Lowell Francis introduced us to Kingdom on Google Hangouts in a game with Bay Chang and Steven Desjardins. Thanks, Lowell!
Kingdom is a game that chronicles the events in a Kingdom. A Kingdom can be anything: a flotilla of ships travelling through space, a post-apocalyptic settlement, or a regional newspaper. Which is the game we sat down for behind our respective monitors.
Kingdom reminds me of Ben Robbins’ previous game, Microscope. Just in the sense of procedure and theme-neutralness it brings. But the two provide very different stories. I quite liked how Kingdom has a big focus on pacing. You set up one issue and then resolve it in six (seven?) beats. I keeps the story tight and focused, even though a lot of other themes may start running through it.
We played The Daily Sentinel game about a newspaper in trouble. You define a few threats that run through the game (social media taking over print, corporate sponsoring vs integrity, etc.) and then choose a crossroads that functions like a chapter but also like a main story for that part.
Our first crossroads (Will the newspaper print the exposé on the Baltimore Orioles that will cost them their main advertiser?) was very tight and brought in all of our threats. People and character were divided into clear camps and both outcomes seemed great and interesting.
The second crossroads (Will the newspaper fall under the control of the mob?) was a bit more sloppy. Since all the treats had come up already, it felt a bit like we were rehashing them. We also had a bit more trouble incorporating the threats into the crossroads.
At the end we were all imagining how the game would run in different settings. So I think it’s a win! I’d certainly like to play it again.