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It’s very rare to see a free-to-play game on Facebook where you don’t see the words “wait to play”, “recharging energy” or “time locked” flash up onscreen. Some of the most popular games on the social networking platform do this. They may well be rather enjoyable, but they limit your fun until your ‘stamina’ has depleted and only time or credits supplied by your cold hard cash can alleviate the problem. Rumble’s ‘KingsRoad’ looks to change this notion and defy these sickly affiliations that the medium of browser games has with Facebook; and they plan to do this by offering a full top-down action RPG experience to the masses.
Simple enough to pick up and play, KingsRoad is an RPG that fans of Torchlight or Diablo can easily grasp onto – except it’s entirely free-to-play. What sets it apart is the ability to really snag you with an experience that’s not usually seen in Flash based browser games. You’ll start out as an average Knight or Warrior class, but with the ability to purchase the Archer and, soon after, the Mage class. While these were the only modes available in the beta build, this offers a few unique play styles to muck around with, with more sure to come in the final release. However, for all this customization with classes, it did seem odd that there’s currently no female option for character creation – although, this does appear to be a feature that Rumble Entertainment are looking to add into the final game.
KingsRoad still adheres to the usual formula for dungeon based RPGs. You’ve got your gold, equipment drops and NPCs aplenty for quests and business transactions. You’ll earn gold through quests, selling unwanted items and pickups from slaying enemies. You use it exactly like you’d expect; buying new weapons, items and equipment and can even use gold to help identify certain items with the help of a particular NPC in the main town.
Straight away you can pick up ‘Gems’ to buy boosts for XP multipliers with this letting you gain experience faster while playing. You can also use them to upgrade items like the forge, thus allowing you to craft weapons faster than usual. It’s not quite your pay-to-win scenario that many other F2P titles leverage. Here it still requires skill to finish fights, but it certainly does make gameplay easier. At this point in time it’s hard to tell exactly how it’ll affect balance, but so far it seems to just aid the impatient.
Gems are earned through continual playthroughs of the story mode – which comes in two flavours: normal or hard. Hard does exactly what it says on the tin – it’s Hard. It has more enemies, new spawn points and is really recommended for parties of two or three – definitely not the lonely adventurer. Levels themselves tend to finish with some sort of boss battle or a named foe – thus spinning in some vague story into your actions – but it’s still largely paper thin at this stage. However, that’s really not why you’re exploring and enjoying KingsRoad. The real draw is being able to play a game like this directly in your browser whenever you want.
While it’s still early days for the title – which will undoubtedly still grow and adapt even after it sees full release – the future does look bright for KingsRoad. Currently sporting a max level cap of 60 for beta players, along with 24 maps to explore and fight through, there’s plenty to do for you and some friends. Rumble also plan to add even more features if KingsRoad gains the traction it deserves – adding in higher level caps, more missions and even new character classes. I for one would love to play this gem on the go, so maybe we can hope for an iOS or Android version of the action in the not too distant future.