Few games are as suitable for the iPad as Royal Envoy. There I said it right of the bat, no beating around the bush or nothing. And as it has been ported from Mac and PC it has had the gameplay formula tested, and condoned by loads of players already. The fact that the touch screen of the iPad is far superior when playing a time management strategy game makes it even better as a port.
Royal Envoy HD is a combination of time- and resource management. You have a limited number of locations to build your homes, and buildings. Resources used to construct, and upgrade facilities are gold and wood. Gold is taken as taxes from the homes, and wood is bought with gold at sawmills. There are also markets that allow for trading wood for gold, and banks that give interest on gold. Homes can be upgraded three times, and given a garden to boost happiness. With upgrades come larger tax revenue.
Each level has a set of objectives to reach. These vary from having a set number of homes at a certain upgrade level to more unique objectives such as buying a hot air balloon. On the left hand side of the screen a timer is emptied of gold. When completely empty the chance of getting a gold grade is gone, but you can still complete the level. This is a great idea, as it lets you try the next level if you fail to get gold grades. The game also allows you to go back, and replay the previous levels to better your scores.
Royal Envoy HD is a fun, and casual take on time management with a lot of personality. It keeps track of scores, and achievements through Game Center. What I really like is the fact that choices I make matters. If I plan in my kingdom in the wrong order I will not be able to get the coveted gold rating. Still the game gives a lot of room for own strategies, and I seldom feel like it is leading me through levels in a particular manner. If I just follow logic that is true to real life the game is really straightforward.
The presentation is top of the line on the iPad. All aspects of the graphics are vibrant, colourful and polished. Characters are well animated, and the cut scenes are high resolution. Music, and sound effects are also highly polished and suit the game perfectly. Overall this is a neat feast for the senses, and in an era of doodles and stickmen it is welcome in the App Store.
The story is perhaps not that great, but as the characters are so lively it becomes interesting. With 63 levels spanning nine islands the game needs to be attractive to give you that extra incentive to push on. At times I feel the game can be repetitive, and at other times I would love to continue to build an entire kingdom right away instead of just a small section.
Royal Envoy HD is a great fit for the iPad that plays, looks and lives well. At times I which it had more depth, and more freedom to just build away. With 63 levels, and at times quite challenging time demands this is a game with loads of playtime. A perfect game for both a quick break, and longer sessions. If you aren’t convinced yet you should download the free version right now. Royal Envoy HD comes highly recommended.
Royal Envoy HD Free IAP for full $4.99
Seller: Playrix LLC