The King is dead and Chaos threatens to consume the realm he once ruled. It’s a tale as old as time (or about eight years if you’ve been watching Game of Thrones), but the tabletop-inspired RPG For The King adds its own spark to the experience. You lead a party of three characters who’ve been tasked by the surviving Queen and ruler of the realm to venture out and rid the land of the army of darkness that seeks to spread Chaos and destroy the lands of humans.
With a lashing of roguelite inspirations, the board is randomly generated for every play through and you’ll be challenged even on the regular difficulty. Despite the colourful world and appealing visuals, For The King will end your run quickly if you don’t respect the rules that are in place and the enemies that occupy the board. These enemies can range from low-level wolves and wildlife to fearsome Chaos monsters, with each having their own strengths and weaknesses which you need to prepare for accordingly.
Combat in For The King is a turn-based affair which is activated by landing your party on an enemy occupied area while navigating the hex-based world. The three characters can all go to different areas of the board, but you shouldn’t stray too far apart; if combat is initiated without other party members within range, then whoever started the fight could find themselves alone against enemies. Each combatant will make one move on their turn, be it an attack or changing weapons, though healing can be done without losing a go. The animations are nicely done, with death often seeing characters quite literally falling to pieces, and it is quite amusing to see characters just turning to stare at whoever’s go it is.
As you may expect, the board has various quests and random events occur to keep things engaging, from looking for a specific item in an area to slaying a certain monster that is harassing the local townsfolk. You can pick up quests through the world or at the quest boards in the towns. As well taking on new missions, you can also buy items with the gold accrued like better weapons and armour. How much gold an individual character has depends on if whoever struck the final blow in battle decided to share the wealth or horde the gold for themselves. That’s fine when you’re playing alone, but when you factor in the ability to play the game in co-op, things can be more unpredictable.
Multiplayer essentially plays the same as the single player campaign, but each character is controlled by a different player. During my online multiplayer escapades, I was paired with players that wanted to work together and share loot, which is the best way to play if you want to survive. If you’re too selfish then sure, you get all the good loot, but your party as a whole can easily find itself under-levelled for more difficult areas and you’ll hit a wall of trouble.
For The King has various campaigns to tackle. The main one has you battling to end the threat of Chaos, while another sees you venturing through the cold North to find treasure, with the added obstacle of needing to deal with the health-sapping cold and finding ways to survive. The different rulesets mean that For The King has a lot to offer players who are into board game adventures, so if one doesn’t satisfy then another one should.