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King’s League: Odyssey (iOS) Review

/ Nov 21st, 2013 No Comments

King's League: Odyssey

“King’s League: Odyssey” for iOS devices is a previously browser only real time strategy game where players are charged with managing a team competing to become part of the most elite group of knights in the kingdom. One of the most popular strategy games on Kongregate since its debut back in April, Odyssey is a fun resource management game that makes the move from browser to mobile flawlessly, taking advantage of the iPad’s touch interface and sharp display.

Story

A sequel to “The King’s League,” “King’s League: Odyssey” takes place shortly after an assassination attempt on the king who ascended to the throne in the previous installment. While the plot failed to take the life of the King, one of the royal knights was sacrificed opening a spot among his royal guard. It is announced that a King’s League will take place to select the best in the land to take the late knight Whitney’s place and you must fight through multiple tournaments before you get the chance to fight the most elite in the kingdom and prove your worthiness to protect his majesty.

Gameplay

While the plot is a central part of the gameplay, league and tournament bouts only take place once a month leaving plenty of time for other useful activities like quests and challenges that feature rewards of gold, crystals, and heightened status with the offering faction if successful. Players can also execute sieges to conquer territories on the map, which will then be forced to pay tribute once a year. This is the only source of guaranteed income players can expect to get and beware that occasionally territories will rebel and try to win back their independence. Take more territories and you’ll unlock dungeons and challenges with even more rewards which will be needed in order to polish your team.

While players start off with a single unit, a knight to be exact, it’s impossible to take on the league with him alone and it really isn’t very fun to try (We tried). Using the recruitment board, players can hire on a wide variety of warriors from archers to magicians and everything in between to form the most effective team possible. Your team in play is limited to five people though, so you must switch them in and out using the unit management menu.

Players aren’t stuck with the units they recruit as they are either. From the unit management menu players can also customize each unit’s stats by training them or buy class upgrades unlocked at levels 5 and 10 that allow for even more stat increases. Unit upgrades for each class, once unlocked, can be switched between an infinite number of times to allow players to test which combinations work best together. If the regularly recruited units still aren’t enough for the most dedicated player, special units can also be bought for a range of prices via in-game transactions. Given that this is not a multiplayer game, and the game is fulfilling without these characters, this inclusion of currency is pretty much inoffensive.
 

Each unit thinks independently in battle

Each unit thinks independently in battle

Time is of the essence in Odyssey as training, sieging and questing all take up valuable amounts and each league bout looms nearer on the horizon. For the select few who find that the clock moves too slowly for their tastes, time can be sped up to 2x or 3x faster. Something not all that common to resource management games with a time aspect is that here time is used to keep players on their toes rather than make them wait. Too many games use time as a way to farm profits by giving players a buy out option, but “King’s League: Odyssey” noticeably avoids that. Choosing not to sacrifice their integrity for a few bucks deserves major respect from the gaming community considering the mobile industry as we know it today.

Controls

The game uses a simple tap to select interface, which can be cause for much annoyance in some games with gameplay that inspires more direct control. However, this simplicity works beautifully here, as all of the combat is essentially the same, taking the form of small skirmishes of 2-10 combatants. The player has no direct control of each single unit’s behavior or actions, making this a management game to its core, but that doesn’t make it boring. Due to its fast paced nature, players will never pine for something more to do than oversee their team and enjoy the short breaks that battle brings.

Overall

One of the most difficult sells for this game is likely going to be justifying paying $1.99 for a game playable in a web browser for free. Fortunately, the mobile version has a few additional features giving it a leg up on the original. “King’s League: Odyssey” for iPad/iPhone/iPod includes additional classes, dungeons, and the fight-til-you-drop Battlethon that aren’t available in the browser version. The game is also beautiful on the iPad’s display we played it on, and if we didn’t know any better we would assume it was originally intended for a touch screen interface. Odyssey is definitely a worthy addition to your mobile collection.
 

Miranda L Visser

Miranda L Visser

Gaming since she dug an NES out of a dumpster down the street from her home as a child, Miranda L Visser contributes to Gaming Illustrated while working on her M.A. in Norway. She dearly misses steak and being able to walk down the street to buy cheap games.
Miranda L Visser
Miranda L Visser

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KING’S LEAGUE: ODYSSEY (IOS) REVIEW

Gaming Illustrated RATING

Overall90%

Gameplay9

While management games can sometimes be too in depth or too simple, this title finds a happy medium.

Sound8

You'll find yourself humming along to the theme song and frowning at the grunts of your men as they fall.

Replayability8

With dozens of different units and stat options, no playthrough will be the same.

Story10

Introduced with beautiful artwork but briefly so not as to drag on, Odyssey informs players of what's at stake without boring them.

Addictiveness9

It's hard to look away from for fear of missing something.

Controls10

While the simple tap interface is sometimes admonished, it suits this game's needs perfectly.

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