Games · Reviews

King’s Smith

As a result of a suggestion a few days ago, I happened to download and install (for free, it was a one day thing) a game called King’s Smith.

This is my review.

King’s Smith is a time management game. There are lots and lots of these.  They all have about the same basic driving force.

In case you are unfamiliar with time management games, I provide you, as an example, a theoretical time management game named “Shave the Yak”.

You have a goal. The goal is to get dressed.

Egad! Moths have eaten all of your clothes!

You need you make some clothes!

Fortunately, you have a small supply of yak-wool cloth and a small supply of yak-thread, enough for you to make yourself a pair of speedos with the sewing machine that you have inside the house.

At least with a pair of speedos on (provided you’re a dude) you can go outside.

If you’re a girl, I recommend making yourself a yak-woolen bikini top and thong.

Scratchy? Yes, but it covers all of your naughty bits, and will allow you to go outside.

Outside you have a loom with which to make more yak-wool cloth, but, again alas, you are out of yak-thread.

So, to the barn, to make use of the spinning wheel, to make more yak-thread!

Oh, no! You are completely out of yak hair!

To the yak pen, where we can shear a yak, and get more yak hair!

You go to the yak pen, but your yak-shaver is too dull. You will need to sharpen it!

Quickly, now, you’re running out of time!  To the sharpening stone!

Arrrrrgh! The stone is too dry! (Dear Liza, Dear Liza)

You will need to fetch water to wet it!

And THERE’S A HOLE IN THE BUCKET!!!!!!!

In the end, if you plan it out and time it out correctly, balancing a number of factors, you will wind up getting dressed, and winning the level.

The second, and subsequent levels, get even harder.

Fortunately, in each level, you get to upgrade your yak shaver, spinning wheel, yak-thread loom, and sewing machine so that they can go faster from then on.

The game King’s Smith is like Shave the Yak, but instead deals in taking rusty weapons, shining them up, gold plating them, and jewel encrusting them so that they can either sit there passively and gain income, be sold for another stream of income, or to fulfill some sort of level quest requirement.

The Yak game description is more amusing, but gets the sorts of shenanigans across a little better.

Other factors aside, I think King’s Smith is a fantastic time management game.  Like most time management games, it goes through a series of levels that are tied together by a story. In this case, it is a story of a young woman who wants to be a blacksmith, and learns from her grandfather.  Eventually, she goes off for other adventures (and that’s as far as I’ve gotten so far).

Did I like it? Yes.

Did I expect to like it? Yes.

Would I recommend it? Yes.

What things did I like best?

  • The gold star/silver star/bronze star awarded based on how quickly you finished the level.  Certain levels are only unlocked if all the rest of the group are gold.
  • Incremental difficulty while being intuitive. They did a good job here of easing me into their version of YakWorld.
  • The ability to buy things that make future levels a little easier.  A good job on balance here as well.

What things did I like least?

  • A minor thing, really. The story mode is fine by me, most of these games have them.  However, during the story dialog, I have to actually move the mouse and click the green checkbox button.  When grandpa is talking to the girl, I have to go back and forth between the two windows. Sometimes grandpa gets a little chatty, and I get tired of it, and just want to move on.  I as yet have not found a key on the keyboard which closes whatever modal dialog box is up.

So, I got this game for free, but it looks like the game is about $7, which is cheaper than a movie, and will last longer.  Or at least download their free trial.

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