Niche Spotlight – Kingdoms and Castles: Voxel-Based City and Fortress Building Sim

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Kingdoms and Castles is a new city-builder and castle-simulation game from indie studio Lion Shield, whose staff previously worked on titles like Abzu, Journey, and more. The game has been in development for a few years and has finally released this week.

The game draws inspiration from classics like Stronghold, SimCity, and even recent takes on the genre like Banished. The goal is to start with a tiny village and grow it to a sprawling city, complete with an imposing and impenetrable castle. Featured above, you can view the game’s launch trailer.

Any good city-builder will challenge the overlord, and this game is no different. Viking invaders will come periodically to pillage and terrorize your populace – so you’ll have to design your civilization well so you can defend it properly. There’s also mentions of dragons, and even massive ogres.

Here are the game’s key features:

  • City Design
    Strategically layout your town to improve your peasants’ happiness and to attract new residents. Tax them just enough to fund your castle. Make sure your peasants are fed in the winter and healed of plagues. Build churches to keep them from despair and taverns to keep them happy. You can even throw festivals if you’ve built a town square! Send out wood cutters to collect wood, set up stone quarries to build your castes, and farm the land efficiently so your town can grow and thrive.
  • Fortify and Defend
    The new land you’re settling is at risk of viking invasion. These raiders seek to kidnap and kill your peasants, steal your resources, and burn your town to the ground. Use a powerful castle building system where castles are constructed using blocks which can be placed anywhere. Towers and walls are dynamically created based on how you stack and arrange them. Archer towers and other weapon emplacements have longer range the higher their tower. Try different layouts to best protect your kingdom and express your glory as a king or queen.
  • Living World
    And it all takes place in a beautiful dynamic world with a stylized procedural cloud system and season cycle from summer to winter. A realistic tree growth algorithm simulates the forests. Depending on your needs, wood cutters can clear cut or responsibly manage your forests.

Kingdoms and Castles was the first game to be crowdfunded on Fig to be released, raising over 725% of its initial goal of $15,000. The game is now available for PC, Mac, and Linux, across Steam and GOG.

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Brandon Orselli


Big Papa Overlord at Niche Gamer. Italian. Dad. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. I also write about music, food, & beer. Also an IT guy.