Medieval crafting fun
King Arthur’s Gold is one of those strange indie titles that appears to be constantly in beta – i.e. not completely ready according to the developers, yet still available to purchase in its current state. The game was also in beta back when I played it more than two years ago as well, so it’s anyone’s guess when the “full release” will happen.
Still, there’s a lovely online multiplayer experience to be found in amongst all that treasure, especially if you can get a bunch of friends involved. It may be perhaps a little too “hardcore” for some players, but if you’ve enjoyed 2D sandbox-style games like Terraria and Junk Jack X, then King Arthur’s Gold may well be up your street.
You take control of a war-wager, part of a larger team that is looking to take out the opposing team by any means necessary and steal their flags. Everything provided is in a very medieval vein, from the classes you can select, to the machinery you can take control over. By working together with the rest of your team, it’s possible to build up your castle’s defenses, and then rain hell down on the opposition.
The action takes place on a 2D Terraria-like plane, with each individual block in the world available for smashing up or building on top of. The Builder class is able to chop down trees and build grand-scale structures to keep the enemies out, while the Archers and Knights are tasked with keeping baddies at bay. It’s all about balancing who takes what classes in your team of up to 16 bloodthirsty wretches.
King Arthur’s Gold is a very mechanical game. The controls feel tight, yet very technical – you aim with your mouse to attack, and hold down the mouse button a specific amount of time to deal the most damage. Jumping against walls lets you wall run for a short period, while clicking on the terrain will crack it down to its core at different speeds, depending on your class.
As such, there’s plenty of fun to be had in this multiplayer title – but some more casual players will find its menu system unfriendly, and its general premise untouchable. Some will flail around in a sea of death, not really knowing what their objectives are, and whether they are winning or not.
It’s both a charm and a hindrance, depending on the sort of player you are. While games like the aforementioned Terraria and its inspiration Minecraft are very easy to pick up and play, King Arthur’s Gold isn’t so – rather, it’s a whirlwind of confusion that only really begins to slot into place as you take part in more and more battles.
But when you do manage to finally get into the action, there’s so many options awaiting you: catapults can be driven and fired into the enemy walls; ballistae deal even more damage to stone (and skulls); waterways lead to great battleships fights. It’s a veritable sea of content and chaos.
Since King Arthur’s Gold is physics-based, you begin to notice plenty of fantastic little nuances to the regular video game sandbox patterns too. Bridges will collapse if built incorrectly, for example, while towers will completely shatter and crumble to the ground if struck in the appropriate spot.
Got a bunch of mates ready to take on the world, medieval style? Then King Arthur’s Gold is most definitely for you. It’s nippy, it’s brutal, and it’s even hilarious at times – and that’s how we like our hardcore social experiences.