King Arthur’s Gold

Imagine someone grabbed Terraria and Worms Armageddon and smashed them together along with terrain physics. That’s KAG in a nutshell. Only better. Oh, so much better.

King Arthur’s Gold (which mentions no such thing) is a sidescroller focused on building and destroying. I don’t think it really fits a specific genre, so let’s borrow the term used by Transhuman Design to baptize their wonder child: a build ‘n’ kill.

In a feat of seduction, they offer you a free version with less features than the paid one only to leave you drooling at the possibilities of the finished product, like half a Kitkat dangling freely outside a locked chest half-filled with Lindt chocolate, except they tell you the chest will be completely filled, and will eventually include praline and nuts. It’s only an early beta, after all, but I was nevertheless immediately hooked, so I promptly bought it and it has been a pain to stop playing.

The singleplayer better improve dramatically when they’re done with the game, because Deathmatch is just a combat tutorial against clones of some poor bloke named Henry, and Sandbox is the definition of boredom: completely alone in an small, empty map in order to build whatever I feel like with infinite resources and the ability to conjure the map editor. Why am I going to build anything if I don’t have to defend myself? Just call it Map Editor and open its interface directly. Then there’s Zombie Fortress just for the fat cats like me, able to cough up 13 dollars like it’s 10 bucks. This mode is almost exactly like Terraria, except there’s less to do. You just have to survive the nights and recruit retarded migrants to help you repel waves of undead.

Can’t touch this. Dun dun-dun-dun…

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Night comes so fast I found myself dying repeatedly until the random map generated the ruins of a tower tall enough to grant me some time to build a decent fortress. I may just be a sucky builder, though. The absence of a save function in this mode renders it pointless. Sure, you can save the MAP, but as far as I could tell you can’t save your progress in it.

Having said this, the singleplayer in MOVE! as of now is at best mediocre and aimless. We are instead witnessing an event similar to that of a blue moon in gaming: When the multiplayer mode cumbersomely carries the entirety of the game’s glory upon its shoulders, like a proud, fat and zitty Atlas somewhat saddened that he cannot reach his Cheetos without dropping the world on his head.

Yes, the multiplayer arena is delightfully, addictively, structure-crumblingly, absolutely FUN. There are three classes to choose from, and each of them has its own particular way of being a dick to its surroundings. As one of the seven dwarves, you have the chance to play God and decide whether the enemy knight coming your way will take a shovel, a spiky wall or an entire building to the face. As Sir Bombalot, you seem to enjoy divine protection, since not only does your shield have the power to break the laws of physics to serve as a parachute, you’re also able to master bomb-propelled flight while sustaining no damage whatsoever. As William Tell Me You’re Out Of Arrows, you have the ability to go Twilight on trees while crushing the hopes and dreams of every knee in sight (my personal favorite). Losing is fun, winning is fun and seeing structures meet their demise at the hands of physics (and a well-aimed catapult shot) combines a sight of terror with a visual orgasm, regardless of whether you’re part of the collapse.

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The first multiplayer mode I landed on was Capture the Flag, in which teams red and blue fight for a piece of cloth waving to the wind on the opposite side of the world. Thinking this was the only mode available, I then stumbled upon War, I mean, WAR!, where you must drain the opposing team’s reserve of tickets back from hell before yours run out. There’s also Rapid Deathmatch, which is the same except there aren’t any respawn tickets to be used, and Gold Hunt, or so I’ve heard, since I haven’t set eyes on that one yet.

UPDATE: I thought I’d just add this here: Zombie Fortress seems to have been included as one of the multiplayer modes, effectively obsoleting the singleplayer one. Now you can relive the thrill of Walking Dead in a medieval setting, and without whiny bitchery.

I have only one concern over the long-term future of the multiplayer experience in QUARTERS PLZ!: If the community eventually either rottens or dies, this will effectively become a dead world. I have my doubts concering the latter, though. I mean, look at Worms Armageddon. It’s beyond ancient and there still exists a multiplayer community. That leaves us with the grim possibility that the population of KAGville might eventually consist of nothing but a myriad of douchebags and their corresponding variations, while behind passworded doors some decent folk still play.

Concerning the soundtrack, or rather, the track, the only one that I ever managed to hear in the game is the title screen’s. I couldn’t tell if there were more, I’m not the kind that lingers at the title screen to think about life. It was composed by David Pencil, from Penny Arcade. I think that THEY’RE TUNNELING! would either need a constant soundtrack or none at all. As it is, it feels a bit pointless. But we never know, maybe the finished product will have a say in this too.

For now, I’ll just gaze into the horizon of possibilities with my totally cool and anachronistic glasses.

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9/10

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