Pocket Kingdom «

Pocket Kingdom — what can you say? This is a game experience unlike any other out there, and it’s the best N-Gage game available so far (until I review Pathway to Glory, perhaps). Hopefully you’ve read my in-depth preview on the title. If not, I suggest you go here so you’re up to speed. Read it yet? Okay, then.

The Art of War

I worried about the fact that you don’t really control your units on the battlefield. The idea of a game that you don’t really play can be slipperier than a mudskipper in slop, but it really doesn’t bother me. The actual fights only last a couple of minutes at most, and it’s exhilarating to see your precious creations work their magic.

Characters may not always do what you want them to, but this adds an intangible factor to things, meaning that battles aren’t always a given or a total lost cause. It’s virtual cockfighting. Sometimes, a party’s strongest member will be inexplicably walking off the screen in the wrong direction. While this may not appear to be sound game design, it means more fun.

Keep your projectile guys safe in the rear.

When I say precious creatures, I mean it. Building an intimidating fighting force is no easy feat. First, you’ve got to get your simple classes to level up, building them equippable items along the way to give them some chance at survival. Then, you must craft an emblem so they can rank-up to a newer, more powerful class. Keep in mind that when one of your troops dies (or becomes “out”), it loses whatever equipment it had, so you must replace that. Also, a unit can get “owned,” which means they disappear forever. D’oh-eth. I had my share of soldiers on the verge of breaking out end up vanishing into fat air at the hands of enemies.

I like experimenting with team chemistry to see just what grouping works best. I don’t want to give away too many strategies, as I don’t want to breed PKers that may one day own me, but I’d recommend at least one long-range character, be it a wizard or archer. It’s good to have them aim at opponents with low HP, to quickly take them out of the equation. Put a bruiser or two, like a warrior or skeleton knight, on the front lines to combat the more hands-on enemies you’ll encounter. What you do with the other slots are up to you. A priest is always good to heal mid-fight, but you may want the extra firepower, too.

And that’s just your scouting party. You’ll need a garrison to guard against invaders against your own castle. Obviously, there are tons of tactics and strategic maneuvers to make, and you’ll want to experiment for the style that best suits you.

 

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