Challenge Games may be known for its Duels and Baseball Boss social games on the web – but this US election day, the company is invading the Facebook Platform.
Kings and Queens, Knights and Ladies
The middle ages were a time that has fascinated minds for centuries with its almost romantic visions of heroism, chivalry, and gallantry. This compelling allure has been the inspiration behind thousands of stories that stretch from the freedom of William Wallace to the legend of King Arthur. However, it is now, with the evolution of social games that these stories can now be lived with your Facebook friends.
The game is a slow-paced (think chess speed) strategy game in which the player begins at the lowest nobility rank of “Knight” or “Lady.” The core element of the game is to work your way up to “Emperor/Empress” by recruiting vassals for your court. These vassals, however, are not some group of NPCs, but are in fact real people with the same goals as you in game, each with a rank of their own. Each rank adds more points towards your own should you manage to recruit someone, thus if you managed to recruit someone at the rank of Duke, they would be worth more than someone at the rank of Knight. Furthermore, each on of their vassals adds to your nobility standing in a pyramid like structure
Strategy & Mechanics
With the basics understood, the strategy elements now come into play. There are a finite amount of players at any given time (especially if you only play with a specific group of people), and as such players must compete for vassals. Furthermore, each of these vassals costs a certain amount of “influence” (the primary currency in Nobility) which will vary based on their rank and who they currently “serve” (whomever previously recruited them).
So why does whom they serve matter? Well, influence can also purchase gifts, defensive, and offensive items. These items can make it more difficult for other players to recruit your vassals in any number of ways, and different players will utilize different strategies in order to win. An offensive player, for example, could purchase a trebuchet (a medieval siege weapon) and attack enemy players directly in and attempt to decrease the amount of influence they have, or they could hire an assassin that would destroy their defensive items (defensive items can reduce influence of an attacker or increase the recruitment cost of your vassals). Or if a player is more passive, they could also choose to purchase gifts for their vassals, thus increasing their influence or recruitment cost.
At first glance, Nobility doesn’t look overly complex. However, once one gets into the game and begins to see all of the strategic and tactical possibilities, the game quickly becomes much deeper and more interesting. Above all, Challenge Games has done a tremendous job of creating a game that is very easy to learn, but difficult to master. With so many different possible strategies, this game is constantly going to evolve and change as players learn new tricks and “dirty” tactics as they vie for dominance. For anyone with a love of strategy games, Nobility is most certainly worth checking out.