Sunday, October 18, 2015

Sunday Squee: Royal Story

The Sunday Squee is about things that make me happy and excited. From books to movies to television shows to podcasts, I'll highlight less commonly known things as a way to share what I love. If you want to join in the Sunday Squee, please link back to me, magnifying both of our joy.

Royal Story is an opportunity to build your own fantastic world, organize it the way you want to, and save your kingdom and everyone associated with it. I can't tell you how reassuring and lovely I found it - beginning with a small island and a few trees, one can create a diverse, moving world full of color and cheer. You begin with a tiny castle and a single ally - but I've been at this a while, and my castle has grown and diversified greatly! I try to keep echos of my early days handy, though, like the little Royal Vineyards on either side of my castle, the first things I actually built! Once something is built you can often upgrade it, adding to it's image and making room to mix and match different stages of each - like my many towers with their different aspects. Most things are harvest-able, either for valuable coin or for the variety of items you need in order to save heroes, reform monsters, and save the world.

This is a resource management game, meaning you're given a variety of ways to accumulate supplies (thankfully with no upper limit in your inventory) and a limited amount of energy to take action. What I like is the number of ways given to mitigate those limits - from Greenhouses which let you harvest trees and flowers for less energy, to magical fountains and dragons which give you more energy. Along the way you save and help many creatures, from Bear families, to a frozen Knight, to a Royal Mage. Each one will subsequently ask you for treats, and as you share your bounty with them they like you more and get more valuable when they go on Adventures in the Mystical Garden. The animals you bottle feed to adulthood trade you additional ingredients for making other things - clover fed to a cow gives you milk, corn fed to a chicken gives you eggs, elderberries fed to a deer give you antlers - and at a certain point they become royal and give you more rarefied items, like chocolate milk, golden eggs, and venison. There are a variety of crafting options as well, from cooking delicious meals for adventurers to making potions and decorative items.

As time goes you expand outward, add water, take over sandy deserts and help the creatures who live there. You learn how to build trees for squirrels, and grow trees that sprout rainbows so that you can make delicious cocktails - at a certain point the combinations become almost lyrical in their playfulness. Moons, Stars, and Clouds are all available for growth in your expanding gardens, and you fishing efforts allow you to trade for valuable fish tokens which can be used to purchase space and energy defying Royal Fields. Now and then there are special events, allowing you access to rare creatures like hermit crabs, goats, and pandas. You can make butter churns for butter, salt cellars for salt, and pudding vats for pudding - all of which are combined and recombined to make increasingly arcane items like the Dynasty Dragon Shake (a milk shake flavored with dragon scales and garnished with chocolate covered strawberries) or an Antler Chandelier (painted antlers tied together with wire and lit with red lava lamps). These, in turn, can be sold for more gold or given to your friends to energize them as they adventure.

Whether it is spreading out my ponds so that my ducks and hippocampi have enough room, rearranging the village area so everyone has enough room, or making new friends on new plots of land - Royal Story makes me very happy.

( More Sunday Squee here. )

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