Apr 5, 20124TL;DR summary: Mediocre MMO exploit-resources-destroy-your-enemies strategy game with a significant social component and an unashamed pay-to-win business model. You need to get into clans and cooperate with other players if you want to climb the rankings, and make no mistake: if you don't spend money in this game you are just meat to the grinder for the paying players.
The longer version:
I've never played the Stronghold series so I can't compare it to that. But if you played an old browser-based game called "Tribal Wars", this is the same basic gameplay with some improvements and a .NET-based client.
You are a feudal lord who rules villages and castles with peasants and resource production facilities. You can use the resources to build armies for making attacks against other player's villages and castles, defending against attacks on your villages and castles, or re-invest the resources to get more resource production facilities. Also there's a leveling up system that opens a technology tree to get better armies and production.
Your villages and castles sit in a global map with many thousands of other players. There are bonuses for cooperating with other players in your immediate geographical vicinity. And as you gain power and level up you can try to gain control over geographical districts, which gives bonuses, but you need to compete with other players and try to gain the support of the lower ranking players in your district to do this.
On top of this is another social layer of a faction and house system - factions are formed by players and factions join houses to attempt to gain global power. Games play out over months, and there are a number of game worlds that you can play in simultaneously, with new game worlds being opened up from time to time.
So winning in this game requires producing lots of resources in your villages, leveling up, building armies, going out to plunder and conquer the villages of other players, and not having your villages conquered by others. On the surface your success in this game seems to depend on social and economic strategy - getting on the winning side of faction wars in your neighborhood and balancing the use of resources to attack, defend, and re-invest in capital to increase the rate of resource production.
However there are additional ways of gaining resources and honor, and the extent to which you can exploit these ways depends on how much time you spend logged on. But when you are logged on, it's actually pretty boring. There's really not much to do but watch your armies to travel around on the global map or watch the timers count down for new buildings or resources to complete in your village.
So there's a bonus for being online a lot, but being online a lot makes the game a boring (it's worse than grinding in an action RPG, because there's not even any action!)
And this is where the one of the developers way of making money from this game - sell "premium account tokens". These are a limited time bonus - effectively a subscription - that automates your account so you can leave orders to attack, resource gather, and build while you are logged out. Basically you get a bonus that a non-paying player could only get by being logged in 24 hours a day.
But there's more. You can buy "card packs" that give you cards you can play for bonuses like one-off resource gains and temporary resource production bonuses. So the more you spend, the stronger you are. In the long term there is no limit to the bonus you can gain this way. So if you just keep paying for more card packs you can gain close to a guarantee of victory.
Add to all that the game hasn't been implemented very well. The client crashes or glitches from time to time, the UI is not all that well designed, and the server infrastructure sometimes gets bogged down. These issues aren't frequent, and to their credit the developers make frequent updates and usually manage to get rid of major bugs pretty quickly, but still there's a background annoyance factor from all this.
Another annoyance - the documentation consists of a poor quality wiki. But at least there's an in-game chat system so you can always ask random strangers for advice.
So to sum that all up once more: the core gameplay is a decent strategy game, but the gameplay model combined with the business model means the game is overwhelmingly pay-to-win. This game is ruled by paying players, and if you don't pay you will eventually be plundered and conquered by paying players who will be much stronger than you by the endgame.… Expand
Aug 21, 20121AS many of the reviewer here said. Dont get mistaken, this is a pure PvP game .. nowhere safe to hide. Because of many trolls in the game, it's very likely you'll loose everything (don't bother spending money in the game). The game isn't balanced enough between new and older players.
May 20, 20120Let's just call this what it is. a slightly more polished version of Travian a browser game (which has better gameplay sadly).
It's a cow clicker for people too bored at work, stay at home moms andpre teens learning about the net.
this really isn't a game however except in the barest of forms, it's a competition. and frankly a time leech.
Where enjoyment is supposed to be here you find mindless work. It's intangible, like a record of history without bounds or identity, or antyhing relatable except icons and arrows.
This is a lengthy way to say it's addiction based, Pavlog dog base crappola that is seeping into our netspace like a ninja wearing a outfit with the title "game" as a nametag. But it is a lie, there is no cake.… Expand
May 2, 20121You will be playing this game for hours. It's a very time intensive game and so if you want a game that will last you a long time, this is great. Most of the time that goes into the game is waiting time. For everything you build, everything you research, every place you go (in the most limited sense possible) you must wait. There'll be a counter which counts down to when something is complete. The more things you do the longer the counter lasts. The game to me felt like it wasn't genuinely fun. I felt like I was having false fun, like I wanted to stop but I couldn't because there was more I had to do. The game is quite endless. There are always more things to do. The game feels like it was made as more of a business rather than to be a fun experience. It draws you in, addicts you, and forces you to use cards to modify your gameplay. Cards can do a lot, from increasing your resource output to... well, speeding the game up. The game was made sufficiently slow enough to cause you to become impatient and in turn speed up the game up. The only way to do this is through cards, and most cards must be bought. I must admit, this is a great business idea. The only way to get anywhere on this game is to be on it at all times. If you're offline for a single day you fall behind everyone else. The point of the game (I think) is to become powerful enough to rule the country, but, someone who spent a couple days more than you probably has a hundred more troops than you, completed a whole lot more research, etc. The fact that your account is DELETED after only a few days of inactivity also sucks. I mean, what the hell, what sort of MMO is this? 1/10.… Expand
Jul 5, 20122Looks like than the Stronghold and the Stronghold: Crusader, this is also have 2D graphics, but it worse than the older episodes. This is a Stronghold MMO, but i think its not a good game. If u want playing a good game, play with the Stronghold: Crusader with your friends, that much better.
Sep 2, 20121this is a pure PvP game .. nowhere safe to hide. Because of many trolls in the game, it's very likely you'll loose everything (don't bother spending money in the game). The game isn't balanced enough between new and older players. agree completely plus admins cooperates with money payers
Mar 11, 20132Tried the game out because I saw it on Steam and I liked the original Stronghold game. I expected a full fledged game, but this feels more like a game that would be on Facebook. The game runs windowed (cannot fullscreen) which says a lot about their design choices. Help links take you to their wikipedia pages. But all that aside, the gameplay is tedious and boring. It's full of "Wait 10 minutes for your scout to go to this stash then wait 10 minutes for him to return" and "Wait 9 minutes for this building to be built". If you don't pay for the premium part, you aren't even allowed to queue up items, so you can only have one thing going at a time. My first day in I had some random thing attack me despite it telling me I was safe for a few days. Ha! The game doesn't hold your hand the group ransacked my village with no effort. As I tried to repair my castle the game constantly kept throwing exceptions (very long ones too) and then required me to re-join the world. After the 4th exception trying to rebuild the castle walls, I just deleted the game. Don't waste your time, while Stronghold was a cool game and had some fun castle building this is just that with a bunch of social Facebook-esque garbage on top of it with arbitrary time limits. The worst lazy kind of F2P games that are made if you ask me.… Expand
Mar 23, 20134Someone trying to do something interesting with the MMORTS genre. Very buggy and full of micro-transaction begging, but at least they are trying. Considering it looks like there was a team of people behind the game; very poor effort, single person dev teams can crank out far higher quality games.
Feb 5, 201377Stronghold Kingdoms does deserve the honour of being the world’s first castle building MMO and it does -despite its presentation- do it well. The game’s depth and scope go beyond that of the regular Stronghold games and is guaranteed to keep your mind firmly lodged into medieval times for a long, long time.
Jul 18, 201285There are a whole lot of things I want to try over the next few months playing Stronghold Kingdoms, and it's gotten its teeth into me such that I'm ploughing a little time into it at least three times a day and not feeling cheated for any of the money I've spent. For a free-to-play title at the very least, that has to be mission accomplished.
Jun 29, 201268Stronghold Kingdoms is a deep medieval management game that offers a huge tech tree and an interesting online formula. Oddly the engine is old and the game starts very slowly, especially for those who are not going to open their wallet. But it deserves a try if you got patience and prefer management over real time strategy.