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Kingmaker -The quest for the crown logo

T Kingmaker he period of British history between 1455 and 1483 is known as The War of the Roses – indeed, you may have seen the film starring Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas. And in 1974, a board game about that period of history was introduced with the title of Kingmaker. Now it is time for the blody war battles to appear live and direct on your Amiga. This is your chance to rewrite the already muddied annals of mediaeval history.

Brief history lesson. The Hundred Years War with France ends in ignominy for the English king. Some of the folk in the kingdom are a tad peeved and decide that a new king would not be an altogether bad idea. Naturally, the king is a bit reticent in the departure lounge. Then a Tannoy announces that the House of York are gather together a major posse, while the House of Lancaster are fairly busy in the old ‘getting some chaps together’ department. And so it kicks off for a few years.

Right royal adventure
Kingmaker is a point ‘n’ click strategy adventure game in which the ultimate aim is to be in control of the one surviving royal piece, becoming, in the process, undisputed King (or Queen) of England. To do this, you must capture an heir and kill all his rivals before getting him crowned King in a cathedral. It is not as easy as it sounds.

Kingmaker All the historical personalities in the game are factual (you will have to take US Gold’s word for it) and you control a faction of nobles – you can also choose how many factions you wish to face (between one and five). Other options include two difficulty levels, and the enchantingly named ‘Advanced Plague’ when infection can break out across towns, cities, parts and the countryside. It can even kill the royals. Cue demonic laughter. Aha ha ha ha. Aha.

There is an Autohelp facility which provides help and advice on all facets of the game, useful for those who are new to strategy games, and for those that have not got a clue what is going on.

Taking a pasting
But the path to righteous justice is not smooth. The Plague can be a pest, peasants can revolt, and vast armies can give you a pasting. Control is via mouse and keyboard, and after the initial learning process, the icons become familiar. The 150-page manual is packed with historical info and it is one of the few I have enjoyed reading from cover to cover.

Kingmaker is not purely icon clicking – there are graphic interludes and you can control the visual combat scenes using the mouse. Similar to a board game in that you move, and then your Amiga counters it, Kingmaker is an enjoyable, if bloody, romp through one of England’s most turbulent periods. Even though it is well researched, £38 is a tad too steep for even the most enthusiastic battler.
Stephen Bradley

Amiga Format, Issue 54, Christmas 1993, p.90

Graham Lilley
US Gold 021-625 3388
Out now


07 out of 10
The icons are clear and the graphics reasonably impressive, although not exceptional.

06 out of 10
Not Kingmaker’s most distinguishing feature, considering most of the game is without it.

08 out of 10
If you are into armour and chain mail, you will not be able to get off the battlefield too easily.

07 out of 10
Usual strategy stuff – tough at the start, but persistence brings rewards in the end.

"Kingmaker is a comprehensive and very well-researched adventure game, though rather expensive at £37.99."

Kingmaker -The quest for the crown logo

Ausflüge ins militärpolitische Strategielager veranstaltet U.S. Gold ja eher selten – und nach dieser gründlich mißlungenen Brettspielversoftung ahnt man auch, warum...

Kingmaker Wie bei der Pappvorlage von TM Games spielt das Geschehen in England zur Zeit der Rosenkriege, als sich diverse Blaublüter um die Thronfolge zankten. Im Wettstreit mit bis zu fünf Digi-Feldherrn soll man seinen ganz persönlichen Kronenkorken unterst:utzen und die Konkurrenz von der britischen Landkarte fegen. Das macht man durch rundenweises Umherschieben der eigenen Einheiten auf eben-dieser Karte; sobald es dabei zur Begegnung mit dem Feind kommt, wird das Ergebnis der Schlacht wahlweise auf einem separaten Kampfscreen (in Echtzeit à la "Centurion") ausgefochten oder einfach vom Amiga ausgewürfelt. Daneben sorgen aber auch die Pest, das englische Wetter und die eigenen Leidadeligen für Ärger; letztere, weil sie ständig mit Titeln und Pöstchen bei Laune gehalten werden wollen.

Aus diesem Konzept läßt sich vieles machen, also auch ein miserables Spiel: Die Landkarte ist schon arg spartanisch ausgefallen, aber der Kampfscreen sieht nur noch nach Grafikfehler aus. Dazu flackern die Sprites erbärmlich, der Sound wird von jeder Textverarbeitung übertroffen, und das Spieltempo ist selbst auf dem 1200er reif für das Guiness-Schwarzbuch der Negativrekorde!

Ansonsten könnte man über die Maussteuerung sogar noch diskutieren, bei den eingestreuten Bugs und sonstigen Merkwürdigkeiten des Programms hört der Spaß dagegen auf: Manchmal verschwinden ganze Armeen vorübergehend einfach vom Screen, und siw die Schlachten ausgehen, bestimmt anscheinend der nackte Zufall. Nö, diese Rose hat eindeutig ein paar Dornen zuviel.. (mic)

Amiga Joker, February 1994, p.20

Amiga Joker
1 MB

Kingmaker -The quest for the crown logo


Kingmaker -The quest for the crown A s Tony Horgan said, 'They're a crap band, aren't they?'. That may be the case, but Kingmaker is also the latest tabletop RPG to computer game conversion from US Gold and boy does it smell.
As the title suggests, all you need to do is raise a king from your army and get him on the throne. While you are doing this, up to five other factions are also trying their luck, and before you know it bloody war breaks out all over the land and the whole game starts to look like a poor man's Defender of the Crown.
Visually, the thing is flat and lifeless, and the full map of the UK just doesn't look right. I don't remember seeing mountains in Cornwall, and isn't there supposed to be a river in the south east of England?
Poorly designed and scrappily laid out Kingmaker looks like it was thrown together - a complete disappointment.
Tony Dillon


CU Amiga, December 1993, "HOT! The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" –Amiga games Special, p.24