Still an original, highly challenging strategy clickfest.
After rebuilding the kingdom in the first game, Knight Arthur is back for another adventure in My Kingdom for the Princess 2 by Nevosoft. The innovative mixture of click management and building simulation still works perfectly, and some new twists along with engaging mini-games ensure a pleasant experience.
The storyline is even more quirky and entertaining than that of the first part. Arthur and his beloved Princess Helen are on their honeymoon on an atoll in the South sea, when they find their travelling balloon ripped to pieces. From then on things only get worse for the couple. The dwarf Longbeard kidnaps Helen, and Arthur has to embark on a long and dangerous journey to save his Princess, with the help of some extraordinary.
My Kingdom for the Princess 2 features a whopping 60 levels on five different islands, each of those five locations consisting of ten regular levels, greatly varying landscapes and tasks, as well as two mini-games. It will take the player roughly seven hours to finish the game, and this estimation does not include replaying levels, which will be more common than you might think, even for time management veterans.
It is nearly impossible to fail levels, which will be a relief for players who prefer slower paces, but it is really hard to finish levels during day (meaning in "gold" time), or even beat the scores of the developers, which are also displayed and a wonderful motivation for experts and high achievers.
While you had to rebuild an entire kingdom in the first game, you now will have to do favors for the various characters one the five different islands to progress, which boils down to tasks like collecting resources, removing obstacles, chasing away animals and bandits, constructing buildings that produce resources, finishing roads, and completing bridges. Each action requires a certain number of one, two, or all three resources in this game, namely gold, food, and wood, and of course a worker who performs the actions.
You can train additional workers, collect resources, and construct buildings such as a sawmill, barracks, a storehouse, or a hunting lodge to progress, but you have to prioritize and think strategically to get ahead as effectively as possible. This already satisfying complexity is increased by the clever implementation of power-ups. In each level you have a fixed variety of the latter, which get activated on a regular basis, indicated by a green time bar. The more helpful or worthwhile the power-up, the longer you have to wait for it be activated.
In My Kingdom for the Princess 2 you can get stuck if you make a wrong decision in the beginning of a level, but you definitely learn from your mistakes, which prevents any frustration in those cases. It simply feels more rewarding to think of a new successful strategy, than progressing successfully by mere clicking.
Small improvements compared to the first part are also a welcome addition to My Kingdom for the Princess 2. Renewing resources are indicated by a little timer, from which the player is able to read how much time is left until he can collect the resource again. Animals such as lions, wolves, snakes, or bandits who block your way are now chased away by hunters, snake charmers, and other special units for whom you certainly have to construct special buildings, too. There are two different mini-games which take place in each location, and both of them are really entertaining, and more importantly, they fit into the game and don’t leave you wondering if you just changed the game by accident. In the first one you have to whack different monsters and ghosts, and in the second one you will navigate Arthur through obstacle routes, thereby collecting coins.
Unfortunately, it is still not possible to chain actions in any way. Of course the original chaining known from dash and time management games would not work here, but some kind of active planning ahead aside from theoretic strategies would be a welcome supplement. Apart from that minor complaint, it would have been nice to be able to skip mini-games, and the sound takes a little getting used to, but the latter aspects are easily forgiven in the course of the game.
All in all My Kingdom for the Princess 2 continues to impress and greatly improves on the unique formula set out by the first game. Flaws are rare to come by and are greatly overshadowed by the positive points and enjoyable features. Similar titles who will try to surpass this series will have to do more than just copying that formula, particularly because My Kingdom for the Princess 2 has just increased the standard notably.
- Different awards to obtain. Beautiful graphics. Diverse landscapes. Interesting power-ups. Easy to progress for beginners, highly challenging to master. Long playtime. Good mini-games that do not feel far-fetched. Strategic thinking required and rewarded. Wonderful improvements over the first part.
- Tasks still cannot be chained in advance. Mini-games can’t be skipped.