My Kingdom for the Princess III
Nevosoft’s My Kingdom for the Princess 3 introduces the next generation of characters in the series: the three sons of Arthur and Helen are competing for the affections of one princess, and this situation can’t help but lead to fraternal strife. The game proves to be of as high quality as its predecessors, and will surely be a delight to play for fans of and newcomers to this series.
My Kingdom for the Princess 3 features 60 levels in five different stages, 48 of them being regular levels while the other 12 levels are the same mini-games fans will already know from My Kingdom for the Princess 2. There is only one mode, and in it you can try to beat the developer’s record and finish in expert or regular time in order to move on to the next level. The time limits are pretty fair. The mini-games don’t have to be finished successfully (though you have to try it once). The game is extremely long, some levels will take more than ten minutes easily even within expert time, so plan to invest at least six to eight hours to finish.
The developers have remained pretty faithful to the gameplay of the original two games. There are no fancy new buildings or additional unnecessary features - just the right balance for a challenging and diverse resource management experience. Sawmills, gold mines and farms have to be constructed to produce wood, gold and food, a variety of buildings allow hunters and priests to chase away bears, snakes and ghosts, while the treasury produces one or more units of every resource and the warehouse increases the units you receive out of collecting resources from the road. Of course the player is also still able to upgrade buildings for higher efficiency.
The goals of the different levels in My Kingdom for the Princess 3 mostly include building bridges, collecting a specific number of resources, removing large rocks, chasing away animals and salvaging crystals, flowers and artifacts. To do so you mainly have to clear all parts and junctions of the road, thereby collecting resources, removing obstacles or dealing with wild animals. As it is typical for this genre the main crux is to decide which way to go first, which upgrades are more important than others in the beginning and when to use which bonus.
The bonuses are probably the most interesting feature in My Kingdom for the Princess 3 and contrast favourably to other titles of this genre. Different bonuses (that change for every level) are displayed next to a bar which fills up with time. As soon as the bar reaches a bonus you can choose it or wait for the next bonus to be activated. This adds an important and motivating layer of strategy to the game, since every level plays highly different depending on how often and at which point you use certain bonuses. Some speed up your workers, others halve the cost of removing obstacles or increase productivity of your buildings.
The most notable change probably is the rearrangement of the interface. Goals, resources and bonuses are now displayed at the left and right side of the screen. This takes some time to get used to, but in the end improves the flow and the atmosphere of the game. Furthermore small buttons of each resource will appear randomly on screen when your workers have been idle for a few seconds. While this is indeed just a minor additional feature, it makes it impossible to really get stuck with regards to resources.
Beside the fact that there is only one mode there is only one issue we still have with My Kingdom for the Princess 3 - the player cannot chain any tasks and always has to wait until at least one worker returns. While I was never sure if this was necessary to create a balanced game, the recent release of Hidden World has proven that it is not, and that boring and at times frustrating breaks can be avoided in such a game.
However, all in all the game is a perfect example for a high quality and engaging casual game. It’s hard to describe what exactly makes My Kingdom for the Princess so much better than all similar titles. Whether it’s the alluring charm of the founder of the genre, the beautiful and lush graphics and sceneries, or the brilliant induction of bonuses and buildings, the game is still the measure of all things in this genre. If you enjoyed similar titles or are a fan of this series don’t hesitate to give this newest installment a try, you surely won’t be disappointed.
- Gorgeous graphics. Very convincing variety and inclusion of bonuses. Extremely long playing time. Highly challenging, but rarely unfair. Well-balanced design of levels. Five distinct worlds.
- Only one mode. It’s still not possible to chain tasks.