Shadow Kings: Dark Ages
GENRE: Free to play City Management MMO
PLATFORM: Web Browser
DEVELOPER: Goodgame Studios
Shadow Kings - Dark Ages is a free to play browser-based MMO that revolves around the players collecting resources, constructing buildings, training up military units and managing their city as it advances into a larger Empire. The game can be played directly through your web browser there is no need for a client download and registration is a simple process that allows players to jump into the game straight away.
- Build your own city
- Constructs dozens of different buildings and expand your territory
- Raise a mighty army to conquer your enemies and defend your lands
- Fight against other players or create lasting alliances
- Free to play MMO
- Browser-based gameplay
There is little in the way of story or exposition to build up the world, however players are led by a dwarf warrior to help build up their Castle as they arm up in preparation for fighting back the orc invaders that have settled the lands, putting the game firmly into a mediaeval/fantasy style genre.
The main objective of the game is to build up a strong city, to do this players must gather resources, construct various buildings that give them access to new features, improved resource production and ultimately new military units that are used for both defensive and offensive purposes. In the early game players are guided by tutorial based quests that guides the player on what they should be building to get a good start in the game, including building up their initial offensive forces and attacking a nearby orc Shadow Camp. In the later game players will focus more on PVP, building up their military forces to fight against each other and forming larger alliances of players.
As is common with many games of this type, resource management is fundamental to building a strong city as a foundation for a larger Empire. In the game there are five available resources, including:
Gold – used for practically every type of build, purchase and action
Stone - predominantly used in the construction of buildings.
Wood - used in the construction of some buildings as well as fortifications and units such as catapults.
Food - food is consumed by units, each unit consumes amount of food per hour, and this a ruler’s food supply run short then units will start to leave the army.
Gems - premium currency resources that can be earned when levelling up or purchased from the in game store, they are used to speed up production, as well as buying unique buildings and units as well as a number of other perk items.
With enough resources players are able to construct a variety of different buildings, everything from a military barracks to train units, a quarry to mine stone, a farm to grow food, houses to increase the population (which in turn allows the player to tax their populous to gain more gold) and much more. As well as resources, construction takes an amount of time as according to the particular building or units, however players are able to queue their builds which will continue even if they are off-line. Different types of buildings and units are only unlocked when the player reaches a certain level, similarly buildings can only be upgraded once the player has reached the necessary level to do so; players gain XP by completing Quests, tasks, which help the player determine what to build next.
Combat consists of a player building up their attacking forces and sending them to attack an enemy encampment or a player city or outpost, players are able to determine which troops they send out and how many of them. It takes time for an army to march to its location and the defending target will be notified in their battle reports that an attacking party is en route, giving them time to build up suitable defences in the form of defensive units, building fortifications and other tools. When the invading army arrives the combat is automatically calculated and the winner is declared, giving a full battle report to show how many units were in the battle and killed. If successful, even with a high number of casualties, the player is able to loot an amount of resources from their defeated opponent.