Nov 27, 2014
If imitation is the most sincere form of flattery then Clash of Kings by developer Empire Game Studios must have absolutely loved Machine Zone’s Game of War: Fire Age as the two games are very similar indeed. Game of War was a fun game though so this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Clash of Kings starts off with you, the king of your city taking it back from invaders, it’s unclear who they were or how you lost your city, but the only thing to be done now is to rebuild your devastated city and train a new army to ensure it isn’t lost again.
To do this the player builds resource buildings, such as Sawmills and Farms. These resources are used to crank out troops such as militia infantry and a few cavalrymen and to research myriad upgrades such as faster farming, the ability to support a larger army or just upgrades for your troops to make them stronger in battle. Building up the city is a very slow burning process. Packed with timers, it takes about 4 minutes to make a basic unit of militia and upgrades and research take a long time. This is a common story in freemium games though and it is never really that annoying.
Slowly upgrading the city, gradually becoming stronger and amassing an army with thousands of warriors is just as interesting as it was in Fire Age. The game also allows players to skip building and upgrade timers with under 5 minutes remaining and other players can help build or research things reducing the timer as well.
Alliances are central in Clash of Kings. An alliance is a group of players that work together to build up their cities. Alliances can aid in constructing buildings for members or provide reinforcements. When a player wants to attack they can instead begin a war rally which allows other players in that alliance to add soldiers as well to form a large combined army of small alliance city armies, allowing for some truly huge forces to be fielded. Alliances are usually friendly and helpful and the game feels as much like a social experience as it does a game.
Clash of Kings looks very inviting for the type of game it is. Buildings and units look good and are very well detailed for a free game. Buildings also change as they are upgraded and the interface is well laid out. The way that troops line up on the side of the city as they are created is satisfying too, as players can watch their army grow. For a freemium city builder Clash of Kings looks impressive.
The sound is somewhat limited but what’s there is decent enough. Some good music helps the game along but it loops far too frequently. The music on the world map for example loops every 30 seconds which is a shame as it’s a good track. Aurally the game is limited to a few yells and clicks. Some combat sounds would have been nice.
Clash of Kings is a pretty decent wargame and even though it apes Fire Age it is still a fun strategic game in its own right.