Kingdom of Arcadia is a new platformer which has a touch of Rick Dangerous, as well as the recent ZX Spectrum Next game, Montana Mike, albeit this one being on quite a larger scale. The Next game could be played in around 20-25 minutes, while this one has been taking me around 75 minutes for each of the four worlds in which to traverse.
The basic premise is that you play a young lad called Sam, who’s been sucked into his Dad’s arcade cabinet and an ornate castle where the evil Draken is ruling the land. You can defeat him if you go through each of the four worlds – each of which contains five levels, defeat an end-of-world boss, collect each of the Magic Sceptres, and then kill Draken, himself. Once you’re done, you can go back to reality.
The reason it took a fair while to go through each world, is because you will die… a lot. Each time you run through a level, if (well, WHEN!) you die, then it’s back to the start of it – albeit not having to recollect coins, so enemies will respawn, but as long as you’ve made some progress – such as pulling a lever on one area to open a door somewhere else, that door will remain open.
You also, effectively, have infinite lives (each of which are made up of a number of ‘hearts’ – like health points), so death is not a problem. There are so many times when I’ve traversed to the end of a very difficult area, say, to pull a level, with just one heart left, so I’m unlikely to make it back to where I was before I continue with the next section. You could just bump yourself off and respawn, but than that would negate the point that this is meant to be challenging, so try your best!
In addition to collecting extra hearts to top up your health, you can pick up more knives (or similar) to throw at baddies, and coins to spend in the shop on better knives, swords and extra hearts to each life, to stop you dying so soon in a game.
I love the way the cute little knight bounces along the screen as you walk and jump, but there are a few niggles at the moment.
Occasionally some sound effects don’t kick in, such as locked doors opening when you pull a lever elsewhere, but that can be fixed with a patch. Similarly, it’s odd that the game doesn’t always bringing up the achievements to show when I complete a level for the first time (all of my gameplay), so it looks like I’ve completed the level previously and this is a further run-through. Why? On checking the trophies after completing the game, it looks to be missing any end-of-level trophies for Worlds 3 and 4, as well as the Magic Sceptres 3 and 4.
Overall, Kingdom of Arcadia is still a very fun game which will give you several hours of gameplay for your money, and it’s just a mere £4.99, so it’s one of the bargains of the year! Get it bought!
Kingdom of Arcadia is out now on PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series S and X, all on their respective digital stores.
- Developer: East Asiasoft
- Publisher: East Asiasoft
- Players: single-player
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.