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!