This game has 3 major problems - it barely explains anything, you have nearly no meaningful ways to directly influence combar, and it LOVES to waste your time.
DISCLAIMER - this is MY PERSONAL OPINION. As with all opinions from internet randos, take it with a grain of salt. (My review "spoils" a few game mechanics. If you only want the general opinion, read only the last paragraph.)
When you start out, you get a very basic explanation - this is your camp, this is how you get builders & archers, these are walls, enjoy. You need to guess that stone-piles will be watchtowers, that the strange hut you get after a certain camp upgrade is a siege workshop that produces catapults, that the wooden relic will allow you to get stone walls, that giving money to the castle makes knights, that knights will take your archers as entourage and PREVENT THEM FROM HUNTING, that giving money to the flag in front of your outer wall will send the knights towards the enemy portal. This and some other things are HUGE money sinks, that neither explain their functionality, nor the downsides of having them. Wanna know how much money the financier stored in your castle? Well you're just out of luck, because, apparently, monarch don't get clearance for that information.
There is nothing you yourself can actively do. Once your hire your people & commission the upgrades, there is no way to directly influence what your underlings are doing. You can't even get them to change the side they're standing on, so when one side doesn't need guarding, the subjects standing there just twiddle their thumbs while the other deals with the invasion. And you yourself can't attack or do anything, which is a good lead-in into the last problem :
This game wastes your time on every turn. Your horse (latter steeds can apparently be better, but the game is so repetitive that I don't see the point in playing until that point) is slow, it's sprint is rather short, so traversal is a pain. You're a sitting duck during the night, as you can't do anything. Winter wastes your time even further, by severely limiting your income, thus limiting your already small pool of interactions during the day. I don't even know how long it takes for the boat to reach the pier, because I have no patience for rebuilding during winter after two large attacks and a bloodmoon. I tried sending the knights out, but they would reach the portal a few seconds after the enemy starts spawning, and fail, because as soon as a knight dies, his entourage just hightails it outta there, getting picked off one by one in the process.
I got Kingdom in a bundle, and am happy that I didn't buy it separately. While some of my misgivings might've been simply because of bad luck, enough of them were, in my opinion, due to bad game design, to encourage people to hold off from buying it. It's a pretty looking foundation for a potentially good game, but there's too little to actually do, and what's there quickly gets boring & irritating.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- @Raw Fury (I haven't seen a way to respond to a dev response, and I wrote too much to fit into a coment, so I hope this update will suffice)
First off, thanks for your kind response.
You're probably right about it just not being for everyone. It's not like I totally dislike the game, and with some more patience, like Melar suggested, I might have gotten into it. Having said patience takes time though, and considering how spoiled for choice we are nowadays, and how fast-paced live can be, giving up that time isn't always an option a person has and/or wants to take. (But that's a bit off-topic.)
While I understand the idea of mystery, I think that, when interacting with said mystery can set you back, it's better done in a more fast-paced gameplay style. Most rogue-lites have the possibility of fairly short game sessions, where experimenting with loadouts & unknown modifiers happens very quickly & doesn't set you back a lot. The problem I had in this case was that the setbacks I suffered through the slow discovery of mechanics, rather than resulting in my swift demise, resulted in a long, drawn-out path to a snowed-in poor man's grave. While I could very well utilize what I had learned for a better next playthrough, the process of rebuilding would have, because of the slow pacing & the periods of down time at night where you can't take meaningful actions, been a bit too slow to be enjoyable for me.
In the end, as I've mentioned, I might've just had a bit of bad luck in that I survived for far too long on my first try, and might have enjoyed it more if my death-respawn cycle was a bit shorter. But, for my personal taste, the pace was just a bit too slow. And not knowing how much money you have in the bank hinders your decision-making, which is unfortunate. I mean, I could count myself, but apparently he also multiplies the money by a tiny bit? And without numbers, that was just not really possible to gauge without a lot of experimentation.
The way the pixelart is utilized is very nice though, and I liked the soundtrack & sound design, and the general idea of the game was interesting, and certainly eye-catching. Enough people like it , so I guess you just can't make everybody happy.
First thanks for trying out the game! It's not for everyone, and the complaints you made actually go against the design of the game. As Melar Baram stated in the comments below Kingdom was designed to not hold your hand at all. It's about mystery and figuring out how to play the game through trial and error.
As the king or queen, you're not supposed to do anything actively other than order your troops around and work within the systems of your citizens. It's hard at first, as it's supposed to be. As you play more you'll figure out what makes them work and get to the point where you can win the levels in no time.
We do have a guide that the community put together, but it does spoil the intent of the game. https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=741329443 Again, it's not for everyone. If you were expecting a super hands-on strategy title Kingdom is not that. We tried something new here and it has resonated with our fan base that were looking for something unique. :)