Friday, May 6, 2016

The Friday FREE GAME Feature! Ep63: Crown & Council


Retro turn-based strategy created by Mojang!

Crown and Council was created during a 72-hour game jam by Henrik Pettersson and released on Steam by Mojang. You play as the ruler of a kingdom with the goal of defeating all opposing kingdoms on the map.


Things begin fairly basic - all you can do is send your army to adjacent locations in hopes of conquering it. More options and mechanics are introduced as you beat each level, such as new building types, naval attacks, events and upgrades. Even with all these options and additional events, the game keeps things easy to understand with simple presentation and no micromanagement.

Attacks and events have a hidden random element, meaning you're never quite sure if you'll succeed in conquest or get ruined by an unfortunate rebellion on a key location. Once a kingdom gains the upper hand against its rivals, luck is essentially the game's only comeback mechanic. You have to hope that your forts hold out so the dominating kingdom doesn't sweep over you in a single turn. This part is likely the most frustrating thing about the game, but you can always replay the map and try again.

Between its pixel graphics, simple design and dominating swing turns, Crown and Council feels like a cross between the Koei strategy titles of yesteryear (Nobunaga's Ambition, Gemfire, etc.) and the classic board game Risk. I have fond memories of playing both for many hours, making Crown and Council a nice dose of strategic nostalgia.

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