Sweet Kingdom, Dude
The model used by Royal Idle: Medieval Quest is familiar: acquire the assets so that you can make money, so that you can get more assets, which in turn will make you even more money. And you repeat this ad infinitum (and sometimes ad nauseum).
That said, the game does add color and narrative to the mix. You’re a king who builds villages and fills them with characters who run your businesses for you. Gameplay has that usual casino-style, dopamine-activating reward system that defines the idle genre. There is a reason this genre has become so popular–I got addicted, and I still am.
Still, playing Medieval Quest means inhabiting a whimsical reality in addition to participating in the usual dopamine chase. Mainly, I’m referring to new buildings and zany new characters (like acrobats and cheesemakers).
Start your town with your first and only free building (the rest will cost you some of your not-so-hard-earned coins). Get things going by tapping on the building a few times to produce some goods. A few more taps get your goods transported via horse and buggy to the harbor. From there, you tap a ship that takes the goods off and brings you back the equivalent in coins. Thus has your medieval quest begun.
Coins equal power. Use them to upgrade the buildings you have, as well as build new ones. Finally, assign villagers to buildings to automate production so you can make money while you’re away. Returning to the game yields a nice greeting that refers to you as “your Majesty!” It also tells you how much money your villagers made while you were gone.
The quests are the driving force of the game. Finishing them gets you to new towns and moves you further along the map. Completing each quest also earns you a chest filled with goodies (elixir and new villagers). You also get a new free chest every 4 hours. It’s a little pick-me-up that definitely helps move things forward.
Make sure that you maintain a supply of elixirs and emeralds in addition to coins. Perhaps “elixirs” and “emeralds” are just fancy words for “purple money” and “green gem money.” But sometimes you can’t move forward in Royal Idle with coins alone, and the circumstance calls specifically for elixir. For example, sometimes the object of a quest is to collect or spend a specific amount of that purple goodness. Meanwhile, the only way you can upgrade your villagers (which is a crucial part of progressing through the game) is using elixir—or emeralds, if you have them.
On the subject of emeralds: they take a long time to collect. You don’t want just to use them all willy-nilly. I cannot understate this. To elaborate, I started off with maybe a couple hundred emeralds (if that), spent them on some lavish village nonsense that I was all excited about and now can’t even remember exactly what it was, and have had a meager three emeralds to my name since. I do not believe I have seen a single emerald jump out at me from a chest. I also have not seen any other means of getting them except for paying real dollars or filling out surveys for major corporations. Save your emeralds. If you need to upgrade a villager to move forward but don’t have enough elixirs, emeralds can be used to cover the difference, and they have more value per unit than the elixirs do.
Gimme that Dopamine
I doubt that Kongregate was trying to reinvent anything with Royal Idle: Medieval Quest. They did, however, manage to create a compelling game that keeps the player curious in addition to getting hooked on rewards. Plus, the title’s graphics are cute. The characters are highly expressive, giving the player a sense that they have unique and separate personalities.
Don’t get me wrong though—at the end of the day, it’s all about those coins (and elixirs and emeralds if you have them). There is no escaping the fact that this is an idle game, and that therefore, its main appeal is that it’s just fun to get more stuff.
I would discourage anyone from going into this game expecting to be blown away, but that would be because of its genre more than anything else. There is a story here. That, coupled with the casino-style reward system, is enough to keep the player pumping through quests. Medieval Quest isn’t going to change your life. There are certainly many other choices in your app store that have a more fleshed-out story and require a higher level of skill and strategy. But if you’re into the idle genre, this title will keep you entertained.
Is it Hardcore?
Royal Idle: Medieval Quest is an addictive play with an array of tasks, places, and characters that prevent things from feeling too repetitive. Hardcore gamers may want to skip this one, but it should definitely be a good enough time for a casual play.