Sovereign: Kingdoms is an accessible city building RPG
Sovereign: Kingdoms isn’t a particularly original game. In it, you get to build and manage a budding rural village, travel to strange places, fight vicious monsters, and customize your very own adventurer. It’s sort of like a role playing game crossed with a city building sim. And while neither of those aspects is all that engaging on their own, they come together to form a decent and rather addictive experience.
You play as a budding adventurer with a small plot of land and a pocket full of gold coins. There isn’t really a story holding the experience together, but the game world is surprisingly compelling. There are different areas, each with brief descriptions, and you’ll come across plenty of interesting missions along the way. The game is essentially divided into two parts: your character and your town.
When you’re on your plot of land, things work like most social city builders. You can buy building and homes, which will produce goods like food and stone at regular intervals, and your reach will continue to expand as you play. You can increase the size of your plot, or even purchase new plots in different areas. In addition, you can upgrade buildings and unlock new ones, though the selection is pretty paltry at present.
But in addition to controlling your village, you’re also controlling your character. And this works like a fairly traditional RPG. You can equip weapons and armor, and as you level up your skills will increase. These options let you customize your avatar however you like. Each area in the game has a market where you can buy and sell goods, as well as the option to explore. Here you’ll be treated to text descriptions of quests and events. Sometimes you’ll find gold or new items, sometimes you’ll have to face-off against an orc in some relatively simple first-person, turn-based combat.
Now on their own neither of these elements is particularly compelling, but put together they work quite well. Sovereign features an energy system comparable to most similar games, that limits the amount of actions you can take in any given play session. And this makes it a game that’s great in small doses. You can pop in, check on your village, do a little adventuring, and then pop back in a few hours later. The game even lets you customize things like the time when food will harvest to better suit your schedule.
Though it’s essentially a menu-based game, Sovereign features some nice, if inconsistent, art to keep things interesting. There are monster portraits during battle and scenic landscapes to look at when you visit a new area. Problem is that, even though most of the art looks great, it doesn’t always mesh well. At times it feels as though a group of several artists contributed without ever actually consulting with one another.
Sovereign: Kingdoms doesn’t have the sheer depth of a game like Haypi Kingdom, but it’s a much more accessible experience. It makes up for a lack of depth by having lots of different things for you to do, from going on adventures to managing a small village. It’s not the kind of game that will have you playing for hours at a time, but instead it’s a great way to get a satisfying dose of RPG action on the go.