Lords and Knights is a Free to Play Strategy Game (MMORTS) currently available on the iPhone and iPad. As a Lord, you’ll be tasked with building and maintaining a castle, and commanding armies to attack and defend against other players.
Though not a new concept in the video game world, the strategy MMO (or MMORTS) is a hugely played genre of gaming, and the jump to mobile suits it perfectly. The general idea in games of this style is to create and maintain a castle and/or city by carefully managing resources such as food and wood.
These resources are used to further develop your castle, allowing the production of new buildings and units that are used to attack other players and enemies, thereby allowing you to further expand your reach across the globe.
Lords & Knights is one such game, and is impressive mostly because of its seamless integration into the mobile platform allowing players to take their game to a new level. Unlike an Internet browser, a mobile application can send pop-notifications to you directly, so you’ll always know exactly when you’re ready to begin the next step.
And that very important in MMORTS games, as in most cases, completing an action within the game will require you to wait for some time. In Lords and Knights, this is obvious in the mission system.
Completing a mission doesn’t actually require you to do anything complicated, you merely need to accept the mission and wait. It times like these that you really begin to appreciate pop-notification, as it allows you to quickly open the game, complete your tasks, then put you phone back into your pocket and continue your day. As soon as something has finished your phone will send you a message and you can continue.
Systems such as these excite me. They take an older concept, something tried-and-true, and give it new life by adding additional functionality. This is probably why Lords & Knights has achieved so much success. Already Lords and Knights has received more than 100,000 downloads in Germany alone, over 80% 5-Star Ratings on iTunes, and is one of the Top 10 Most Downloaded Strategy Apps in 7 countries. Impressive, to say the least.
As for gameplay, Lords and Knights doesn’t step very far into the world of innovation, but does manage to further refine a number of older concepts to create a more enjoyable gameplay experience.
The lack of a tutorial in the beginning of the game (replaced by an introduction email that, due to the lack of castle navigation, seems to further confuse more than it does assist) is a small issue that makes it difficult for new players to begin, but as the basic concepts of gameplay are simple, it doesn’t take more than a few minutes to manually navigate your castle, learn what everything does, and begin building an empire.
In total, there are 13 different buildings, each with their own unique art style; 8 commendable unit types that stem from their own unique service branches; 20 researchable technologies and an in-built alliance system allowing you to form up with large groups of other players to defend entire regions, or burn your enemies to the ground.
Lords and Knights is also slated for release on Facebook, Browser and Android platforms within the coming months, making it one of the premiere cross-platform MMORTS titles, allowing you to play from whichever device suits your personal taste at any given time (PC at work, phone on the train, etc). All in all, an impressive experience that you can play, right now, for free. Check it out.