Parents' Guide to

Kingdom: Two Crowns - Norse Lands

By Angelica Guarino, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Strategic side-scroller teaches time, resource management.

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Strategy games that ask players to manage multiple resources can feel complicated and hectic, but this title feels meditative while still remaining engaging. There's room to breathe in Kingdom: Two Crowns -- Norse Lands, meaning that it's easier to focus on obtaining permanent upgrades than in similar titles, instead of making the player feel the need to constantly rush between the kingdom's opposite outer walls to make sure they are intact. There's also little-to-no instruction as to how to progress, and while this is usually a source of frustration for many, Norse Lands makes this choice feel fun and intentional by always telling players if they can interact with an item. This places the responsibility on the player to watch what happens to their kingdom after they interact with a new item, as opposed to leaving players with no hints as to what to do next.

Difficulty scaling is also up to the player to control, and this reacts well with the calculated risks players must take in traveling to the next level. If a player is defeated, which occurs when an enemy attacks and steals the monarch's crown, players are sent back to island #1 with a new sprite acting as monarch, called a new "heir" in-game. Some upgrades do end up being permanent, but many others will reset with every new heir, and players learn through trial and error when and how to travel across the lands outside their kingdom's walls to avoid attacks. Nothing in Norse lands feels revolutionary, but it's small touches like the slightly more relaxed pace and astoundingly simple controls that make it fill a unique slot within the side-scrolling strategy genre. It applies a seemingly simple formula, but in practice, this is a title that has appeal for all types of players, including those of a very wide age and experience range.

Game Details

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