You have been chosen to save magical lands populated by monsters, royalty, and magic. This game may look and sound like an RPG, but does it play like one?
What's happening in the kingdom
Knights & Dragons is a tap-based game in an RPG setting. The Dark Prince is planning on attacking your kingdom and you’ve been tasked with constructing buildings in your keep and fighting monsters in dungeons. The game begins with you creating your hero. You can choose the skin tone, eye colour, hair colour, hair style, sex, and name of your character.
After that you’ll spend most of your time completing quests which involve one of three things: tasks around the keep like constructing buildings and forging armour, killing monsters in dungeons, and fighting other players in the arena.
Constructing buildings is standard freemium game fare: it mostly consists of buying property, paying some gold, and then waiting for it to finish. Your armor is fairly important feature and the main opportunity for any type of strategy in the game. Each armor suit is linked to a certain kind of element (e.g. wind, earth, water) which plays an important part in the types of opponents you fight. For example, a fire monster would be weak against someone decked out in water gear. As well as that, armor can be combined and upgraded adding to your damage and defense.
Many of the quests in Knights & Dragons involve going into dungeons. Each dungeon consists of unlockable difficultly levels (ranging from normal to epic) that throw waves of monsters at you. As you complete more dungeons, you have the option of adding up to three companions to your squad. Combat is not complicated (see below) and each wave of monsters drops items which can go towards armour crafting. Health lost during battle is regenerated by using healing potions or waiting a set amount of time.
The arena is an interesting addition to Knights & Dragons because it’s nearly separate from the main game. You have the same team but use different armour, a health bar not connected to the main game, and have a limited amount of energy that can be used for fighting. Before every round you select an opponent fight against. The aim is to get a win streak going which earns your character bonuses such as armour and more energy to fight. Unfortunately, you have a limited amount of energy and in order to get a winning streak above five, you’ll have to buy more energy through inapp purchases. After each match, your health is completely restored.
Like other freemium games, the people who pay will be inherently better. You’re also going to spend a lot of time waiting for health to be restored or pushed to invite your friends to the game.
Other features in Knights & Dragons include guilds, daily contests, and social network integration.
Control it all with the tap of a button
The controls are simple: tap the screen. If you’ve played tapping games like Simpsons Tapout, you’ll be in familiar waters with Knights & Dragons. Gold is collecting from buildings by tapping on them, the menu is navigated by tapping the screen, and combat is initiated through -take a guess!- tapping the “fight” button.
Combat is deceptively well-presented but poorly executed. It resembles a classic JRPG in that it is turn-based, you have multiple monsters, and teammates. Unfortunately, it stops at those similarities and keeps thing to simple. Essentially the monsters and your squad each form a line where the monster/hero at the front is always attacking. This means that you can’t swap characters or choose which monster to attack. After a few hits, your character can do a special attack for extra damage.
The controls don’t get much more complicated than that.
The look and sound of your kingdom
The graphics in Knights & Dragons are the games strongest feature. Characters, items, and landscapes are all colourful and cartoonish. You would be hard-pressed to find an area of the game that was poorly drawn or animated. The sound is of an equally high-production with an epic battle score that plays in the background of the game.
This game starts to drag on
Although Knights & Dragons has excellent sound and graphics, it also has limited gameplay and a hard-pushing freemium model limit the amount of fun.