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Video Game / Sort the Court

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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, it's kinda up to the player. Sort The Court is a simple yet addictive 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 treasury, populace and overall happiness lest they run into trouble that will negatively impact the town and drive people away.

This Web Game was developed by Graeme Borland through Unity WebGL and released for Kongregate on July 8th, 2017. It is also available for downloading on Game Jolt and

This game provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: The Sneaky Girl is one of the few NPCs who can wield the Dragonblade and slay the dragon terrorizing the kingdom.
  • Blob Monster: A couple of the kingdom residents are slime creatures.
  • 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. Late in the game, you can get one of the magician NPCs to un-curse him so he'll no longer be hungry for humans.
  • 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.
  • Cute Witch: One of the servants present from the start is a witch known just as "Witch". She has a lot of services she can consult you for, including providing offerings to the spirits, slaying goblins, or summoning gold in exchange for souls.
  • 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.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: Several residents of the player's domain are supernatural creatures such as ghosts, demons and yes, vampires. Most of them are reasonably friendly, though a few are quite immoral and may be bad for the local population if the King/Queen isn't careful how they deal with them.
  • 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.
  • Guide Dang It!: There's a secret series of events where the player can date and become partners with the Royal Advisor. It's difficult to stumble upon this by accident, because it requires you to refuse to join the Council of Crowns, your main goal, and then play for many in-game days after the ending until the events come up. There aren't any in-game hints, just a Kongregate badge that includes "workplace romance" as a potential requirement.
  • Human Sacrifice: Some of the more monstrous characters will demand this in exchange for a reward or sometimes as a threat.
  • Karma Meter: One of the three main resources of the game is the overall happiness of the citizens living in the kingdom. Maintaining it is required to keep the town growing steadily and having it drop too low will quickly lead to the population decreasing as more and more residents get fed up and move away.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: One NPC is a strong, good-natured knight. He's nearly always helpful, going on quests to bring back lots of gold (though he sometimes comes back empty-handed), and he tends to bring gifts when the king/queen has negative funds. He's also the best candidate to wield the Dragonblade.
  • Lovable Rogue: The Sneaky Girl tries to act like one when getting requests from the king/queen. She's mostly successful, since she can get a lot of gold frequently (either through gifts or by making her steal in exchange for happiness), and can wield the Dragonblade if the Knight isn't showing up.
  • 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.
  • Magikarp Power: Most of the major sidequests boil down to this. One great example is the mission to help the Scientist craft a machine to produced unlimited gold. Getting started requires a large cash and time investment and the process has a temporary negative effect on happiness due to the factory needed to build the machine being a massive blight on the nearby area and its citizens. Once it finally gets completed however, it permanently generates gold daily which makes most money issues pretty trivial to deal with and is an absolute godsend for the late game encounters that require the player to spend a lot of gold at one time.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: The Knight and the Sneaky Girl. They're both fairly short but if given the proper equipment from the Blacksmith either of them can potentially slay the dragon threatening the kingdom... which is a creature so massive that its foot takes up about half of the entire screen when it first shows up.
  • Plant Person: Taking good care of the garden will eventually result in a few of these sprouting, which will then give the player the option of boosting their population by allowing them to become proper citizens.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: Being a king or a queen only affects the player's sprite and what titles they're referred to by, and either gender can romance the Royal Advisor.
  • 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.
  • Romance Sidequest: Turning down the offer to join the Council of Crowns will eventually let the King/Queen get a shot at dating the Royal Advisor.
  • Ruler Protagonist: You play as a king or queen and must manage your little village that you rule over, collecting taxes, building infrastructures, helping people and establishing alliances, to eventually grow it into a prosperous kingdom. All through answering simple Y/N questions.
  • 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 losing several potential encounters.
  • Shout-Out: Two of the royal employees are detectives: a skeleton named Skelly and a puddle named Molder. Interacting with either one can start a mini-quest involving the Alien.
  • Shmuck Bait:
    • Monsieur Esprit has an event where he will offer to scare aware your townsfolk in exchange for gold. It clearly offers you no advantages, so he'll be surprised if you take the offer.
    • One of the candidates to wield the Dragonblade is the Sneaky Girl. By the time you get the Dragonblade, you'll likely already know her shifty nature, but you can still let her have it. She does kill the dragon, but also takes half the gold hoard for herself, while the Knight, the other candidate, provides you with all 500.
  • Taken for Granite: One of the many effects of the experimental potions the Scientist can brew turns the poor test subject unto a solid gold statue. The player ends up getting a nice sum of coins as a result but is now down 1 citizen as well... though by that point in the game the player is likely to have 1000+ in total population which makes it a fairly large net gain in terms of resources.
  • Ultimate Blacksmith: He requires a very large coin investment to actually do it, but the town blacksmith can eventually craft the Dragonblade, which is the only weapon capable of slaying the dragon.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: The entire game revolves around making choices so it's 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.