Yeah, right. Kill them, kill them all! [I'm starting to see why Dave is having trouble with these games -ed.]

King of Dragon Pass gets spiritual sequel in just released Six Ages

iOS Universal •

While most games get a short stay on my iPad before being shuttled off to be replaced with the latest hotness, King of Dragon Pass is an exception. I remember buying it on the App Store when it released back in 2012 and it’s been on at least one of my devices ever since. That’s not to say it’s one of my favorite games. In fact, after countless tries, I still can’t figure out what the hell I’m exactly supposed to do. I usually get a little bit into it and then something comes up and I have no idea how to deal with it. It’s just a game that boggles my mind. I think I’m alone on this one, as I know it’s considered one of the best video games ever crafted, which is why I keep it on my iPad hoping, one day, to figure it out. I think I may have waited too long to crack the code, however, as today the spiritual successor to KoDP has been released, Six Ages: Ride Like the Wind, and it looks just as imposing.

If you’re not familiar with King of Dragon Pass, it’s basically a storytelling game in which you’re the leader of a Stone/Bronze Age tribe and it’s up to you to make all the decisions regarding your clan. This means you decide everything, what gets farmed, how many people are military, how to interact with neighbors, and more. Events play out like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book, but that’s interspersed with turn-based play in which you make things go. The truly stunning thing about the game is just how much freedom it gives you to do whatever you want plus the incredible amount of detail there is to everything. There’s a ton of lore involving the gods and magic, so many different tribes that you won’t be able to keep them all straight, and also your villagers who can pipe up with their own ideas and goals. All of this turns my brain into a pretzel.

Six Ages follows in those footsteps albeit on a map that’s 4x as large.

You’ll guide a small clan to survive a hostile world. Play involves actions such as improving pastures, exploration, trading with your neighbors, and raiding. You can even travel to the Otherworld to visit your gods. You also need to deal with crises ranging from marauding dinosaurs to diplomatic requests to illicit love. Your choices have a politico-economic impact, but consequences might not be obvious for decades.

Six Ages is immensely replayable, thanks to over 400 interactive scenes with multiple outcomes. Short episodes and automatic saving mean you can play even when you only have a minute or two. The built-in saga writes down the story for you. And advisors with distinctive personalities help you track your cows.

Six Ages is currently available for iOS Universal and costs $10 which may sound like a lot, but there are people still playing KoDP nearly 20 years after it was released for PC back in 1999. I think $10 for 20 years of entertainment doesn’t suck. I’m downloading it now and expect to be quitting my first game in about 20 mins. Wish me luck!

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Notable Replies

  1. Bought it immediately. I’m a KoDP SUPERFAN, and so far it’s pretty much more of the same (although there have definitely been some tweaks/changes), which is 100% fine by me, as the thing that KoDP did that no other game has ever done anywhere near as well is get you into the mood and mindset of someone with a quite different ethos from the modern day. It’s fun starting up a game of Six Ages and hearing about the violent Orlanthi, who are Our Ancestral Foes. Can’t wait to dig in further.

  2. I’m not sure you’ve done the math in this one, Dave. $10 for 20 year of entertainment is 50 cents a year. They told me over at BGG that that’s outrageous!

  3. For $0.50 a year, I’m going to wait until they release the expansions!

  4. You’re not alone—I never really got KoDP, and it still bothers me that I didn’t. I’ll probably buy Six Ages anyway.

  5. I caromed right off it, too. Tried three times that I remember … never made it past one hour.

    Given its glowing reviews – and praise at sites such as this one – I realized long ago that that says more about me than it does the game.

  6. It’s less a game than a way of life, really. It’s like one of those weird Russian games like Vangers where at least three quarters of the point is just figuring out how to be in this strange world it drops you into. I laugh when people call things like Deus Ex or Dishonored an “immersive sim”. Buddy, you don’t even know what immersive is.

  7. js619 says:

    I’m with @geigerm and @TheDukester - I found it hard to get into KoDP… I initially avoided Six Ages too, since the link I saw said it was iPad only. I have been looking for a new iPhone game, so $10 spent and work successfully avoided for the day!

  8. I really wish they would bring back the little “tula” display at Sacred Time from the original PC game. That was such a neat little bit, getting to see your village grow visibly year by year.

  9. Maybe it’s just me, but this game seems way harder than KoDP. I think I’m playing on normal difficulty, and I chose every “you are good at battle” clan questionnaire option, but I’m pretty sure I have not won a single battle/raid, no matter how much magic I put into it, whether on defense or offense. Like one time I had two points in War from sacred time, plus I added two more points for that specific battle, and I still lost. It said, “our magic overwhelmed theirs, but they fought like it didn’t matter,” wtf. It’s like I’m cursed. Also it’s very tough to grow enough food to feed everyone; we’re constantly having “food shortfalls”.

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