A lone monarch rides through the wilderness. Though all they have is their crown, their coin purse, and their noble steed, a meagre number of coins is all they need to carve out their place in the world. Gold opens many doors; it sways wanderers to your side, arms them with bow, hammer or scythe, builds walls... and draws the attention of the Greed. Foul creatures that lay siege to your lands, night after night...
Kingdom is a side-scrolling Strategy Game with heavy focus on managing your resources. It was developed by Noio (Thomas van den Berg) and Licorice (Marco Bancale), published by Raw Fury, and released in October 2015.
On August 9th, 2016, an updated version entitled Kingdom: New Lands was released, expanding upon the original gameplay and adding a campaign in which the player's goal moves beyond simply surviving towards expanding and establishing yourself in different areas.
The third installment of the series, Kingdom Two Crowns, was developed by Noio and Coatsink (and later by Stumpy Squid and Fury Studios) and released in December 2018. It expands the campaign mode even further, with new upgrades, a new biome based upon Feudal Japan, and a cooperative mode where two players can work together to protect the same kingdom.
In May 2019, Raw Fury acquired the series from Noio. A new game titled Kingdom Eighties, developed by Fury Studios and set in the 1980s, was announced in May 2022.
Kingdom contains examples of the following tropes:
- All There in the Manual: Nothing in the game itself ever mention the Greed by name. There's no text beyond the opening itself.
- Automatic New Game: You are immediately dropped into the tutorial after booting up the game. If you have a save file, it is automatically loaded. The only way to access the main menu is to pause the game.
- Automaton Horses: Averted. Your steed will tire out, which can put you in a bit of a bind if you're currently fleeing from the Greed.
- Bad Moon Rising: The Blood Moon is a very bad thing. Normally, the Greed retreat at sunrise, significantly limiting the damage they can cause. On a Blood Moon, they'll keep attacking even after the sun rises. Prepare to rebuild a lot of walls, replace a lot of tools, and re-hire a lot of beggars.
- Bandit Mook: The Greed's main source of attack is to steal things. They'll steal your units' tools, making them unemployed, and then steal their money, reducing them to beggars. If they can steal the King/Queen's crown, you lose.
- "Begone" Bribe: The players weapon of choice. For every coin between a Greeder wave and their target, one Greeder will abandon their attack.
- Boring, but Practical: Archers. Lots and lots of archers. They automatically go to your outermost walls at night, which makes them more flexible than guard towers. During the day they hunt and collect money, which can potentially outpace farmers. They run to their positions, which easily makes them your fastest force. They cost two gold per bow, which makes them the cheapest unit. Once you invest in knights, they switch archers to squires which no longer collect money.
- Cast from Money: Dropping gold behind you is a quick way to make lesser Greed return to their portals, and if they directly attack you, you lose a gold piece anyway. Also, in the update, giving Knights more gold gives them more hit points to work with.
- Color-Coded Characters: Your Monarch's dress/cape matches the main color of your kingdom's heraldry. Beggars wear drab shades of brown until you give them a coin, outfitting them in a random pale color. Hunters, Builders and Farmers wear bolder colors; Knights wear colors based off of your heraldry, and the archers who join them wear the same shades to show their allegiance.
- Crapsack World: From what little is seen of humanity, it's clear that this game's world is not a nice place. If you aren't living in total poverty and squalor on the fringe of civilization, then you're living under the constant threat of a literally endless horde of monsters that exist only to loot and pillage everything that's not nailed down, which attack your struggling kingdom every single night and absolutely will not stop, ever, until they steal your ruler's crown. And it doesn't matter how strong your walls are or how many the soldiers kill; they'll just keep coming in greater and greater numbers and will eventually overwhelm your defenses. It's not a question of if, it's a question of when.
- Evolving Title Screen: The title appears within the game as a stone monument which crumbles as you ride past. If you skip the tutorial, it will remain waiting out in the forest and only collapse when you finally head out that way.
- Flying Mook: Trappers pick up your archers and carry them away. If you defeat them before they fly too far off, the peasants will pick up the bow they dropped if another greed hasn't already claimed it.
- Ghibli Hills: The area surrounding your lands is beautiful.
- Giant Mook: Breeders are massive creatures that can take a lot of punishment.
- Greed: The Greed are driven by this, stealing whatever they can get their claws on.
- Guile Hero: The player character. You don't actually fight the Greed yourself, you pay others to do that for you. How well you do in the game depends entirely on how much coin you have and how smart you are in spending it.
- Keystone Army: The player's army is this. It can be the strongest force in the land and backed by layers of reinforced walls, but the player losing their crown to any Greed means the kingdom immediately falls apart.
- Life Meter:
- Your coin purse effectively doubles as this; if you're hit by the Greed or anything else, you drop gold. If you don't have any gold, you run the risk of losing your crown.
- The same system applies to your followers. The single coin you pay to recruit them serves as their main hit point; the equipment you buy them affords them a second shot. In New Lands, Knights can carry up to five coins to serve as extra HP.
- Malevolent Masked Men: While not necessarily men, the Greed wear various masks that also serve as hit points.
- Minimalism: The game manages to feel epic, despite being played with only three buttons (move left, move right, throw coins), and having no text outside of the tutorial and win/loss screens. The only interface elements are your coin pouch and building costs, which are hidden unless necessary.
- Modest Royalty: Aside from their crown, the King just wears a cloak, shirt and white pants. A Queen wears only a dress.
- Money Is Not Power: Laughed at and kicked to the gutter. Dog trapped under a tree? Dropping a coin on it shatters the tree and frees the dog. Want to ride a bear you came across in the wilds? Pay it three coins. Waves of monsters becoming a problem? Drop cash in front of them to make them go away.
- Money Spider: Bunnies drop single gold coins when killed; Deer drop three.
- Mook Maker: The Gates. The Greed Giants can also spawn smaller Greeds.
- Musical Spoiler: You can hear the ominous music of the Blood Moon start playing well before you start to see it in the sky.
- One-Hit-Point Wonder: Your monarch will die in one hit without their crown, and your followers will do so without their equipment.
- Resources Management Gameplay: The crux of the game. Hire followers, build up your lands and defenses, everything revolves around spending your coin wisely and protecting your investments.
- The Siege: The Greed attack almost every night. White full moons will be pretty light, but blood moons hold nothing back.
- Slow-Motion Drop: If the crown is knocked off your ruler's head, the camera tracks its arc while it flies through the air. If you're quick, you might be able to retrieve it before any of the monsters can reach it.
- Teleportation: Destroying and rebuilding the portals will let you teleport anywhere on the map for a single coin, but you have to choose a location before the timer runs out.
- A Winner Is You: When you win the game (or level, in the sequels) the message "the crown is safe" appears over the screen, and that's it.
Kingdom: New Lands also contains examples of:
- And Your Little Dog, Too!: The Greed will abduct your dog if given the chance.
- The Ark: Your ship. Every kingdom you start is automatically doomed in about 30 days. You have until then to build your ship and escape.
- Christmas Episode: Playing in December alters the environment.
- The weather will snow.
- There are snowmen you can pay 3 coins to change your colors and outfit to a Santa suit.
- Rudolph becomes a steed, and standing around wild deer for a few seconds will make them begin to follow you. You can lure them into archers to hunt them.
- A giant Christmas Tree can be decorated with enough coin, which will reward Rudolph with a sled that generates presents filled with coin over time, giving you more than 5 times the amount you paid to get it. You need the Santa suit for the presents to drop though.
- Cool Horse: You can now find more steeds in the wild. Not all of them are horses, either.
- Cruelty Is the Only Option: You race the clock to get off the island before either permanent winter sets in or you get overwhelmed by mobs. Portals have to be destroyed on the way to the dock. Two destroyed portals trigger a giant spawn, plus army. Pragmatic players will plan for a one-way blitzkrieg from the capitol to the docks. By the time they leave, the kingdom will enter an ice age while getting slaughtered.
- Crutch Character: For a single coin, the Merchant can be sent out to his trading post, bringing back a considerable amount of money every day. However, he may not spawn on island 3 and will not spawn on island 4 and 5, and expanding your kingdom will often force you to chop down trees on either side of his shack, which eliminates it from the map.
- Damn You, Muscle Memory!: If you play with a controller, they changed the 'throw coin' button between Kingdom: Classic and New Lands.
- Difficult, but Awesome: The Bear mount has the least amount of stamina out of all the mounts, including the starter horse. However, it recovers very quickly and can kill rabbits, deer, and the Greed when you run them over. You can hunt for coins where your archers can't reach.
- Evil-Detecting Dog: The Dog barks in the direction the Greed are approaching from, giving you some forewarning about impending attacks.
- Follow Your Nose: The Bakery draws beggars towards it to make recruitment easier.
- Get on the Boat: One of the major additions in New Lands is building up a boat piece by piece, then guiding it to the dock. As long as you've secured a map, you can then move on to another area, potentially bringing troops and gold along to help give you an advantage in the next area.
- The Hermit: Several different types can potentially be found; each specializes in a different kind of upgrade for your towers.
- Knight in Shining Armor: Upgrading to the final castle allows you to recruit Knights, which can lead archers in charges to destroy portals.
- Red Sky, Take Warning: Whenever a portal gets destroyed, the skies immediately darken, even if it's the middle of the day. This signifies that you're about to go through a retaliatory Blood Moon wave.
- Siege Engines: Catapults are one of the earlier variants available to your kingdom, but if you find the right person, you can also build ballistae. Naturally, they're used for home defense rather than sieges in this game. The Greedling Breeder also serves as this. Doubly so if it comes across where your catapulted stones land.
- Solid Gold Poop: Unicorns literally expel gold coins. All it takes is giving them a bit of grass to eat.
- Spirit Advisor: A fallen monarch points your ruler towards viable sites upon which to build your new settlements.
- Status Buff: The War Horse mount increases the HP of your citizens for about 30 seconds when you charge past them. They're able to take about 3 or 4 hits from the greed before they're defeated.
- Teleportation: Possible through the use of conquered and rebuilt portals.
- Unwinnable by Design: Islands have finite resources. Eventually, the forests will wither up and die, the animals will no longer respawn, and the waters will dry up, making it impossible to earn money from farming and hunting. At this point, having a merchant gather money for you at the start of each new day is the only way to make any money at all, assuming you even have one on the island in the first place. As long as you don't clear out the trees immediately next to the Merchant's gathering place, you'll be fine, but if you do, you lose the merchant, just like if you clear the trees surrounding beggar camps.
Kingdom: Two Crowns also includes examples of:
- Androcles' Lion: The Gryphon crash-lands in the forest, and can only be potentially ridden after the Monarch uses Gems to help them recover from their injuries.
- Big, Bulky Bomb: Once you upgrade your keep to the highest possible level, you can take the fight to the Greed by building a bomb to blow up the otherwise indestructible cliff portals on each island.
- Blade on a Stick: Spearmen carry polearms, and can use them to reach past your walls to attack the Greed directly. What's more, they can use their weapons to snag fish right out of the water for coins, and can do so all year round, even in winter. However, they can only jab through the walls so many times before their spears break, requiring replacement.
- Crossover: A 2020 update brought unique monarchs in the form of the cast of Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, with their own gameplay perks to boot.
- Our Gryphons Are Different: A gryphon appears as a potential mount. While unable to fly the rider around, their giant wings can help ward off the Greed by knocking them back and temporarily stunning them.
- Samurai: One of your Monarch options in the Feudal Japan setting is a fully armored samurai.