Shadow Kings: Dark Ages Games
Shadow Kings: Dark Ages
Genre: Free to play MMO Strategy
Developer: Goodgame Studios
This mediaeval/fantasy themed MMO is a browser-based free to play Empire/base building game where players must learn how to gather resources, manage them effectively and construct an efficient city from which they will launch various attacks on enemy AI as well as other players using their trained army. The game can be accessed through a quick online registration, played through the game’s official website and does not require a client download.
The main premise of the game is to build up an efficient base/city made up from a wide variety of buildings that focus on commerce, military and offer various functions to aid in the running of your city and managing the populous. At its core players must concentrate on gathering the key resources: stone, wood, food and gold, each of which is vital to the success and growth of a new city. Players are able to gather resources from their own production buildings, gain gold through tax collection, or acquire resources through raiding enemy AI Shadow Orcs or other rival player cities; this activity is particularly prevalent in the later game. A good balance of all the resources is needed where stone and wood is used for building construction and training of units, food is used as the ongoing currency to keep your units fed and without it they will quickly abandon your city, whereas gold is used for the majority of transactions in the game.
Each building will serve a different purpose such as the barracks will allow players to train a variety of different military units, both defensive and offensive that are used in battle to either defend your city from other players or attack them. As well as units players can also create defensive and offensive tools such as siege weapons, tower defences and more to give them the military edge. Players only have a finite amount of room to build within their city walls and so must choose their buildings carefully or be forced to demolish them in place of new buildings or alternatively pay to expand their territory. As well as placing down new buildings players are also able to continuously upgrade them to make them more efficient and powerful.
When making an attack on an enemy outpost city players will assemble their chosen units and select their target; from here it will take the units a certain amount of time to reach their target depending upon how far away it is. Players are able to use various systems to gauge how powerful the target is that they are attacking and assemble their units in relation to this information, however upon reaching their destination combat is completely automatic and based off the balancing of offensive and defensive units as well as unit types with a rock paper scissors style combat system.
The game is completely free to play but offers a variety of micro-transaction options to help speed up gameplay, all of which can be purchased using Gems acquired when levelling up or purchased using real-world money, these Gems are also used to help speed up builds and purchase other buff potions for players to use.