A location-based game that never finds its way
It’s good to be different from the pack, and that’s especially true on Facebook. However, the difference that makes Parallel Kingdom stand out is far from positive. A sort of “location-based” role playing game, the title feels more lazy than innovative, offering nothing significant other than a gimmick that does nothing but provide novelty.
Perhaps best described as a fantasy game, Parallel Kingdom plants you into the magical realm of your own city. The app consists of Google Maps with crude overlays of territories, static creatures with bobble heads, a few buildings, and random trees all scattered on top of it. Meanwhile, players control a disembodied floating head and click on these images to interact with them.
Of course, the interaction is about as lax as everything else in the game as most of it consists of either buying items or attacking them. The latter is real fun too, as it consists of a single click and watching numbers pop-up. Upon slaying whatever is being fought, experience is earned and the subsequent skill points can be used to level up crafting skills and a handful of marginal combat skills (such as a charge that does extra damage). Oh, but get this. In order to level up, you have to buy food from trade post buildings that must be found. Thankfully, players at least start with enough food to level up about three or so times.
As best as we can figure, the core point of the game is to move around your town and claim territories marked by flags. Upon traveling to each territory, new creatures, items, and buildings can be found but nothing stands out. Even when encountering a dragon, the only nuance was that it “flew” away at low health and had to be tracked back down. These territories also mark an apparent player-versus-player element to the game in which you can declare war on other users and try and take their territory as your own.
In this regard, there appears to be a very, very loose association to games like Evony where buildings can be created (e.g. castle strongholds and war camps), to make your space more defensible. To do this though, a good deal of crafting materials need be collected, which means venturing out into the world in search of creatures that drop it when slain or finding resource veins to exploit. What makes this epic endeavor even better though is that it is all done by walking the dog.
Yes, to explore new parts of the world you have to… walk the dog. Because that’s what every noble adventurer in the middle ages wanted to do. Considering that the game likes to randomly place inns on interstates though, perhaps the absurdity can’t be helped.
Parallel Kingdom is flat out boring. The play is nothing but clicking a sea of uninspired sprites or icons that is often followed by a large volume of text. On top of this, the general visual style is completely non-existent and the fantasy theme doesn’t fit within a location based game in the least. To make matters worse, the game runs poorly since it is constantly loading Google Maps, and certain menu windows are buggy and cannot be closed once opened.
Overall, Parallel Kingdom is just a lazy game with a novelty gimmick. Nothing works well together and all the mechanics are collections of things that worked in better role playing games. Most of them feel like they came from a checklist on fantasy titles (dragons, blacksmithing, random-number generator, etc.) with nothing new other than its use of your real world location in map form. Suffice to say, the concept may have potential, but the game in its current state is no fun at all.