The games that come out of Kickstarter come in various shapes and genres, although not all of them are successes. But those that do turn out to be really good are followed with others, and that genre somehow experiences a resurgence of sorts. But in this case, this game’s genre was made popular again by a major developer known for their turn-based games. Battle Worlds: Kronos takes the gameplay seen in Firaxis’ Civilization V and XCOM: Enemy Unknown, almost like a combination of sorts that lets you send in tanks and various other implements of warfare towards the enemy.
Battle Worlds: Kronos by German developer KING Art Games takes the old formula of turn-based strategy and brings it to the new age. Its tactical combat gameplay is indeed its main feature, with plenty of elements that strategy gamers will find to be quite familiar. The hex system is a lot like that of Civilization V, making for greater degree of movement compared to games in this genre that use square grids. That helps with tactical possibilities like flanking maneuvers and such, so you’re in good hands if you’re into that sort of stuff. As a Kickstarter project, this is indeed a pretty good result as it does look and play well for the most part.
The visuals are quite nice, taking design inspiration from the Command and Conquer series, but it also feels a bit like a sci-fi Heroes of Might and Magic. Both of these make for a pretty good experience. The interface was made to be as minimal as possible to balance out simplicity with functionality. The units are indicated with bright blue and red colors to contrast between teams, and they do stand out in the map that is also rendered with a healthy bit of HDR. The music is also pretty good as it has subdued beats that permeates the ambience, like a bit of a calm before the storm. The rest of the audio though does sound like most of them are from stock, so perhaps it’s because developers had to make use of what they could during development.
The singleplayer campaign is composed of 26 challenging missions, which is pretty good as something that will fill your time and thoughts for quite a while, and you can find yourself playing it again if you are really into it. The online multiplayer is also fundametally good, even though it does need some fixing at this point. As for the multiplayer mode, it shows potential with its easy-to-play controls and interface, so much KING Art can release this for consoles or mobile platforms and it will still play well, a lot like how XCOM: Enemy Unknown is. They are kind of wonky in this release version of the game though, but perhaps the developers would kindly come up with a patch to fix them.
It’s well-made, although not perfect due to the nature of its development as It’s quite solid in the basics, but is not deep enough to be compelling in the long run. In the advanced level, it doesn’t introduce more mechanics to really make it sink in as a very serious tactical game and boils back down to the numbers game, so veterans in the genre will find it to be rather lacking. As for the AI, it does need quite a bit of work though due to lack of consistency throughout the game with its strength. Also, while the simple interface works well for the most part, it doesn’t make for learning what each unit does very easily, so a bit of trial-and-error is still necessary.
KING Art is a company best known for adventure games, namely The Raven: Legacy of a Master Thief. For them to venture into a completely different genre and do this well just shows how good they are at making games, so it gives gamers more confidence in supporting their future efforts. It is $30 though, so you have to cough up quite a bit of dough or wait a long while for a sale if you want to play this game.
Tested in PC. Final Score: 8/10