Royal Emissaries Wanted
PlayRix Entertainment may not be a common name amongst most gamers, but their latest game, Royal Envoy, could definitely change all that around. The casual appeal to the newest time-management strategy game could make Royal Envoy a quick seller amongst most online digital distributors.
The game sets a pretty high bar in the real-time, family-oriented strategy market given its high quality visuals, sparkling soundtrack and all-around enjoyable fun factors present. Royal Envoy even has a few shockingly unique story arcs to keep gamers' interest intact and it makes the overall premise that much better. Keep reading to find out how all the features and gameplay functions come together in this Royal Envoy review.
Concept (4 out of 5)
The rainy season is approaching and the people of the isles need a good kick in the pants and a little guidance from the player to maintain a decent output of resources and happiness before it’s too late. It’s the typical combination of a player being placed in the role of a pseudo-leader who must restore order and civility.
While the story doesn’t stray too far from what most other games in the genre offer, it does offer a few twists and turns throughout and the light time-management and real-time strategy elements are superbly designed. Royal Envoy manages to instill an entertaining mixturewithin its conceptual design that carries strong similarities to Sim City and Constructor.
Of course, the only thing that somewhat keeps the game from being a perfect 5 out of 5 in the concept category is that it lacks any defining elements within the genre. Still, the concept and execution of the gameplay are handled so well, the developers definitely deserve kudos for their efforts.
Gameplay (5 out of 5)
PlayRix nailed the gameplay aspects of Royal Envoy with a strategic vengeance. The game’s interface works like a dream and the entire game plays out with seamless fluidity. In some regards, imagine Diner Dash 5 designed in combination with Jane’s Realty 2, and then toss in a hint of visual similarity to the latest Virtual Villagers game and that’s pretty much what you’ll get in Royal Envoy.
The gameplay consists of simple one-click procedures that makes playing not only easy but intuitively fun. Players will make workers, build structures and generally aim to keep residents happy while either working against the clock or some other difficulty imbued device. It’s all streamlined and balanced so that newcomers to the time-management genre can get a grasp quite easily, while veterans will find the later stages in the game executed with a good mixture of challenge and fun factors.
Graphics And Sound (5 out of 5)
Visually, it’s not like you could ask for much more out of a game like Royal Envoy. As mentioned in the previous section, the game’s eye-candy is about on par with Virtual Villagers, although I would give a slight edge toward Royal Envoy for having a sharper look to its character designs, especially during the cinematic sequences. Speaking of cinematics, the game has a nice little selection of cut-scenes between campaigns that’s about a step above the flash-based cut-scenes most indie games are known for.
The musical score is also quite nice and very fitting to the overall themes present in the game. There’s a sort of new-age contemporary feel to the soundtrack, with a light airy mixture of motivated beats and a hint of a synthetic orchestra. In other words, if you like the graphics in this game you’ll probably enjoy the soundtrack, too.
Fun Factors (4 out of 5)
I’ll go ahead and talk about why the game isn’t a 5 for 5 in the fun factors category: the first dozen or so levels are primarily tutorial levels. There’s nothing wrong with having a few levels designated for players to get acquainted with the game, and I suppose that makes sense, it just feels like too many stages are set aside for tutorial purposes.
Nevertheless, don’t take that minor gripe as a sign of the game not being fun, because it is. The highlight of the fun factors reside in the game’s easy going approach to time management while keeping the challenges ever present. Collecting the rent money while upgrading the houses requires timing yet a quick wit; collecting wood or making nails requires a lot of resources while at the same time coerces players into being financially scrupulous. It’s a nice balance of decision making and strategy infused in the overall gameplay that makes Royal Envoy so enjoyable.
Overall (4 out of 5)
I’m consistently shocked at how well indie games have come together as of late, especially the ones you don’t hear a whole lot about, even when they manage to include top notch gameplay and aesthetics. Royal Envoy is sort of the total time-management, strategy game package and it’s easily much more well-rounded and engaging than many of the latter Diner Dash games.
With its budget-price and featuring more than 80 levels, 9 islands, numerous trophies and achievements, cut-scenes and plenty of challenges to keep most strategy fans immersed in the gameplay, I can safely say that Royal Envoy is a definite must-buy game for gamers who enjoy time-management strategy titles.
This post is part of the series: Top Time-Management PC Games
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