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Stronghold Kingdoms is a medieval themed MMORTS game developed and published by Firefly Studios. Stronghold Kingdoms is based on the highly popular Stronghold franchise that has spanned over a decade and created a fan following that rivals any MMORTS game on the market today.
Stronghold Kingdoms gives players complete creative freedom when it comes to building their own medieval settlement, players are not forced to construct certain buildings or place them in a specific spot, allowing every settlement in the game to be unique. Like other MMORTS games Stronghold Kingdoms has a heavy focus on economical systems such as gathering and harvesting resources. Players must construct a variety of buildings that gather resources, as the more resources available means faster construction times and more troops. Players have to approach their economy with caution, carefully placing resource buildings to earn the maximum yield possible. If players clump too many resource buildings together or don't offer a farm enough land, their income will suffer.
Another new feature available in Stronghold Kingdoms is the introduction of the card system. There are hundreds of cards available for players to collect, all of which have different benefits and effects. Certain cards will aid your settlement, such as giving you a large amount of resources or increasing your resource gain for a specific amount of time. Other cards are more military based, offering players the chance to send in a group of valiant knights to turn the tide of battle.
Fans of the Stronghold franchise will be happy to hear that the fabled interactive map makes a return in Stronghold Kingdoms. A massive game world filled with thousands of other players and enemy strongholds, players can explore the world map whenever they please, searching for treasures, making allies or laying siege to their enemies settlements.
Stronghold Kingdoms provides players with all of the great features that made the original Stronghold games so popular, mixed with a fresh approach of adding various MMORTS and MMORPG mechanics, Stronghold Kingdoms is arguably the greatest Stronghold browser MMO ever released.
Stronghold Kingdoms probably won’t make it in anyone’s Top 10 best-looking browser games list. Or the Top 100 even. Its graphics will appear very dated to modern gamers who have been spoiled by cutting-edge mmorpg games and jaw-dropping 3D console titles. But if you can look past its simplistic visuals that pale in comparison to current strategy titles, you will find that Stronghold Kingdoms has its own charms.
Developers have put an effort to depict the authentic peasant life. As you strive to grow your starting village, you will see chickens running around, workers transporting stone blocks and picking apples and cutting wood to gather the resources that your need. Buildings are primarily made from wood and stone, which are two of the main construction resources, and look like they came from the feudal period and add to the immersion.
The graphics in Stronghold Kingdoms becomes a bit more exciting during castle sieges. Enemy troops surround your castle, bringing down your defenses bit by bit, while you and your garrisoned troops try desperately to fend off their invasion.
Background music consists mainly of guitar plucking pieces, like the type played by roving bards to amuse the village folk and earn some coin. There are also meditative Gregorian chants. This is during peacetime though. The beats turn more war-like when enemies – either enemy human players or computer AI – are ramming down your castle gates and razing it to the ground.
In Stronghold Kingdoms, you start off as a village idiot and make your way up the English feudal hierarchy.
To rise in rank and gain status in the kingdom, you must gain honor. Honor is gained on a daily basis through various means, like holding banquets, fighting well, and helping the parish. This encourages players to try out all kinds of activities, or focus on one particular playstyle. Expect to run into some opposition though as you rise in power with other player lords attempting to stop your territorial expansion.
Stronghold Kingdoms basically has three main systems: Village, Castle and Diplomacy. The village system will bet the most familiar one for players of strategy-based free browser games: You basically amass resources to spend on new buildings and units. The village system will be the bedrock of your empire. You will need to constantly improve your village so that it produces more and more food, wood and stone resources.
Aside from building a thriving village economy, you will also have to focus on constructing a castle. Beginning wood castles are a bit flimsy but are quicker and cheaper to build. After some time, you will unlock castle improvements including gatehouses and walls which will gradually evolve into ironclad garrisons filled with defensive troops like pikemen, archers and knights.
Beginners will not have enough defenses to protect themselves from the get-go, which is why developers provide a protection Peace buff that prevents any and all attacks for five days from your first login. This gives you ample preparation time to put up defenses and prepare your castle from invasions.
After spending the initial period tending to your village and bulking up your castle defenses, you will begin to look outward to search ways to become more powerful. Here is where Diplomacy comes into play, encouraging you to explore the various areas around your village and forging alliances with adjacent player settlements.
High-end play in Stronghold Kingdoms is hinged heavily on teamwork, similar to how in mmo games you will need to group up to complete the dungeons and raids, or compete in competitive PvP. Being a lone wolf might work in the beginning, but you will need to make fast friends to secure the continued prosperity of your kingdom. The protection and aid of allies during invasions, among other cooperation benefits, makes it a no-brainer to band together with like-minded friends.
The game provides a fairly thorough tutorial of how to get around the menus. You usually have to perform a handful of clicks to access information, but nothing that’s too tedious. Achievements and quests pushes your progress along so tick these off for easy resource rewards as well as new charges for your shield.
Like other strategy titles, you will need to conduct research that will unlock buildings, units and improvements. The research tree is really deep and filled with compelling choices so this is one area where you may want to spend a bit more time. Research takes a long time to complete the deeper you plunge into the tree, so it’s best if you plot out priority picks in advance.
There are other unique systems in Stronghold Kingdoms. There is the concept of Popularity, which can be increased by performing lord actions that please your people, such as lowering the tax rate or keeping your castle enclosed to make them feel safer against outside assaults. Your popularity also affects how quickly peasants come to your village. But you should keep in mind that maintaining a high popularity can be quite costly. In the end, it’s all a balancing to keep a decent amount of gold flowing to your coffers while sustaining your popularity to prevent an exodus.
Stronghold Kingdoms is a free to play game, but it does have a fair amount of microtransactions in the form of Strategy Cards and action-enabling Crowns.
Strategy Cards are basically game power-ups. More than 100 cards offer different boons, including increasing the rate of resource production. Strategy Cards are rarely obtained through normal play but can be bought en masse through the cash shop. Some card effects last for a dozen hours, which can make it compelling to purchase.
Another popular microtransactions item are Crowns, which can be spent to auto trade, auto scout, auto attack and auto recruit while offline. Automation services like these are aimed at players who want to see significant progress when they next log on.
Unique Fun Factor
Stronghold Kingdoms is best enjoyed by strategy fans with a bent on socialization. It won’t be long before you realize that your success depends not only on how well you cultivate a village and reinforce a castle, but also how well you manage local diplomacy and politics. While solo players might irk at the prospect of having to depend on others, the multiplayer synergy gives the game some longevity since you can spend hundreds of hours plotting and scheming to rule over your region.
Deep village and castle management systems
Strategic, exciting castle sieges
Low PC system requirements
Simplistic graphics even for a browser game
Building queues take a lot of time to complete
No research queuing unless you pay for microtransactions
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- Apr162016MMO-Play has teamed up with Firefly worlds to give away free Stronghold Kingdoms Global Conflict Giftpack Keys....Read MoreDec122014
Free to play :
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