King of Dragon Pass
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|King of Dragon Pass|
|Developer(s)||A Sharp, LLC|
|Publisher(s)||A Sharp, LLC|
Robin D. Laws
|Platform(s)||Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android, Windows Phone|
|Release||October 1999 (PC, Mac)
September 2011 (iOS)
August 2012 (GOG.com)
August 2014 (Android)
September 2014 (Windows Phone)
|Genre(s)||Turn-based strategy, Role-playing game|
King of Dragon Pass is a 1999 strategy/simulation computer game published by A Sharp. Set in the fictional world of Glorantha, it depicts the lives and fortunes of one of several barbarian clans, settling the untamed lands of Dragon Pass over the course of several decades. The clans bear some similarities, such as fyrds and lawspeakers, to the Iron Age Nordic peoples.
The player controls the seven-member clan ring leading the clan, providing leadership to the clan in all aspects of its life from rituals to diplomacy. The ring can make two macro-level decisions per each of the five seasons in the Gloranthan year. Random events are drawn from a pool of hundreds and are often influenced by previous decisions. In battle, the player determines the goals and preparations, and possibly chooses the actions of his nobles at pivotal moments.
To succeed, a player must balance the various needs of survival and prospering, as well as manage the problems presented by the setting or the clan individuals - a lack of food might be solvable by clearing more farmland, but when the forest responds by sending a talking fox to urge leaving the trees alone, a wrong choice could bring the clan hunters to war with their environment. Likewise, should a member of the clan act in a selfish and foolish manner, action needs to be taken to stabilize and defuse the situation, if necessary.
KoDP contains no animation whatsoever, instead depicting people and events with lavish hand-drawn artwork. The game has elements of strategy, construction and management simulation, and role-playing video game, even though it offers no proper alter ego.
Production and release
The game cost $500,000 to make and it sold 8,000 boxed copies.
An updated version of the game was released for iOS on September 8, 2011. This version was updated to be a universal iOS app for compatibility with the iPad on September 6, 2012. The original Windows version was re-released by GOG.com on August 28, 2012.
David Dunham announced in March 2013 that the iOS version had sold 30,000 copies.
HeroCraft ported the iOS version to Android, and released it on August 12, 2014. A Windows Phone version, also by HeroCraft, was released a month later, on September 23. A new PC version for Steam based on the Android version was released July 29, 2015; it runs on Windows or Mac OS X.
A sequel has been in the works as of 2014. The project's name is Six Ages and it is expected to get released some time in 2018.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun described the game in retrospective in 2017 as "a management game, yes, but at its heart is an ongoing RPG chronicle." In 2016, the game placed 5th on Rock Paper Shotgun's The 50 best strategy games on PC list.
- Purchese, Robert (12 April 2013). "The story of King of Dragon Pass: Do you remember Demolition Man?". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
- Dunham, David (18 March 2013). "30K Sale(s)". Blogspot. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
- King of Dragon Pass [@KingDragonPass] (11 August 2014). "The unique storytelling game King of Dragon Pass is now available for Android!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- HeroCraft Games [@HeroCraft] (23 September 2014). "King of Dragon Pass now on Windows Phone 8! WP8 Amazon Google Play" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- HeroCraft Games [@HeroCraft] (29 July 2015). "Legendary King of Dragon Pass is now available on @steam_games! And it is awesome! Steam: #HeroCraft #KoDP" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Have You Played… King of Dragon Pass? by Brendan Caldwell on RPS (February 21st, 2017)
- "The 50 best strategy games on PC". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. 18 November 2016. Retrieved 12 August 2017.