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King of Dragon Pass has reached its 15th birthday now, and A Sharp has put it on sale for the 5 days to celebrate that event. King of Dragon Pass was revived in 2011 by A Sharp when it was given an update and released on iOSAndroid and GOG.

King of Dragon Pass has the player take control of a Barbarian Clan and help it grow in the new area it has settled in. You have to assign people to crops, search the region, trade and of course raid your traditional enemies when it is safe to do so. Special events and quests take place throughout the game in a choose your own adventure style with text adventure and ‘painted backgrounds’ behind it. The games breadth of options while being easy to get into, and excellent writing made it a classic. Like far too many classics, it failed to sell well on release but over time, and especially with the rerelease and updates it has sold quite well.

The bigger news out of A Sharp is that they are working on a new game – a spiritual successor to King of Dragon Pass. Right now it is tentatively called Six Ages and is set in the world of Glorantha much like King of Dragon Pass is. The game is currently in early development and will feature many things similar to King of Dragon Pass such as resource management, small community challenges, and meaningful story choices that the original was so well known for.

It is currently planned for 2016 but given the state of development and the fact that A Sharp says that it will be a very ambitious project it may be longer before we see that happen. Also of interest is the fact that they have brought back some of the team that worked together back in 1999 to create King of Dragon Pass with David Dunham leading development, writer and game designer Robin D. Laws, artists Jan Pospíšil, and Pat Ward (Who is the only one who didn’t work on it mentioned but has numerous other credits.) They plan on bringing back Liana Kerr for QA.

There is a website available but it currently is blank with nothing but a link to the blog post with the announcement about the game.

Don Parsons

News Editor

I've been a gamer for years of various types starting with the Sega Genesis and Shining Force when I was young. If I'm not playing video games, I'm often roleplaying, reading, writing, or pondering things brought up by speculative fiction.

  • ZURATAMA1324

    Is it less pretentious then another ‘choose your own adventure steam game’ I know? (cough)

  • Guest

    It’s not pretentious at all. It’s kind of like a strategic choose your own adventure visual novel/game thing. Great stuff.

  • ZURATAMA1324

    Sorry I didn’t mean to be derogatory to King of Dragon.
    I was being derogatory to [whose name shall not be uttered]’s game which tries to be avant-garde and fails miserably.

    I love medieval narrative role playing games!
    I was once seriously addicted to Crusader Kings 2. (if you like medieval role playing strategy games, seriously man, check em.)

    I’m thinking of checking that game out.

    How would you describe that game?
    Is its gameplay mechanics focused on narrative or strategy?
    What is the core gameplay here?

  • Guest

    I didn’t really mean to imply you thought it was pretentious, just pointing out how not-shitty it is lol.

    You kind of manage a village, with like farming and resources and shit. Really stat-heavy kind of stuff. You can send villagers out to explore and you fight with other clans. You pick a council of dudes to manage your shit. As you’re playing you get random events that pop up, and you choose how to deal with them, and they have consequences on your resources, villagers, other clans, future events, all kinds of shit. It is a bit like CK 2 with the events actually, not nearly as in depth in terms of actual gameplay, but it’s a bit more fun in terms of the story elements and making choices.

  • coboney

    King of Dragon Pass is a tough game to describe as there isn’t really any direct simple comparisons here but let me do my best.

    The game takes place over 5 seasons and in it you manage the small clan by deciding what jobs their on, watch resources, explore your new terrain, set up trade deals and interact with the other clan. Your clan has abilities and points based on its Clan Council which has 7 different roles. One of the key things is also which god they worship and setting that all up properly for your Clan’s magic that you set each year.

    Combat takes place relatively simply, you have weapon thanes who are your soldiers and don’t take part in farming or such and in addition you have your militia effectively. Most fighting takes place in the season of Fire because its after planting but before harvest. When attacking you choose how many to send and it will be so much amount of time. Than on defense, depending on the sort of attack – raid, land grab etc – how many defenders your opponent can call. There are a few different strategy options and your war magic as well as artifacts effect the result.

    Hero’s Quests are a part of the game that is pretty special as they deal with longer text adventure quests in which a member of your Clan re-enacts a famous story of the gods while asking for their blessing. It isn’t exact on getting the details right all the time but how closely you pay attention to the ingame lore, to the quest magic and having a follower of Eurmal decide how likely it is to succeed.

    Overall the writing for King of Dragon Pass is what helps set it apart in my opinion. It builds a rich world with different races and clans as you attempt to build a tribe and become the King of Dragon Pass. Glorantha is one of the best fleshed out settings and the way it brings the game lore into meaning in the game and not just flavour helps make it feel that much more rich. If you ignore the lore about certain races, certain quests, items or gods, it can come back to cause trouble.

    I heartily recommend the game if you enjoy strategy games with excellent writing. There’s less a focus on tactics and more on strategy and survival – and its price point is excellent especially for a game of this quality.

    And because it isn’t trying to enact battles in a RTS type matter, the graphics hold up quite nicely as they are backgrounds for what is going on reflecting it and look quite nice.