Tainted Kingdom


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Rating: 4.2/5 (64 votes)
| Comments (25) | Views (86)

PatrickTainted KingdomTainted Kingdom is a lean, tactical warfare game from Krinlabs, the creator of Sonny. You play a young nobleman assigned to a front-line unit in a lamentable war, only to find that your superiors are not who they seem. The gameplay is taut, playing out as a real-time dance of rock-paper-scissors match-ups. Do you have the skill to lead in battle?

The game alternates between a map of the battlefield and a diorama view of individual skirmishes. At the battlefield map, you can choose to attack an adjacent outpost, fortify one of your own, cultivate the land and get a bigger tax and population yield, or build troops. Building troops involves dropping a small, sunk-cost into a building that houses certain types of units, with accompanying upgrades, and then spending population and gold on those various options. Building a farm allows you to convert population into gold, or vice versa. The game's skirmishes involve spending a unit by dragging its icon onto one of three rows, the unit then walks across the screen, fighting any enemies it encounters. Your goal is to get a certain number of units across the screen safely, doing one point of damage to the enemy base, before you run out of deployment points which limit the number of troops you can enter into battle. All this is slightly more complex than what you're used to, more so than Sonny for example, but once you get your head around it, it's fast and easy.

Analysis: Tainted Kingdom is a solid game with great production values, yet it suffers from a few notable flaws: The game could be better balanced; the down-time buffer that keeps you from deploying soldiers at the same space consecutively could be slightly lower; and the blocking effect could be more lenient. The free hit allowed for by a soldier dying could have been done away with simply by letting troops walk past dying soldiers, as it is it's somewhat cheap. The plot is also left unresolved, like in Sonny, and it uses narrative devices that feel manipulative in the context of a game, where you expect to have some control over the course of events. It would also be nice to have surviving soldiers re-enter your ranks, rather than having to recruit everyone for a single skirmish each, which is kind of silly when you think about it. However, the mathematical poise of what remains under these scars is still striking, and the trade-offs you'll have to make on a moment-by-moment basis will keep you jamming the hot-keys.

Play Tainted Kingdom

25 Comments

Krinlabs is really good at making games that aren't fun

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I still haven't figured out how to do mission 9 without using the hero. I quite like this game!
-blarg

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Got it! The bonus for completing all the missions quickly and without a hero is pretty fun! :)
-blarg

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Reminiscent of Sonny, no?

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Painorama Author Profile Page April 25, 2008 12:51 PM

I can't seem to play the game at all. The game loads and then when you press play, it freezes up with the Armour games sword play. I am using firefox, will try microsoft.

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The game is quite finishable without using a hero with a little bit of effort and planning. And worth it too, though it might be a slightly cheap shot at keeping options open for possible sequels (especially if the author does not have the attention span to stick with one project? But I might be wrong). I liked it.
I played it on firefox and finished it.

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The only thing I really don't like about the game is that there is no easy way to restart the mission if you mess up. You have to just reload the page which takes a while.

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Wait, let me see if I get this straight:

If *I* defeat an enemy encampment, I don't gain that territory, I have to attack it again on my next turn, right?

If *the enemy* defeats one of my encampments, they gain that territory right away?

Fine.

Or is it another bug like so many others in this game?

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Nevermind, there is a 'back to menu' option in tiny letters in the bottom corner if you want to try the mission again quickly.

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Argh, the more I play the more I find things I don't like.

If I select a troop to place, but don't place it before the end of the round, it's gone. It doesn't go back into the reserves, EVEN THOUGH IT WAS NEVER USED.

How did this get a 4/5?

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nihongowasha April 27, 2008 3:31 PM

Did any one manage to

earn deadly commander on all ten missions? What is

the special bonus mode?

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fuzzyface Author Profile Page April 28, 2008 5:46 AM

I did, bonus: You can play the missions as "ancients2..

About the game:
* The videos are nicely done. However as someone who takes so much care in the visual mark up, I find the story to be extremly shallow and 0815-like.

Okay some alien/monster/whatever invades a human organisation, and makes a nice organisation to an evil one.

Heared it already many times. Human civilisation makes enough stuff for so much interesting conflict, why must this conflicts all be so easily, simple-minded. Evil force, thats just evil by nature. How about creating a foe that has some specific interests and motivation except being evil by nature?
* The game was interesting enough for me to play all 10 mission in deadly commander bonus. However the game enginge does come with flags. The gameplay, there are some assumptions I would have done that strangly weren't in place the gaming engine. I'd assume that ranges units shoot over other friendly units. Not so. I'd assume that priests heal friendly units. Not so, at least not when not dieing.
The crusaders give you 2 free hits per mission, just put them as fast as possible in 2nd then in 1st slot. They will always make it to the other side before it reacts.
The map stratetics are not so important, in principle this is a big paper-stone-scissors game, only 3 games taking place at once, and having 2 additional units...
In principle the paper-stone-scissors game works like this:

* Ranged units (hunter, priest, ancient snake) beat foot-warriors (knight, royal, ancient warrior, ancient mummy)
* Fast units (crusader, ancient assasin) beat Ranged units (hunter, priest, ancient snake)
* foot-warriors (knight, royal, ancient warrior, ancient mummy) beat fast units (crusader, ancient assasin)

At most from the general game make-up I'd say the game would greatly enhance if it has a story with more depth...

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"The crusaders give you 2 free hits per mission, just put them as fast as possible in 2nd then in 1st slot. They will always make it to the other side before it reacts."

Three, if you start from the very bottom and go up (use the keyboard). Also, if you time it right, it will arrive in the exact same frame as the enemy's arrival, and the enemy will disappear. Yet another bug, I guess.

Actually, you can use hunters in slots 2 and 1, and they're even cheaper.

Several spots are winnable with this method and no fighting is necessary.

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Crawler May 5, 2008 4:46 PM

The only hard mission I found was mission 6 earning deadly commander. The rest was easy. I made deadly commander many cases for the first play. I never used the hero, I don't know how it looks like. :)

The best tactics I found was sending hunters on the 1st and 2nd row immediately and if the enemy on the third line was something I could kill with 1 strike, I sent Crusader. This gave me immediately 3 hits.

On mission 9 you have limited amount of hunters. 1st line knight, 2nd line hunter, 3rd line appropriate. If you are lucky you can send the crusader and you won that base. And you only used 3 units. Focus on the smallest group.

I never used the heal spell. I rarely used the Priest. I couldn't figure out what that unit is good for. You can beat ranged units with any melee unit if it is placed in front of his nose. The best luck is to kill 3 snakes in a row with one knight. The rest is luck.

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DUDE

someplease tip on how to get deadly commander on missions

3 and 6 please

wat am i supposed to do on mission 3 to get deadly commander am i supposed to attack first? defend then attack? build this and that? please tell me

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Dudemcbob June 17, 2008 4:16 PM

Beating Mission 3 is surprisingly easy to beat in a single day without any hero, if you know the trick...

On your first turn, go ahead and attack the green hammer right away. Note that the enemy only has 12 population, while your base has 15 health. Simply sent out one sacrifice unit to start the match, and let your opponent send all of their units without opposition. Now, you should be left with 14 population versus their 12 health. Send any 12 soldiers out to win the mission in 1 turn :)

I'm still having trouble with mission 6, and I think that mission 9 has already been pretty much covered. I'd appreciate some tips on how to beat mission 6 with deadly commander

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mission6tips July 31, 2008 9:23 AM

Some tips regardings mission 6:

This one may be obvious, but still: Don't go for the haunted mines to the left. The only direction is forward.

You seem to need a bit of luck. When you take the Iron Gates, the enemy will already control either the Shadow Graves, or the Tainted Gardens. Now you need to hope for the enemy to attack you at the Iron Gates next turn. If, instead, the enemy takes the other of the pair (Shadow Graves/Tainted Gardens), you will not finish in time (at least I won't). Also of course, if the enemy decides to spend time on repairing its bases instead of attacking, that's tough luck.

After capturing the Shadow Graves *or* Tainted Gardens, you don't want to worry about The Iron Gates anymore. The enemy will most likely attack you there sooner or later, but putting valuable resources into the defense is not worth the effort. Towers may help to barely defend the base with few crucial units. Resist the temptation to try to win this battle. You don't need both of Shadow Graves and Tainted Gardens, and your resources are low at this point.

Personally I like to use priests extensively on this mission. Before the first encounter I will ramp them up to Spiritual Mastery 5, Focus 1, and Overload 1. Use crusaders to score easy hits. Use knights and hunters as cheap supply. I did not produce any Royal Guards in this mission, but only used the initial five for good effect.

And here's a general tip, which I found particularly useful in this mission:

Tired of spending valuable crusaders on those bloody snakes? Just let them come. Once they are very close to your base, pop a knight in their face. Now their shooting range won't help them any, and they are easy prey.

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tanks Dudemcbob that helped a lot on mission three

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Here's how you beat mission 6 in good time and without a hero.

Attack East Twice.
Upgrade to your preference of attackers, though I like the crusaders.
Cultivate-repel attack, but you have to win the attack that you're repelling. Use your towers strategically.
Once you've won that battle, and moved your troops forward, They'll attack your lower base. Don't defend.

For the final battle, take three quick-shots with hunters or crusaders. Take any other quick shots that you can and then place two towers
and in the third lane keep sending fast troops that will outmatch the enemy.

That's all you have to do.

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Yeah the problem with this game is that it's too rock paper scissors. Not enough really deep thinking on the scale of say sonny, or because Krin says he likes them, blizzard's games. And i thought the ancients were a bit weak when fighting with them. A knight beat one of the ancient warriors fully upgraded. Then My pharohs wouldn't even attack like ranged. Assasins often died before they could attack... Then their units seem slower. The risen cant upgrade. And you can't get a screen full of invincible priests! You have to rely on towers.

I wish I knew I could go crusader-3 hunter-1 hunter-2. I just did two hunters and beat the game like that because I never checked their speeds.

Im looking forward to sonny two and don't care for this game anymore.

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i dont get how u beat level 4 and 6 fast!

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AAAAAGH!!!! i cant get deadly commander on mission 6.. ive got it on all other missions but no matter what i try i cant get it done within the time limit. any help????

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I still haven't figured out how to do mission 9 without using the hero. I quite like this game!
-blarg
Hey, there's a simple way of doing it that wins mission nine extremely quickly. Other people have probably discovered it, but if anybody need help, here it is:

Place your fastest units (hunters and crusaders, one in each lane) to take down the enemy before any units of his are on the battlefield. that should allow you to take out all but the Circle of Sacrifice, but then you should just be able to take on the enemy by the rock/paper/scissors way.

Oh, and Alex, if you find this game lacking in fun, either try harder, or learn strategy. I had some trouble really early on in the game a couple of years back, and I hated it because that particular mission seemed impossible. Coming back to it a few weeks ago, I found I could do it easily and the game suddenly became a lot more fun.

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On the spoiler mentioned in my previous post, it also works in most missions. Good Luck!

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I have tried all the strategies for getting the deadly commander in mission 6, from upgrading the crusaders, solely upgrading the priests, and using only the fortress' upgrades. There just seems to be no way to win but maybe if the purple base attacks first.

But since there only seems to be a small chance to do this, this just becomes frustrating.

It just always seems to be

Day 1: Take over Cloaked Valley and Iron Gates, upgrade units.
Day 2: Attack Tainted Gardens, then if I'm slow, I take over when I get attacked myself.
Day 3: Fight the outpost.
Day 4: Win the outpost.

There's just no way to win before Day 4 unless

I use the hero to attack the base.

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