Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Road of Kings
Fast-forward about 30 years. My very good friend Paul of Paul's Blog (who I've worked with, played games with, discuss game philosophy with, and am hosted by every year for an intimate game convention) did in fact get a copy of this very old-school game and started playing it rather heavily on his own. Paul's younger than me by a bit, and I flatter myself by thinking that some of the things I've said have pulled him in a more old-school direction. (But frankly it's really more due to him having a refined level of taste.) I played it at his house at least once or twice, and really got beaten up both times.
One issue with the game, like a lot of older stuff, is that lots of mechanics were added in kind of willy-nilly so that in combination, they made it fairly burdensome for the player to keep track of everything that was supposed to be happening (in terms of the strategic quest, supplies, combat, arbitrarily large numbers of companions, etc.). So like a lot of us will do, Paul started writing a small computer program to at least adjudicate the combat part of the game. And then added some more and changed some stuff. And then more. And then decided to make his own game from that inspiration, and put together a small team of experienced and passionate developers to make it happen.
So I think after about 2 years of serious development in their spare time and weekends, Paul, Michael, James, and Max have just released their own, old-school inspired game for mobile devices: Road of Kings. Yes: a tough, one-player, Conan-like quest for gold and/or glory. The game is all theirs, with an expansive new world and mechanics, which you can try your hand out while navigating your way through modern public transit and the like. It has loads of different individually-crafted encounters, and I know they're still waiting for some players to discover as-yet unearthed clues and treasures.
I've been beta-testing it in the last few months, and I can tell that it's really a blast, and a great way to scratch an itch for some carousing D&D-like adventure on a lunch break or some down time during the day. Currently available on the iTunes App Store, as well as Google Play. The one thing I'm shocked at is that it's only $3, so you should try it out before I convince Paul to raise the price, granted how much work I know he and the guys put into it. Check it out at their website below!