Row Sham Bow returns to Facebook with the recently launched Knights of the Rose
Everyone loves a stealthy game launch. When the game in question, Knights of the Rose, is being distributed by Row Sham Bow – the company behind Gamezebo’s runner-up for 2011 Facebook Game of the Year, Woodland Heroes – it’s even more intriguing. And when said game’s website claims that it is “an epic tactical RPG that brings one of the deepest gaming experiences to Facebook,” you’d better believe we want to know more.
Knights of the Rose may have crept up on the gaming world, but it’snow in public beta on Facebook and eventually destined for Zynga.com. Like the best of the emerging wave of social games, it’s hard to pigeonhole by giving it a simple genre label, which is a good thing. On one hand, it’s a city builder with building upgrades and resources to manage. It’s also a tactical fantasy combat exercise that depends on your ability to train troops and deploy them in battle properly.
Of course there are RPG elements just as the website promises, as you’ll be recruiting heroes to lead your armies, leveling them up and making sure they are equipped with the best possible gear. Lest we forget, it’s also a social game, with all of the positive (and yes, a few negative) connotations that term brings to the table. Oh, and just to top it all off, there are terms like multiplayer PvP and guilds that you usually only hear in MMOs.
If that sounds like serious business that might scare off the typical social gamer, I wouldn’t necessarily disagree. Still, Knights of the Rose has its tongue at least partially in cheek thanks to an unexpected protagonist that flips the script on the usual swords and sorcery fare. There’s plenty of humor on display even in the more mundane parts of the gameplay. When you click on one of your hard working citizens to collect gold, a giant gloved hand comes down from the sky, Monty Python style, and literally shakes the coins out of the poor peasant’s pockets.
In fact the development team at Perfect World Entertainment has a lot of things falling from the sky in this one, and I’m not 100 percent sure what’s up with that. What I do know is that this is a game that seems to be aimed for the sweet spot between the demographic that plays a lot of Facebook games and the holy grail of untapped social audiences, the so-called core gamers. It’s an ambitious target to try to hit, but Knights of the Rose certainly looks like it has a shot.