Being too busy to play massive brand-new video games is not a sin. Many players prefer brief one-shot campaigns in classics like Stronghold – simple and fun! If you feel the same, consider something newer from 2023 – Thronefall!
The new independent title from GrizzlyGames is a unique real-time strategy with tower defense features. That’s it – there is nothing more to it. Feeling relieved? That may mean you are one of the busier players looking for enjoyable simplicity.
Therefore, you will be more than happy that Thronefall’s fundamental goal is to defend the empire and collect precious gold for upcoming investments. Balance these essential steps to win and have fun with further development! Sounds interesting? You will discover all the precise details in this ultimate Thronefall review.
The first thing you notice starting the game is the blocky, saturated visuals. There are four unique maps and tons of unlockable content for future strategies! After completing each level representing a different biome, you can introduce various mutators. Don’t worry – the controls in this game are incredibly uncomplicated.
The isometric point of view is as clear as day (or night!), structures are recognizable at first glance, and the terrain layout enchants with tactical possibilities.
Unlike other incredibly complex RTS games like Europa Universalis or Total War (which take a while to learn), Thronefall is more intuitive and straightforward – that doesn’t mean easy! The brief tutorial does an excellent job, and the screen doesn’t display many complex options.
Instead, we receive a charming, eye-pleasing map accompanied by simple sounds throughout the day and epic instrumental music during night battles.
This tiny gem’s creators emphasize that their goal is to provide ‘unique and replayable games for both casual game players and hobbyists.’ Grizzly Games is a small, independent studio from Germany with a history of two fan-favorite titles – Superflight and Islanders.
The first one debuted in 2017 on PC, focusing solely on exploring idyllic locations in a wingsuit. Its pace is pretty fast but also incredibly relaxing. Islanders is a simplified approach to the popular city-builder genre.
The task is to construct a town on one of the stunning islands and gradually expand it, eventually turning it into a real metropolis. Both feature blocky visuals resembling Thronefall, and they also take the most complicated rules from other titles of their genre to present them in such a simple form.
Grizzly Games decided to make this game as easy to grasp as possible. In Thronefall, you are a lone commander exploring one of four unique biomes.
Your task is to build a central hall to defend it at all costs. As you’ve probably already guessed, it’s undoable alone. So, the next step is to build the first structures, producing various combat units and goods to earn gold. Funds will be crucial to expand your empire. Use them to upgrade specific buildings, create more soldiers, or receive perks.
You have to find the perfect balance between the economic and strategic stages of the game to succeed. Luckily, you decide when the battle starts. When the preparation part for the day is over, enter night mode and see how your defenses work.
Enemies come in waves from random directions. But defeating them means an income from their dead units and revenue-generating structures!
Thronefall draws inspiration from two other video games – Kingdom: New Lands and Kingdom: Two Crowns. All the main features, like the overall atmosphere, gameplay objectives, and enemies coming at night, are almost identical.
However, Kingdom is a side-scroller featuring much more complex mechanics and extra tasks. One of its initial stages is extensive exploration, while in Thronefall, players enjoy the pure essence of management and defense design from a top-down perspective.
That’s what this game is about – filtering all the overcomplicated rules of the genre into a simplified experience, guaranteeing equal gameplay satisfaction.
Thronefall may seem a child’s play, but subsequent levels deliver increasingly challenging decisions. The most important ones regard core management factors – gold, upgrades, and soldiers.
You must have enough money to upgrade various buildings and make them generate more gold. But the game will end quickly if you don’t invest in barriers, walls, or towers. Or soldiers! Barracks or archery ranges generate new units from melee and ranged categories – necessary for defense against increasingly powerful enemy forces. It all may sound complicated, but in reality, isn’t.
As an ultimate commander, explore your land and consider upcoming investments as much as you want. Each night means more money for further upgrades, resulting in various bonuses generating even more gold. This game doesn’t want to punish players as long as you execute balanced decisions early on. And even if you don’t, that means valuable knowledge for upcoming playthroughs.
Unit Diversity Combat
You’re probably wondering if such an innocent title offers different combat divisions. The answer is – of course. Thronefall video game features eight units from the ranged and melee categories.
The most basic are spearmen – fast and strong, but not very resistant to ranged attacks. Knights represent a group of more invulnerable ones, flails attack in bunches, and berserkers instantly take on the most challenging units. You may be unable to defeat the enemy forces using only these melee units, so don’t forget about producing ranged ones.
Crossbowmen deal high damage at short distances, while longbow archers provide weaker damage at longer lengths. Hunters are perfect for monsters, and fire archers deal splash damage, fantastically complementing berserkers’ work.
When night comes, your units confront the enemy automatically, but that doesn’t mean you must give up all the fun! Control the commander riding his loyal mount and use his active and passive skills. If you die, wait 10 seconds for his resurrection to continue the battle.
Happy news! This game is so lovely it allows you to enjoy automatic and free replenishment of all units. The buildings also rebuild themselves as soon as morning comes. The only exception is your castle, as a destroyed central hall means the end of the game, so now you understand that defending it is the most crucial job.
Grizzly Games Vision
Grizzly Games understands that getting older or busier reduces fun time in large, complex video games. As its developer said: “Getting older and caught in the usual swamp of work and responsibilities, we realized we don’t have the 100 hours to sink into the next super-complex game anymore. We felt there was a need for wholesome and deep, but also less time-consuming, experiences.”
Gamer Experience Additional Features
Although the game is simple, it doesn’t lack challenges. Each level and progress means new upgrades, bonuses, and perks. But also an increasing difficulty level and different enemies to defeat. All these changes result in decisions, translating into high replayability. Add some mutators, and you have practically a new game.
However, this learning curve is almost unnoticeable because things happen naturally, and you can just respond to them intuitively using all available resources.
Thronefall is a game that everyone should play at least once or get early access on Steam and visit it once in a while if they’re too busy to engage in anything else. Its pleasant visuals, user-friendly controls, and simple mechanics oppose the high demands of the over-challenging, impressive titles.
It’s not the first time the indie genre has proven that people don’t necessarily want massive open worlds and deep stories set in realistic graphics. Just like in life, sometimes we need a break. We can spend it as cute commanders managing a tiny kingdom – and that’s it!