Joyent Powers Up: Kingdoms of Camelot

February 08, 2011 - by jacksonwest

Counting down to the Game Developers Conference, we’ll be highlighting one game a day powered by Joyent technology. Partly for an excuse to play games at work, sure, but also because our customers have developed some really fun, cool titles!

With nearly 6 million active monthly users, Kingdoms of Camelot from Kabam is one of the most popular Facebook games out there. And well over 100,000 of those players took the time to review the game, leaving with an average rating of 4.7 out of 5. In fact, players love it so much, it won the IGN Reader's Choice Award for Best Facebook Game of 2010.

It's one of the richest gameplay experiences available on Facebook, with all the depth of popular PC games like Age of Empires. Except what Kingdoms offers that older PC games couldn't is a rich social experience -- with such a large number of players, chances are a friend or three is already playing.

At least, that was my experience when I signed up as Lord MisterBelvedere, ruler of all the lands of Beaver Falls. For instance, it helps to knight a friend to help you defend your fiefdom, assist with research, or otherwise boost your might in the game -- and friends who are already playing make for more powerful knights. Further, you can create alliances with friends or any other player that will help you speed up improvements to your land and cities and protect your corner of the realm.

The way you improve your status is by harvesting resources in order to build more and better buildings, such as an a Alchemy Lab for researching technologies that unlock further improvements and better troops or a Barracks for training soldiers to build your army for both defense of your holdings and conquest of wilderness. While it lacks the real-time strategy element, anyone familiar with the resource-gathering and building mechanics of the aforementioned Age of Empires or even Starcraft should feel right at home.

Time is one of the key game concepts. Everything comes with a cost of time, from building new buildings and troops to researching technologies and making improvements. But that doesn't mean you have to play for hours -- instead, it makes it easy to check in for a few minutes at a time over the course of the day in between getting actual work done, and in around two or three days of casual play I had already progressed to level six. And thanks to a Quests system that rewards basic early achievements with resources, it's unlikely you'll run short of anything you need while building up your first city.

Of course, if hanging out at the round table isn't your thing, you can explore a magical, vanished isle in Dragons of Atlantis or try to clean up after the reign of mad Nero in Glory of Rome. So whatever flavor of historical fantasy you want to play out, Kabam should have you covered!

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