Developed by: Firefly Studios
Platform: Client Based
Stronghold Kingdoms is a client based strategy game set in the medieval era in Europe; a classic age of castles and kings. Free to play the game is a persistent MMORTS that brings together players from all over the world, thousands of online opponents’ battle it out for power and glory either through diplomacy, trade or conquest. You can either go in alone or join one of the larger factions and become a vassal to a liege lord who will ask your service but in turn protect and provide for you.
- 1000s of players in a persistent world
- Design piece by piece your own castle to hold up against enemy sieges
- Build your own efficient villages and watch them grow over days and weeks
- Interactive map to trade, scout, explore and recover much needed resources
- Rise in rank from a lowly peasant to knighthood, sheriff or even a king
- Earn strategy cards for new technologies and gaining a tactical edge
- Fight for friends, factions and your house. Anyone, anywhere at any time
- Extensive original quest system to provide benefits
- Unlockable achievements for your actions in game
Once entering the game the first thing you will see is the World Map, an overview of everything that is currently happening in your world, the resources, world features and other villages (other players) that are in a region. Players can either be automatically assigned a village or you can look over the detailed interactive map to find a location that better suits you. Once built players have five days of peace time in which they cannot be attacked, giving them but a brief window to start up their village and build some defences.
Laying down some early buildings such as the village hall, stockpile and granary ensure that you have the basic buildings for storing the resources you will soon need to expand and grow your village and its populous. Players start with the most basic resources such as wood and stone, which are needed to construct new buildings, and food that is used to feed the peasants that run your village day to day. As your village grows and new buildings and technologies are unlocked newer resources become available such as weapons (used for arming your troops) and banqueting goods (used for hosting banquets to raise your player rank).
Learning to balance your population is important; raising your popularity will attract more peasants to work your village, things such as available housing, popular buildings and tax rates.
Honour is one of the most important aspects of Stronghold Kingdoms as it opens up a number of different options for the player. Initially it allows you to rank up, starting from “Village Idiot” you can work your way up to “King”, which in turn gives research points to put into learning new technologies, but also enables you to attack other players!
Popularity is one of the main sources of Honour, giving you a constant tick over of Honour to build up and spend, but there are many ways in which you can increase your Honour level such as building a number of honour focused buildings e.g. religious buildings (churches, cathedrals) and justice buildings (stocks, jails) and decorative buildings (statues, gardens). Unlocking some technologies will also give you a boost to your honour as will a number of Strategy Cards (see below).
Strategy cards are modifiers which affect various elements in the game directly, offering little benefits as and when you play them. They can enhance a buildings production rate, the strength of walls, give increase in resources and many more things, the length of time a card lasts differs between every card.
The cards vary in quality and come in four grades: bronze, silver, gold and diamond, each requiring a rank that is needed to play that card; the better the card the higher likelihood that the player need a higher rank to use it.
Each village, and subsequently each player, has a castle from where all their defensive structures and units are placed to fend off attacks from rival players. At the heart of the castle stands the players keep, the target for all enemies who will attempt to crush the players’ fortifications to reach it.
Players are able to hand design various aspects of the castle, particularly its layout and positioning of towers, gatehouses and walls; a badly designed castle leads to a hard to defend (and easy to conquer) keep! Unlocking technologies will yield better defensive buildings and troops, each of which will take up their own resources and time to build, even if an enemy siege fails the chances are some quick repair work will be needed to ensure the player is ready for when another attack arrives.
Troops play as large a part of a successful defence as your castle fortifications do, even for the player who doesn’t with to be aggressive they will still need to improve their military technologies to combat players or even enemy AI who do desire to conquer them. Offensive troops can be made at the castle as well and they will appear on the outskirts of its borders (they are not used in the defence of the castle) for those rulers who sometimes have that aggressive itch they want to scratch, a nearby neighbour is taking up a few too many of the precious resources or when enemy AI threatens the harmony of your village.
There are dozens of achievements that players can unlock through the duration of their game, each achievement having the same 4 tier grades (bronze, silver, gold and diamond), adding a meta game to Stronghold Kingdoms. Your achievements are displayed on your profile for others to see, such things as earning the “Law Bringer” for killing bandits, or “Lionheart” for becoming the King of a Country. As well as the impressive badge attained with an achievement, a level of honour also goes to your village to directly benefit you in game.
One of the newest editions to the game is the Quest System, objective based quests available to players depending on their rank; the higher your rank the better, and harder, the quest. The system encourages players to master various aspects of the game if they wish to complete all of the quests and benefits them directly, but some quests also open the option to spin on the “Quest Wheel” where “card packs, card points, research points and more can be won!”
With 174 Quests now implemented the players now have a new objective; to be the first to complete all the quests that have been set out.
Players are able to purchase Premium Tokens (7 day or 30 day) within the game to give them access to extra in-game options and automated offline features, a benefit to those who may lack the time to play every day but the money to afford the premium service.
The ability to queue up to 5 research technologies or 5 buildings for construction means that players can avoid the constant micromanagement of their empire. Similarly, the automated features, which happen every two to four hours, enable players to:
Auto Trade – Allows automatic trade of one type of good to market.
Auto Scouting – Sends out all available scouts to stashes in their main villages region.
Auto Attacking – Automatically sends out attacks to chosen AI targets.
Auto Recruiting – Conscripts idle peasants to their army as long as weapons, gold, peasants and unit space are available
Windows XP SP2, Windows Vista SP1 or Windows 7 (Updates recommended)
1024x768+ Screen Resolution
Processor: 1GHz or faster
512Mb RAM Windows XP
(1GB+ for Windows Vista/7)
DirectX 9 Compatible Graphics Card
150 Mb of Hard Drive Space