This kickstarter from April 2017, was the most fun and interesting one that i have ever followed > City Of Kings which is down to the designer Frank West, who is still providing amazing support on boardgamegeek. This fantasy adventure exploration game begins with hidden map tiles to turn over as you undertake one off scenarios, or a full storyline quest through the land. The game combines the use of heroes with workers, you will not only search for creatures for your hero to kill, but also look for mines to dig for ore, forests to chop wood or lakes to fish in. Gathering resources enables you to build structures or obtain great equipment. It has a neat balance between these two activities.
The enemies in this game are a little different in that they are individually generated each time, by combining banners, stat cards and drawing abilities from a bag, it seems to offer an unbelievable number of combinations, so you will never be sure what you are going to face in each encounter. This does mean that monsters are generic in art style in some respects, but the banner art is excellent, and to compensate some great looking boss monsters are included for end game interest.
This tactical roleplaying board game can be played solo or co-operative with between 2 and 4 characters. There are six heroes to choose from with unique skills and each is customisable using a skills tree, where you can decide whether to specialise in attacking, healing, worker management or gaining new special skills. The game is a mix of exploring and fighting and is strategic with no dice, with movement and positioning very important, as are decisions about what to upgrade and when. It is an immensely satisfying experience, scenarios appear well balanced, and each game you can try out different ideas as you progress. The hero player boards are especially amazing, with nice graphics, and the extra clear plastic slot trays are a must have addition as they are great fun and tactile to use too, slotting in the cubes and action pegs. There are multiple skills choices to level up your character in a World of Warcraft style, and it has similarities to the skill choices you make in Too Many Bones. This is a concept that I totally love at the moment and it seems to work so well, bringing roleplaying mechanics into board gaming format, developing your character the way you want to.
The game artwork manages to be both fresh and great looking too, and really lifts the game. City of Kings is also solo friendly, playing as two characters, which is really not onerous at all, given the four actions per turn are really quick and simple to execute in play. This is one of the greatest new games to arrive from kickstarter and i am so glad i backed it. It is a very high entry into my favourites list > Fantasy Adventure Games.