There are plenty of video games out there based upon popular board games, with the ability to play across a digital landscape with AI opponents (and without having to worry about setting everything up) certainly appealing for a lot of players. The King’s Dilemma: Chronicles is the latest release to embrace the concept, albeit in a modified form that caters the transition to PC. I never got a chance to play The King’s Dilemma in its board game form, but, after sinking a ton of hours into the video game version, I think I’d love it.
Check out some screenshots down below:
The King’s Dilemma: Chronicles puts players in the role of the Head of the Council, one of the King’s closest confidantes, who helps oversee the decisions that will ultimately define the monarch’s rule over the Kingdom of Ankist. With multiple other houses able to vote in these decisions you make, it’s up to you to maintain relationships, resolve any conflict, and ultimately sway those around you to embrace the decisions you make. Be warned though: every action you take has a consequence, with your decisions not only determining the fate of the Kingdom, but what your ‘allies’ ultimately think of you.
The game begins by asking you questions about your opinion on certain matters, with the answers you give ultimately helping determine which house you will represent in the game. There are twelve available in total that each have different goals to meet, so the choice you make in the end ultimately determines what kind of playstyle you will have to embrace when playing. It’ll still boil down to simply making decisions, but you’ll have to make the decisions that suit your house’s goals.
The choices themselves are riveting, with so many plot threads in place that range between the likes of the happiness of the common folk, determining how to utilise special resources you’ve recovered, whether to venture further afield from your Kingdom to discover vast riches, whether or not to punish those who don’t follow the laws of your Kingdom, or how to deal with the whispers of dark magic, just to name a few. Best of all, everything expands into a grander narrative, with even the most minor of differences bringing with them benefits and consequences that will ultimately forge the fate of the Kingdom. You won’t run out of variety in the choices you face quick either, so there’s plenty of replayability to be found in the experience.
“The concept of the game is so simple given that it comes down to essentially saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to a series of decisions, but the way that these choices affect so much ensures there are elements of strategy, deceit, and even a bit of luck in everything you do.”
Whilst these decisions will shape the narrative, they also affect the Kingdom’s resources in varying ways. Some actions may help build up your resources, but others will deplete them – it might seem like it makes sense to keep your resources healthy, but the decisions that shape them are never black and white, with the player having to look at the bigger picture to determine what’s best for the Kingdom (or, in some more selfish but objective-driven instances, their house’s goals).
Your decisions also bring with them other consequences, such as changing your relationship with the other houses. Whilst you ultimately determine the choices made, you’ll also get to see how the other houses have voted in these decisions. The ones who agree with you? You’ll keep them happy. Those that don’t? Expect relations to sour. There are ways you can fix this, but you can’t expect to please everyone and constantly keep the peace. Meanwhile, your choices will affect the King’s fate too, with their reign ending in varying ways depending on your decisions and how the Kingdom and its resources are managed. A new King will be crowned so it doesn’t mean game over, but it will reset varying aspects of the gameplay to cater to the new reign.
There’s so much going on in The King’s Dilemma: Chronicles that it’s difficult to cover it here; not only because of the depth of the experience, but also because I don’t really want to spoil some of the choices you face. I haven’t even mentioned how your choices might form alliances with other nations, help build up a stronger army, or keep your medical supplies in good shape to look after your Kingdom, whilst there’s also the overarching narrative based around an ancient prophecy that tells of an uprising that you build up towards – there is a LOT going on. The concept of the game is so simple given that it comes down to essentially saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to a series of decisions, but the way that these choices affect so much ensures there are elements of strategy, deceit, and even a bit of luck in everything you do. But man, each revelation or twist you encounter is so engrossing that it’s hard not to be glued to the screen as you play. Whilst a decision you make might work out in that moment, you never know how it might come back to haunt you somewhere down the line, with the unpredictable nature of the game’s storytelling one of the highlights of the experience.
Check out some screenshots down below:
I’ve found myself completely enthralled with The King’s Dilemma: Chronicles, with the addictive gameplay loop keeping me constantly entertained with each playthrough. It can be a bit text-heavy and the UI and core mechanics will take some getting used to (I’d be lying if I said I even knew what I was really doing on my first playthrough), but it’s one of those games that just gets its hooks into you and won’t let go. Add to that the wonderful illustrations that showcase the world and your decisions and you’ll quickly find that the game is one strategic experience that’s definitely worth your attention.
The King's Dilemma: Chronicles Review
The King’s Dilemma: Chronicles delivers a unique strategy experience that’ll hook players in with its brilliant decision-making gameplay and gripping plotline. I genuinely found myself engrossed in the game from the moment I started playing, and whilst there is a bit of a learning curve before you figure things out, the steps to get there are always entertaining. Players will have to juggle a lot of different mechanics as they progress through the game and there’s as much of an emphasis placed on luck as there is strategic nuance, but it’s the unpredictable nature of the game that makes it so entertaining. If you’re a fan of strategy action with a clever narrative-driven twist, you won’t want to miss out on The King’s Dilemma: Chronicles.
Developer: Big Trouble
Publisher: Big Trouble
Platform(s): PC (Reviewed)