The game begins with an open landscape – a few rocks, some trees, and not much else. Your job is to tame the land and build a kingdom. You begin with a town hall, then add some peasants’ quarters and farmland, and are soon you are on your way to bigger things such as markets and castles.
At the start, I found the game confusing. There are several steps you need to follow to get going. Those steps were not always clear and when I followed them, I essentially got error messages and couldn’t proceed. The solution to this was to wait it out to accumulate more resources before I could move ahead.
Monarchia: Second Dawn ($1.99) isn’t a game you will play for hours on end. Like other kingdom-building games, it needs small doses of ongoing attention. The peasants require time to complete their tasks and you’ll need to wait for them to finish their work before you can continue building your kingdom.
With a little patience and an eye toward your mission task list, you slowly acquire the resources to build the structures you need to move your hamlet to a town and then city. You are given a list of specific structures and professions that are needed to move to the next level. But you have control over where, and in which order, you place these structures and grow the professions. The farther you advance, the more options you have.
The graphics are smooth enough, but with the camera angle tied to the accelerometer, you’re going to have to have a steady hand to not get motion-sick. There is an option to turn the accelerometer control off, and I’d suggest doing that after a bit of exploring. On the plus side, it is nice to see your kingdom from all angles and to move around in it. The music is appropriate to the setting, but occasionally the bird chirping got to be a bit much.
- Lots of options for growing your kingdom
- Familiar sequence of events to progress your civilization
- Constantly moving camera angle gets old
- Slow to get started, several steps have to be followed in sequence
- No social component so you can play with/against others