Posted: November 29, 2014
At first glance your average gamer might dismiss Hero of the Kingdom as an oddity, a curious game with minimal feedback and graphics and could be considered a time-filler, a placeholder title to play in between longer and more involved gaming sessions. To do so would be a disservice to the gamer and to Hero of the Kingdom, as there is a lot more under the surface than what first appears, and through the course of a short story, you will become, the Hero of the Kingdom.
If you enjoy your gaming more casual, and less intense, Hero of the Kingdom definitely has a lot to offer. The game interface is simple and intuitive, and yet it is also never obtrusive. All gameplay is directed by mouse clicks. The action takes place on simple overhead maps, and your mouse clicks naturally will flow as the story and the gameplay layers on.
The complexity of Hero of the Kingdom comes in its economy and the use of selling items of value or to trade for items of usefullness. Should your character require to pass a bridge that is broken, they may need to sell unrequired items to obtain the help, rope and other necessities to move further on. You will gain skills such as fishing and hunting, with simple mouse clicks taking all guess work out of the equation. You either have the equipment to do the task, or you don't. There really is no challenge here.
This laid back notion is continued with the minimal music and sound effects. Both are equally pleasing, but ultimately forgettable. There is nothing about the game, from the gameplay, to the audio, that really stands out. It is all as inoffensive and flavorless as can be possible.
In many ways, Hero of the Kingdom feels like a slightly improved Facebook game, without the social interaction. Certainly the gameplay harkens back to that mindset, and without any kind of graphical flourish, could easily be mistaken as one. Where it succeeds is that it layers on additional systems through hunting, fishing and flower collecting, while telling a simple story about a long forgotten evil that is uniting various minion cliches in order to hunt down the good people of the kingdom.
Hero of the Kingdom is a fun diversion that requires so little of your attention and so little of the gamer that one could forget that they were actually playing a game here and not an interactive click-a-thon. There is enough gameplay here to recommend to the casual gamer but only to this subset of gamer might there be some enjoyment found.
Hero of the Kingdom is by no means a bad game, in fact, I rather enjoyed my short four hour journey. But there are a great many alternatives for your gaming dollar that demand more from the gamer, and the gamer should demand more from the creator. Hero of the Kingdom wouldn't be out of place being hosted for free on some website, perhaps with a banner ad - there just isn't enough gameplay to fully justify a purchase.