Knighthood is More Than a Shiny Suit of Armor

knighthood1Ever wanted to have a vassal? Perhaps some squires to do your bidding? How about the ability to raid other people’s castles? With Knighthood, you can do all of these things, and more.

Knighthood is a strategy/social game with a medieval theme. Currently in beta, the game promises to be a deep and challenging experience for both casual and experienced gamers. The object of Knighthood is to expand your territory and your wealth. If you added the application due to a friend’s invite, you become their vassal (unless you become more powerful than them, in which case, you can rebel). You have a set amount of money, skills, and land. In order to gain more buildings for your land and expand your other abilities, you need to invite friends.

The initial approach to the game can be daunting, and that’s why there is a very in-depth wiki page detailing how to approach the first stages. The confusion over how to get started may turn off some of the more casual gamers. But once you get beyond this initial threshold, there lies a lot to do and a pretty rich environment.

knighthood castleYou need to make your friends your vassals so you can use them to build your buildings and expand your power. Once established and having built a decent little kingdom, you can try your hand at warfare. But beware! You can end up losing your vassals to other barons and lords. There is a great deal of strategy to when it’s politically astute to swear allegiance to a bigger lord, when it’s a good time to rebel, and when you should employ your vassals to build that barracks.

This is the first game to have incorporated the resource management features of RTS games into a social/texting game, and for that the developers deserve credit. That said, a better interface that would allow you to see a visual representation of your kingdom, vassals, and their work would be appreciated. Waiting several hours until you can do battle properly will also deter many casual gamers.

The developers do a good job of creating a deep gaming experience and integrating it beautifully with the social networking capabilities of Facebook. The pieces are all in place and it is clear they’ve put a lot of time into this application.

If I had to knock the developers on something, I’d say the art is rather rudimentary and could be more uniform and professional. Combat could be rendered in Flash, and the interface could be sleeker. These are common problems to social games like Armies and Vampires, but Knighthood makes up for the name recognition of these larger games by depth of gameplay and strategy.

Simply, despite the popularity of these other games, this is a much richer experience. The real challenge for this game will be making the sell to casual gamers.

Gameplay: 8

Developers: 7

Depth: 10