King’s Bounty: Armored Princess

Another short impression. I don’t really know where to start; as I have the Steam version, it sort of propels you into the game world right away, being a digital download, therefore I don’t typically read the manual. Apparently King’s Bounty, an old ass strategy game itself was a spin-off of Heroes of Might and Magic, which is kinda cool, although I only played the third incarnation of that particular game back in elementary school. It’s turn-based strategy, with but given the small grid you’re given to fight on, I think the emphasis is more on applying the skills of yourself, your dragon, and your units, than it is about stuff like positioning or defending certain areas.

Right away you’ll see that this game is very fucking colorful.

Where the fuck...

It’s kind of charming in a way, although this particular scene is from the introduction, in which YOU ARE BEING CONQUERED BY THE DEMONS. It gets cuter soon, you’ll see, but anyway, like I said, they just kind of throw you into the game. I didn’t find the user interface at a glance particularly intuitive, as there’s certain things that it doesn’t track like the concept of “magic crystals” you can collect, or what the symbols mean on the mini-map, but I suppose that judgment isn’t fair because they’re all described on the pages in which they are relevant on. Magic crystals, for instance, are used to inscribe spells into your spell book from scrolls, or upgrade them, but you’re only really told this when you hover over the icon that tells you how many you have.

You click to move around the map, and there are various collectibles, units, or buildings you can move to and see what’s up. Items do things like raise your leadership (necessary to raise larger armies), give you runes (to spend on talent trees that buff you or your army), give you gold, units, or raise your stats. Units.. well, if you see them on the map, they’re almost ALWAYS hostile and will fight you, but you can also recruit friendly troops as well. Buildings sell items which your hero can equip, or you can hire units from them, or get quests. I found that there was a TON of shit happening on any given island, with collectibles lying around everywhere and units wandering aimlessly, and since enemy units can become aggressive and chase you down, it’s kind of daunting at first.

There's at least six things I can interact w-- OH MY GOD BEARS!!!

Since enemy units will sometimes chase you down, exploring can be a little difficult. In this case, I got jumped by a pack of bears.

Unfortunately for me, there are actually -four- bears.

I’m not sure how I can really describe the combat. If you played Heroes of Might and Magic, it’s like that. You have a kind of unit, and the number below it is how many you have of that. Each unit has individual stats – Attack and Defense, which determine if you do more or less damage to another unit, Initiative, which determines the turn order of units, Speed, which affects how far a unit can move on the battle grid, Damage, duh, Critical, which determines the chance at which they can deal 150% damage to an enemy, and Health, also duh. Units can also have special attributes that activate certain conditions; like Eyeless, which means a unit cannot be affected by “blinding” type spells, and can see invisible units at any time, or Cautious, in which the unit receives 30% more defense when they’ve lost 30% of their troop in a battle.

When it’s the turn of one of your units, you get Action Points to spend; these are used when you move, use skills, or attack. You can also occasionally (by that, I mean when your first unit that moved can move again, so on the next round) utilize your pet dragon and cast spells, which cost either Rage or Mana, the former which you gain by striking enemies in combat, and the other by waiting out of combat, although you can augment how you gain these both with your talents or items. Oh, by the way, spells and your dragon kick a ton of ass. Combat ends when your enemy’s units are defeated, but it’s game over when all your units are defeated (although you can run away before that sometimes, at the cost of your current army). You’ll then gain experience, which gives you levels, which gives you runes, which you spend on your hero’s talents. It’s not THAT complicated, but as I’m a beginner, I don’t really know if there’s advanced concepts to explore regarding this yet. There IS a tutorial in the beginning of the game that tells you what to do for combat, but.. What the fuck, why isn’t there one for any of the other stuff?

Anyway, at $40, this game is kinda pricey, but there is a demo out if you feel like bumming around for a bit to see if you like the pace of the game. The visuals are great, the storytelling (which I didn’t get into) is semi-serious but can also be lighthearted and fun on occasion, and the combat is pretty classic considering how old its predecessors were (not counting the other remake of King’s Bounty). Buy it here or try the demo here, and sorry if I didn’t catch something while trying to explain the game!


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