Kingdom Eighties: Summer of Greed Review – Overcoming Greed on Your Bike

    Title: Kingdom Eighties: Summer of Greed
    Developer: Fury Studios
    Release Date: June 26, 2023
    Reviewed On: PC
    Publisher: Raw Fury
    Genre: Adventure

The Kingdom series has captured acclaim due to its unique systems, game loop, and strategic planning. It often pushes players to be aware of the going ons of a base under the threat of attack while also building resources and managing their citizens. The newest entry from Raw Fury, Kingdom Eighties: Summer of Greed, takes this concept and brings it out of the medieval setting as players find themselves in the retro decade of the 80s.

Interestingly, Kingdom Eighties is not a mainline entry in the series and instead acts as a standalone adventure that is far shorter than its predecessors. That said, I don’t think it lacks charm or gameplay systems as the game begins rather quickly and introduces The Leader, a camp counselor who finds himself in a dangerous situation when Greed attacks their town.

In typical Kingdom fashion, the Leader wears a crown and issues tasks to the neighborhood kids to defend their base, expand, and complete objectives. The tutorial is straightforward and quick, as the game’s systems allow room for experimentation. All you really need to know is how to spend and earn money, and you can explore from there.

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When compared to other entries of the series, Kingdom Eighties should be seen as an introduction to the base mechanics of gameplay. The strategic aspect of gameplay is there, but I never struggled or felt overwhelmed through playing on Normal difficulty. While longtime fans may be looking for a more challenging experience, even the highest difficulty setting didn’t match my struggle in the mainline entries.

However, I don’t think this is a problem given the game’s short run time, with my first run taking 45 in-game days. In that time, you’ll progress through 4 chapters across new environments and objectives. In this release, story cutscenes expand on the characters you’ve collected along the way. These are presented in a very retro art style, but they lack voice-over, which would have significantly added to the story’s quality. Currently, it’s there, but it isn’t strictly necessary.

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Cutscenes aside, Kingdom Eighties is a very beautiful game. A high level of detail is added to the pixel environments and characters. There were some days when I would just marvel at the background that changed depending on the weather and time of day. Everything is easy to see and interact with. The level of attention just blew me away. These designs are presented with vivid colors and excellent pixel work.

Your primary mode of transportation is a bike, and over time, you’ll add other followers to your cause. There are different bikes that you can acquire, but some of them don’t offer enough differentiation to tell them apart. Further, once you’ve created a decent-sized party, the game becomes even more manageable in terms of clearing out Greed portals.

Regarding approachable systems, there are options such as a garbage can used as a shield, which makes taking down enemy portals much easier. These are optional but also needed if you require extra support. I found that utilizing everything available made the campaign missions significantly easier during each level. Again, this isn’t a bad thing, but if you’re longtime of the series, I can see this being an issue as you remember all the units lost during raids against the Greed in the past.

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Replayability comes with secrets and a push to have players explore everything. I think creating a one-off game like this that doesn’t feature extensive new systems provides plenty of benefits to the series overall. It’s much more approachable in all aspects, so even if you haven’t played in a while, you’ll quickly regain your skills of managing units and leading your camp to victory. Still, it did leave me wanting a fully fledge Kingdom experience as the adventure doesn’t demand an additional playthrough unless you’re going for all the achievements.

While the experience lacks voice-over, the music easily makes up for it. The soundtrack is just fun. Each track is packed with nostalgic synth beats to ride with your friends too. From a presentation standpoint, this game deserves to be played if only for the high visual and audio quality it provides during each level.

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Kingdom Eighties: Summer of Greed is an excellent introduction to the series that checks every box that makes these games so fun. While it doesn’t introduce new elements to the core systems, its unique setting and campaign serve to get new players invested and hold off returning players as we await the next mainline entry. Yes, it is relatively easy and short, but its high-quality presentation makes this an easy recommendation.

A review copy of the title was provided by the publisher for review purposes

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Azario Lopez

Hanging out max, relaxing all cool.