Good news! You've become the king or queen of a modest yet promising village and must now lead them to prosperity and greatness... or tax them heavily and feed them to monsters, its kinda up to the player. Sort The Court is a simple yet addicting mix of role playing, resource management and interactive fiction. All actions taken by the NPCs boil down to simple yes or no questions which impact and affect the ongoing story.
Players must choose their responses carefully while managing their reserve gold supply, populace and overall happiness lest they run into trouble that will negative impact the town and drive people away. Once the last person leaves its game over regardless of happiness or gold and the player will have to start again. Luckily, its fairly easily to avoid most negative outcomes with a bit of experience and good old trial and error.
The game is available here.
This game provides examples of:
- Chest Monster: One of the NPCs is a mimic named Chester. He usually asks to be allowed to eat people and offers large sums of gold in return. Sometimes he doesn't even wait for an answer and eats some folks "accidentally" before offering to buy off their lives with some gold.
- Coins for the Dead: At several points the player will be asked to make a large 200 coin offering to appease the spirits and keep them from haunting the kingdom. Refusing this donation will eventually cause the ghosts to start terrorizing the village and demand an even larger payment to go away.
- Deal with the Devil: Several of the options for obtaining more gold involve sacrificing people to monsters in exchange for a large cash payment. One of the recurring NPCs, an imp named Georgie, will often show up when the player is in debt and offer to bail them out for a few souls.
- Dragon Hoard: One of the later game encounters has a dragon show up and demand a large sum of gold or it will massacre the townspeople. Afterwards the player can undergo a short quest to slay the dragon which will allow the kingdom to claim its horde and boost their treasure reserves by a considerable amount.
- Early Game Hell: The first few weeks are usually the hardest due to a variety of factors. Picking a few bad choices or just having poor luck can greatly impact progress and force the player into additional bad choices to recover resources. Once the player has played long enough to understand what most choices do and has some experience the game gets considerably easier.
- Evil Is Not a Toy: The player is free to gamble with demons and invoke magic and the dark arts. Naturally, this can backfire in some pretty nasty ways.
- God Save Us from the Queen!: A sufficiently amoral player can do some pretty bad stuff if they're evil and selfish enough. Feeding people to monsters, selling their subjects souls to demons in exchange for money, allowing thieves to steal from the townsfolk in exchange for a cut of the profits, denying granny a coin for the daily newspaper...
- The Good King / The High Queen: Players who make the right choices and try their best to take care of their kingdoms become this over the course of the game.
- Luck-Based Mission: Several encounters have a randomizing algorithm that can cause majorly good or bad things to happen. A prime example is a wizard NPC who offers to cast some magic for you. The resulting spell can give a moderate boost to all resources, generate a large amount of gold or cost the player some townsfolk and happiness.
- Sadistic Choice: There are times where the player will be forced to decide between two bad options with different drawbacks. If they go into debt for example, they can choose to accept an offer from a demon to bail them out at the cost of losing some residents or wait until they earn enough gold morally at the cost of loosing several potential encounters.
- Random Encounter: The entire game is comprised of a series of random encounters, some rare and some common. Depending on the choices made by the player different encounters and events will happen later on in the game.
- Video Game Caring Potential: The entire game revolves around making choices so its only natural that about half of the options would fall under this. Good players can open up several shops and attractions to keep their people happy, pardon criminals, slay dragons, donate gold from their personal stash to help their subjects with personal problems or just offer it as a nice gift, fix a broken robot, expand their empire from a tiny village to a thriving city, clear out pests such as goblins, find diplomatic solutions to problems and even join a royal council by the end of the game. Alternatively...
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: Evil rulers can gamble with and make deals with demons, feed people to monsters, refuse even simple requests, allow thieves and other villains to roam freely, punish their loyal subjects for minor mistakes, ignore serious problems, abuse dark magic and much much more. However...
- Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Getting too careless with the lives and mood of the citizens will deal some major damage to overall happiness, which is needed to expand the kingdom and will cause it to actively shrink if it gets too low. Refusing to help your subjects with their businesses and other projects can also cost you a lot more gold in the long run than simply donating a smaller amount would have.