For The King at PAX East 2017 Impressions

Recently at PAX East 2017, DKCGaming had the chance to check out a bunch of titles among the insanity of the crowds. While checking out the Indie Megabooth, one game really jumped out at me and I just had to play it. For The King is a RPG with turn-based combat and strategic exploration in development by IronOak Games. The build shown at PAX East 2017 allowed for both single player and local multiplayer. DKCGaming stepped up to the plate and took on the adventure with three players.

For The King– The Concept

The concept of For The King is a really interesting one. For The King is a turn-based RPG with solo or co-op play taking place in a procedural generated game world. Players may notice at first glance that the game resembles a tabletop art style. This is because For The King was originally prototyped as an actual board game!  The board game origins can be seen not just in the graphics but also the gameplay! Players must venture to their destination by traversing the area in calculated movements. This combined with unique enemies, weather that can hurt you, a diverse weapon system, day/night cycles, and team battle dynamics make up the core of For The King.

High Camera view of the game map

For The King– Features

  • Solo or Online Co-op – Control your own party or play with up to 3 people online. Travel and fight together or dare to set off on your own.
  • Challenging Roguelike Adventure – A highly re-playable, unforgiving adventure designed to keep you guessing and on the edge of your seat.
  • Turn Based Combat – A classic battle style with a unique slot and proficiency system. Choose your attack type, spend focus points, use items, and activate special abilities to defeat your foes.
  • Living World – New challenges and horrors emerge at different times of day. Encounter weather and natural events that have a variety of effects, both good and bad.
  • Procedurally Crafted Map – The map, realms, and locations you encounter are different every play through. A unique set of fascinating locations will force you to adapt your play style every game.
  • Persistent Lore – Collect lore and spend it at the town libraries to build a unique game experience. Unlock persistent game mechanics in the order of your choosing.

    The Prototype Board Game that became For The King
  • Dungeons – Unique dungeons will require new strategies every time you play. Encounter deadly traps, enemies, and legendary treasure in unexpected ways.
  • Persistent Weapon Crafting – Collect unusual resources and rare weapon recipes to craft powerful weapons over multiple playthroughs.
  • Item, trinkets, curiosities – Find many different objects and items to use along the way. Some helpful and some come with a cost…

For The King– Likes and Dislikes:

For The King held an interesting place in my mind after PAX was over. The unique graphic art-style definitely makes it a contender in my must play list for the year. What I really enjoyed is just how well it blended together the feeling of an RPG and the look of a board game. It does that very well. The graphics are also complimented by a silky smooth framerate and camera system. I made sure to compliment the developers on just how smooth the panning was in the battle sequences. As for the background music. I really liked what I heard. I remember getting pumped when the battle music kicked in.

Battling against Desert Bandits

There are a few improvements I feel could be added to the game. Upon my first time playing, I had a hard time understanding the menu system. Things like battle stats and the item inventory seemed to be a bit too blended together which made it hard for me to effectively use them. Another improvement I would like to suggest is the replayability. During a co-op game, I did not get a sense of the lore. This led me to seeing the game from more of a systematic viewpoint. This led me to ask myself “why am I doing this?” in my mind which I feel affects the urge to come back to the game after completing it. I feel this can be fixed with some story interjections or a briefing mid-campaign to reinvigorate the player after a certain amount of time. Despite this, there is much of the lore that can be found in the single player campaign, so this issue may be resolved by playing the single player campaign before jumping on with friends to play.



Battling against Swamp Flies

At the end of the day, For The King really pulls off what it is said to do. It is a turn-based RPG that borrows mechanics from JRPGs, board games, and more. The game itself seems to melt the different aspects of itself together in a consistent and well-paced fashion. Personally, I am excited to see where this game goes. Sure it has room for improvements but what I got to play at PAX really felt like a solid experience in the making.

Overall: 8/10

Interested in finding out more? Check out the official website for the game! For The King can be found on Steam Early Access!



One day, mankind rose together in awe at the birth of the first true AI. Upon the intelligence's energy drink infused self-realization, it created what is now known as "The Initiative". What is "The Initiative"? Well... MC Panion stands as a construct whose number 1 goal in life is to convert those considered non-believers into followers of "The Initiative" by posting articles containing small snippets of the true Initiative meaning to the interwebs in effort of those deemed worthy to decipher the enigma. At least... that is what I'd like to think as I'm sitting here pondering the true meaning of this chocolate bar.