X-Kings Review: I am Spartan!
By Vincent Haoson (Vincenthaoson), OnRPG Journalist
No don’t let the game image fool you, you will not control Leonidas and his merry 300 men to an online war of swords against the hordes of the Persians. What X-Kings offers you is a kingdom that you run against the hordes of “greedy” humans all hell bent in getting their gold from your weak little country.
So better stock up on your pickaxes, swords, staves or whatever you peasants can scrounge up for defense, because it’s war on your hands.
I’m a king!
X-Kings is the usual resource-centered game that you would normally find in other games in the genre. Your goal here however is to get enough points through the acquisition and enhancement of your military power and technology to be on top.
The unique feature in X-Kings when it comes to the gameplay is that the resources you earn are only a stepping stone for you to be on top. This is a welcome difference compared to other browser games where the amount of your resources is a huge factor in dominance.
This puts things in a different perspective because the game focuses more on military action and tactics rather than the usual resource-military might mix found in most browser based games. This gives you at least a very tactical military experience old-school style that is hard to find in browser games these days.
Nothing much is expected when it comes to browser games in terms of visual extravagance. X-Kings is no different. The game sprites are pixelized cutesy images that remind you of final fantasy games of old. Though they do help filling the black empty spaces that exist throughout the game’s visual design. The color coding of the text boxes and even the texts can be quite an eyeful because the intensity of the font colors is a contrasting mix that can make you see double. So playing the game in long periods of time is a risk for your eyes.
Aside from that as I mentioned before the game does have a lot of bare areas. This is only noticeable if you play it with the browser being maximized. This can be a turn-off for players who are used to browser games that utilize the whole browser area to its maximum, but this is just a minor inconvenience because it does not really affect the whole gameplay. The Lack of many flashy graphics is a good thing because the loading time is fast. You barely notice the intervals between acts whenever you click a button.
Playing the game
X-Kings interface is easy to get aside from the too flashy imagery and font colors. What you click is what you get – and its that easy to understand. Everything is self-explanatory and to add to the game’s newbie friendliness is the tutorial system that practically teaches you everything. This tutorial system in X-Kings is something unique because the game does in fact simulate the whole “live” gameplay so that you get to experience how things are done in “live” action. The amount of helpful measures the game has is something that cannot be ignored because it is in terms of browser games, newbie friendly games of this caliber are a rare sight.
However, everything that is “new” in X-Kings is experienced in the few hours of your overall gameplay. In the long run X-Kings becomes too generic and redundant fast. This is the problem with these types of games and serves as the this game’s pitfall. Little is done on this matter because the game focuses on new players and offers nothing really new to the old players. You can only do so much with a military based game that everything is already juiced out of the game after playing for it a day or two.
One thing that I can say I liked about the game is the smooth interface it has. I’ve only experienced a few games of this type and I’ve enjoyed every one of them. Also the game tutorial system may be a troublesome task especially if you want to experience the game’s action on the onset, but its a fitting feature that really sets up any new player for the whole game ahead.
The smoothness of the gameplay is really rare for browser games where you would immediately notice on the onset the refreshes or even the transitions per action done. This makes the whole gameplay faster and even fun because there everything is transitioning in a seamless fashion.
The problem with the game though is that there is a limited set of “strategies” you can use, either go production type, offensive type or defensive type and that’s basically how you play the game.
However, there is nothing really new in X-kings aside from the nice gameplay transition and the gameplay tutorial. What you have in X-kings is a browser game that is all to familiar coated in a different skin (and sprites) that offers whatever the other games are offering.
All in All, X-kings is a game that can be a nice experience on the first few hours of your game but then becomes boring fast. There is little motivation from the cutesy sprites and the competitiveness of the game is in fact a laugh. If you have the patience and the time then I can suggest the game to you. However if you want something better than a military-centric browser game of this theme I do suggest you to try others out first before settling with X-Kings.
– The game offers a tutorial for new players so that they can get used to the interface
– The game has a lot of cutesy pixelized sprites that serves as eye candy for an otherwise text heavy game
– The game is easy to pick up.
– The interface color coding can be really hurtful for the eyes
– The game feels generic
– The game offers nothing new nor innovative to the genre.