Monarchy is a brand new game from the developer studio, Big Boot Games. Previewed and also pitched in the Indie Pitch Arena at the recent Mobile Games Asia in Kuala Lumpur, Monarchy comes out as a hidden gem for social and boardgamers alike.
Monarchy is a turn based social board game experience that merges simplicity of Snakes & Ladders with tactical strategy offered by Chess & Tower Defense uniquely.
Monarchy plays out like any real time strategy games out there with added twists of Othello, a reversi-type game, tic-tac-toe and turn-based dice rolling actions all mixed into this one unique game. This makes it an extremely tactical game fit for those who looks for such challenges. Take a look at the gameplay here
When you first start the game, Monarchy’s in-game tutorial does a good job introducing you to its gameplay mechanics by clearly pointing out the user interface and the rules.
The first thing the player will notice is the beautifully detailed design of the board, where the majority of the game will take place. The four corners are the player icons with the important details easily shown. There are the dice rolling UI on the left of the board and Power Cards on the right.
Players will start with 25 soldiers and 4 knights. The goal of the game is to have all 4 knights reaching the middle of the board with the help of the 25 available soldiers bridging the way there.
Players at every turn get to choose between rolling a die, picking up a Power Card and if the player has picked up a card before playing then it’s playing a card. If the player chooses to roll the die, on each roll of the die, the player gets to decide between placing soldiers or moving the knights by the given rolled number.
For this example, if a number 3 is rolled. The player can choose to either place 3 soldiers on the board or move knights by 3 blocks. The tactical and strategy aspect of the game comes in when you actually try to block your opponent from placing enough soldiers to get their knights to the middle.
If blocking the way of soldiers creates tension, which in every way it should, the player or the opponent of that turn can decide to battle. Battling takes place on an overlay above the board. Both the player and opponent battling it out will get a chance at rolling the dice, with the highest number giving out damage. Space will be given to the higher damage roller with the losing soldier being kicked back into his respective deck.
Not happy with the current setup? Want to have the upper hand with battles? This is where the Power Card comes into play. With the dice rolled, players can use up one of or all of their actions points drawing and using Power Cards. These cards have the ability to turn the tide of battle. Flipping your opponents card to become your cards are one of my favourites! (Oh, the days of Othello).
Speaking to the developers about multiplayer, they jumped up excitedly. Looks like gamers who look for a more digital way to spend their time together can jump into the game’s multiplayer mode of up to 4 players locally and over the internet.
Given that some games can last awhile for the more tactically planning players, the developers also said that they’re implementing asynchronous multiplayer mode too.
This mode is no strangers to players who plays multiplayer games on social sites like Facebook. Notifications to the players will pop when the opponents have made their moves. This way, players are able to jump in and out of multiple games at the same time.
Monarchy flaunts its strength in boardgaming which attracts the attention of boardgamers like me. Though I can jump in and understand and grasp the gameplay concepts quite quickly, I can foresee hardcore players who have never touched a boardgame before might have a hard time doing it. But if they do take the time to learn about this game, they’re going to see the gem in the rough just as I did.
If there is a reminder to gamers that boardgaming can exist on the digital playground with other games out there as well, Monarchy is one.
Monarchy is a game developed by a two-person studio, Big Boot Games. The game is available soon on iOS, Android ,PC/Mac and Web towards the end of the year with a physical release of the game in mind in the future.