KingsRoad review

KingsRoad is an online action RPG from Rumble Games, playable both on the Facebook canvas and on the open Web. The game has undergone an extensive closed beta testing period, and is finally available in open beta for anyone to play. The shift to open beta coincides with a major version update for the game, which adds a new character class and numerous other benefits.

KingsRoad

KingsRoad is an action RPG in the mold of popular standalone PC games such as Blizzard’s Diablo franchise and Runic Games’ Torchlight series. Players take on the role of a single character and guide them through numerous quests in order to level up, acquire new equipment and advance the game’s story. The game can be played in both single-player and cooperative multiplayer modes, and is free-to-play with optional in-app purchases of hard currency.

In KingsRoad, players may control a knight, archer or wizard character, and may switch between these at will between quests if they decide they would like a change in playstyle. The knight specializes in close-up attacks, while both the archer and wizard attack from a distance using arrows and spells respectively. Each character class has its own unique pieces of equipment that the others may not use, while some other equipment is universal across all three classes. Each class also has its own “skill tree” of abilities to unlock as the player levels up. One skill point is gained on each level up, and this may be applied to any of the available skills, the selection of which gradually expands as the player increases in level.

Basic gameplay is simple and straightforward, much like in Diablo and Torchlight. Players control their character with a combination of mouse and keyboard, clicking to move and attack; using the number keys to trigger class skills; and using the Q, W, E and R keys to quickly use recovery items. Rather than being set in a sprawling, continuous open world or dungeon like Diablo and Torchlight, KingsRoad is instead split into a linear sequence of small, discrete levels which each take a few minutes to play. This makes the game very friendly to short play sessions and also makes it ideal for possible future adaptation to mobile devices. Despite its focus on short, snappy play sessions, however, there is nothing throttling the player at any point, so if they want to sit and play for several hours, there is nothing stopping them from doing that. Every eight hours, the player receives an experience-boosting blessing that lasts for half an hour, so those wishing to level more quickly in a single session will probably wish to take advantage of this mechanic.

The game features online cooperative multiplayer with an automatic matchmaking system. Simply clicking “Find Party” at the top of the screen while in town allows the player to join up with up to three comrades and tackle missions as a team. Once the player has finished all of the available content on “normal” mode, a “heroic” difficulty level opens up that is specifically designed for cooperative play, though there is nothing stopping players from teaming up for the normal content. When playing cooperatively, players have a text chat facility available to them for coordination of attacks when necessary — though in practice this sort of game tends to require little in the way of strategy and more in the way of quickly responding to situations as they arise. At the end of each level, players are ranked according to their contribution to the overall battle effort — those who score higher receive greater gold rewards for completing the quest.