Kingdom: New Lands

Another game from the Limited Run Switch collection, I started playing Kingdom: New Lands this week, and instantly became enthralled with what it had to offer.

When I order games from Limited Run, there’s ones that I’m excited about, and ones that I don’t really care about, but I’m just ordering because I have ordered everything from their switch collection so far and my collector’s brain doesn’t want to break the chain. This was one I didn’t know anything about and just ordered because it was part of the set. So when I opened it up and started playing, I knew nothing about the game.

I feel like this was an extreme asset and maybe something I want to try more of. Going into this game I knew nothing about the goals or what sort of game it was, and really that’s the best way to approach this game. It has such an interesting way of teaching you it’s mechanics. If you have an interest in games like this I would suggest approaching it without knowing anything about it.

With that said, here’s my spoiler section:

Kingdom New Lands teaches through failure. When you start out in this world you are simply told to survive for as long as possible, and it’s a sort of 2d tower defense game where you build up your village resources and fortifications against oncoming waves of monsters that come during the night. Playing my first few games of this I had the mindset, of surviving as long as possible to see what sorts of things I could unlock, and every time I died and had to restart my civilization, I got better, I learned the order in which to build things that was perhaps more optimal, and just surviving for longer and longer was fun in itself.

But then I realized… there’s an actual win state, there’s a boat you can build that will take you away from this island, and then I also realized, for my first 8 hours of play, I had just been playing the first level. I kind of assumed this was a shorter game so the realization that there were multiple of these islands all with different mechanics that you had to learn by doing was so cool to me. Each successive island introduces new elements which even know im not sure what all of them actually do, I’m still experimenting and learning. It has such a mysterious element to it, and when I realize what something does and it unlocks a new way of thinking about building my civilzation it has such a satisfying feeling.

Right now I’m 13 hours into the game, I feel like I’m very close to beating the third island, and it’s still one of those games that I find incredibly hard to put down. Twice I’ve found myself looking up from my play session at 5am and thinking…. fuck how did it get so late?

Anyway, as much as I enjoyed Smash Bros Ultimate I think in terms of personal taste this game might actually be my game of the year so far, we’ll have to see how the rest of it goes. The one thing is, parts of it are starting to feel a bit repetitive, but I still am excited to get back into it and have another 4-5 hour game session, which is a feeling I haven’t had for awhile.