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Subject: Road of Kings preview/walkthrough rss

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Tiger Wiccan
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Road of Kings, an upcoming iOS game by Dancing Sorcerer Games, plays similar to board games such as Wizards or Runebound, but also has elements of interactive fiction or game books, such as several large overarching plots that you can get involved with in several different ways, and many different smaller events where you make choices that actually can have a direct and usually immediate influence on your progress or lack thereof in the game.

I'm writing this to give you a taste of how the game plays, so I will show you a screen at a time and attempt to explain what is going on in it. I will keep adding to this post as I play and record more of my game until I get to a decent stopping point. Note that I have not been playing this game for that long, but I have played it enough to get a decent grasp of at least how it works overall. One thing I really like about it is that the mechanics themselves are pretty simple (like a game book) but the variety of what can happen and the open world nature add a lot of depth (like a board game.)

So here goes:



This is the title screen. Pretty self explanatory.



Here is where you start a game. You can choose the "Standard" game or the harder "Classic" mode. I've mostly played Standard, so that is what I will choose here. You can see the general goal of the game above, which is to gather 500 gold and make it to a port town. It sounds pretty simple, but there are many obstacles in your way. There is also mention above about finding "other means" of proving your worth and thus winning the game, and I think I have found hints of it in my various playthroughs so far, but I won't spoil anything.

You can also see at the bottom that this is where you can either name your character yourself or generate a random name. I took the random name, Ijot the Restless. Then all that is left to do is click the "Play" button.



So here is the game screen at the start of a game. You can see your guy in the upper left, under a panel that shows what day (out of 100) you are currently on, how much food you have (you start with none and can store up to 20), and how much gold you have. You can also see a few things at the top. There is the "Inventory" button, that you can tap to see what items (if any) you own. To the right is another panel that only has your name on it right now and a green bar over it. That bar is your health, and as you gain followers and allies (which is a HUGE part of the game), their name and health bars will be displayed in that panel below your own.

Finally, at the botton right is a button that says "Rest" on it. There will be other buttons there if any other actions are possible, but right now, at the very start of the game, all you can do is rest or move to any of the adjacent highlighted spaces on the board. There is no reason to rest, since that is the primary way you regain health in the game and we are all full up, so your first action should be to move.

Before I move to one of those spaces, I want to point out that if you look at that above screen, you will notice all different types of terrain, and a town near the bottom of the screen. I'll go over what they all do as I encounter them.



Every time you move to a space, there is a chance that something can happen on it. This time, I got lucky and "drew" an event that lets me move another space.



So I move to the next road space, and the day ends. At the end of each day, you have to eat or lose health. Since I don't want to lose health, but I don't yet have any rations, I decide to hunt. Hunting gives you a random number of rations based on the type of terrain you are on, but also can trigger nasty events if you get unlucky.



I didn't show every frame of what happened next, but I did not trigger any events and my hunting yielded 3 rations. I ate 1, since there is only me in my party right now, So you can see that I now have 2 rations stored and it is now on day 2, and I can either rest or move to one of the highlighted spaces. I still do not need to rest since I am at full health. Now I can either move to the mountain or the farm space. It's a pretty easy decision at this point, because you cannot hunt at all in a mountain space, and you can get a lot of rations for hunting in a farm space, which makes sense if you think about it.



I move to the farm space, and "draw" the above event. This particular encounter starts with you coming across a "bedraggled man", and you can then decide how to react to him. I decide to approach him, so I tap that button.



I get this ominous looking description as I approach the "bedraggled man." When you see a plain message like this, there is nothing else to do but tap the screen to see what happens next.



So you know something is going on with this guy, and the game basically gives you another chance to either treat him positively, negatively, or with indifference. Indifference is probably not going to get you anywhere in this game, so do I be nice or a jerk? I decide to be nice and I ask him about his wrists.



He gives you another piece of info and yet again the game asks if you want to be nice, not so nice, or neutral with him. I decide to say the badass barbarian thing about only a coward chaining their enemies.





Just what Conan would do, right? So I free the "bedraggled man" of his bonds and he, in epic fantasy story fashion, pledges his life to me. But the game STILL gives me a chance to tell him to sod off if I wish to. Not having gone through all that just to see him walk out of my life, I ask him to join me.



So Boris is about to join me, and the game shows you their stats. Tap on the screen and...



Voila! Look at the upper right corner of the screen, and you will see that you are not alone anymore. You now have a friend. Congrats! Don't get too attached to anyone, though. He said that he owes you his life, but if you run too low on food, he has a chance of leaving you just like anyone else. Now it's time to hunt, and since we are on a farm space, you can expect great things.



And the farm does not disappoint! It is now day 3, and you have 16 rations stocked, and that is after eating 2 of them! So the farm yielded a whopping 16 at once. Well time to figure out what to do next.

See that space at the right of the screen with the 8 on it? That is a Ruins space, and the 8 is the number of times you are able to explore it. There are several more Ruins spaces around the map, and I gather that these are pretty important to the game. It seems to be where you can gain the most, and lose the most. So that will be our next goal.

Also, notice that particular Ruins is on a mountain, so that means we will not be able to hunt as long as we stay on that space, so we need to be pretty stocked up by the time we get there if we don't want to have to leave to hunt in the middle of our plundering.



So we moved into the space you see that we are now in and we hunted. It is day 4 and you can see another thing that can slow your progress. Sometimes when you go to move, you will get "lost" in the current space you are in. That will then end the day and you will have to eat or hunt as normal, having wasted the day being lost.



Fast forward to day 7, and here is another event. Corpses usually have stuff on them, so I want those dogs to go away!



Guess those dogs really want their corpse! So we'll have to do this the hard way. Oh well, at least I now get to show you...



Combat! You and Boris vs. three dogs. As you can imagine, this isn't a very hard fight. But you never know what is going to happen in combat, since there is an element of luck involved. You pretty much just tap the attack button when it is each of your character's turns, but sometimes there is another option besides a normal attack. Right now the only person that has an additional option is your main character, who can choose to attempt to flee. If you fail, you get a bonus to your next attempt. But we're not going to run from a few wimpy dogs!



We're still alive, which means that the dogs aren't, even though they did enough damage to us to make our health bars all yellow. And as I suspected, there is some loot on the corpse that we fought so hard for.



...thanks. Well, at least we now have our first bit of gold in this game. Only 493 more to go!

***To Be Continued***
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Tiger Wiccan
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I just wanted to post another message to point out that I made a major edit to the top of the original post. I originally said that I was going to keep posting updates until I either won or lost, but I have played enough to show you all how the game plays and have close to 60 more screenshots to upload and comment on, so I'm sure that will suffice to give most people an idea of what this game is all about.

If anyone is interested, I can play and record video of a full game when I'm done with what I set out to do above.
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Alter Ego
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Thanks for the post, very interesting and it's out for Android (at least). Reminds me a bit of Runebound. woul dbe nice to see a follow up post.


 
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Tiger Wiccan
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It's now out for iPhone as well! Get it if you are AT ALL into these kinds of games!
 
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