly isn’t for the twitch gamer, it’s more of a game for the semi-catatonic gamer who’d rather play a game than sleep. If you’re looking for the lowest stress possible in a game, HK3 completely fits the bill.

    Overall Rating: 84
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Hero of the Kingdom III review by Rick Moscatello started by Doom View original post