Tell me you’ve never wanted to lead an army of the
undead, and I’ll tell you you’re a goddamn liar.
You can live your dreams of being an undead
scourge while playing Death Crown. This is
a fast paced RTS game with varied gameplay,
3 different campaigns, and some really damn
cool cutscenes. Oh, and this happy fella.(king)
Death Crown was made by Co5monaut and goes for
about $10 on steam with an expansion campaign that
costs $5. Squeezing out all the content I could,
I got about 8 hours out of this game.
It’s got simple but unique graphics,
rewarding gameplay, and a twist on RTS I’ve never
seen before, but is Death Crown worth the money?
Death Crown differentiates itself from other
RTS’ because of its playstyle. You start on
a battlefield made up of hexagons and your goal
is to murder the shit out of all who oppose you.
You can do that by storming your
enemy’s castle and stabbing it 5 times.
It’s not always that easy though, they’re
trying to do the same thing to you,
and it’s all done in real time. In order to win,
you need to outsmart your enemy and ultimately
overpower them with hordes of the undead.
The building system in this game is really
There are only 3 buildings you can make, turrets,
barracks, and mines, with each costing a certain
amount of gold. Mines produce gold, turrets attack
nearby enemies, and Barracks spawn your troops.
The troops in this game don’t work
like they do in traditional RTS games,
because they don’t give a single shit about enemy
troops. They only attack buildings and can only
attack once before crumbling. When you make a
barracks, you just put a flag on where you want
it to go, and they’ll just keep on spawning
and destroying anything in the path you set.
Expansion and territory control are the name
of the game, you usually win by expanding
your territory, and denying enemy expansion.
It’s like a reverse tug of war…a push of war?
The only buildings that expand your territory
are turrets or barracks, and mines won’t expand
your territory at all. This means that you have
to strategically place buildings, so you don’t
accidentally limit your expansion. You also
have the option of selling a placed building
for half of its cost if you mess up, or if you
need to replace it with a more useful building.
You turn the tide of battle by
holding key points in the map,
the most prominent being these crystals.
Each crystal you hold powers up your units,
giving them more heath and attack power. You can
only control the crystals if you have an influence
expanding building right next to it. However,
if your enemy also has a building next to it,
nobody gets the power. Usually the one who
holds most of the black crystals wins the war,
so you just need to knock out the opposing
buildings to kill their influence over it.
Strategically placing your buildings is a huge
part of Death Crown, but the real action comes
with how you direct your troops. When you place
barracks, you tell them what to attack and how
to get there, allowing you to strategically
pick where you want to expand your control.
It gets hectic really quick, and when
I first started, I was confused as hell
by all the shit going on in the battlefield
This game is really fast paced and micro heavy,
relying on your quick thinking to win the
games. Knowing where to send your troops,
where to defend, and when its safe to
build a mine can be challenging at first,
but eventually it becomes second nature. That
being said, I found the hardest difficulty to be
pretty damn easy. Of course just because it’s easy
doesn’t mean it’s not super satisfying to win.
As it stands, there are 2 difficulties – Easy
and Normal, and damn does this game need a hard
mode. I might just have a big brain, but after
figuring out how to take advantage of the AI,
most levels started to become child’s play.
I’d love to get my ass whooped a bit more, but
as it stands there’s no real option for it.
Even though there’s a lack of difficulty in
this game, it does offer a good bit of
varied content. You can play 3 different
campaigns as well as a domination mode. Each
campaign has you playing as a different race.
The first one is the undead, the free DLC has you
playing the humans, and the $5 DLC is the Demons.
Each campaign differs slightly as far as mechanics
go, but they all have the same basic premise.
How they differ is in the tiles that you can
build on. For example when you play as the humans,
you get special farm tiles that speed up gold
production, and town tiles that speed up unit
production. In the demon DLC there are spikes
that periodically come out of the ground,
blocking off pathways for troops and destroying
any buildings placed on them. The differences in
tile placement gave each campaign its own unique
twist and make each of them worthwhile to play.
In each campaign, you go through the land and
destroy all who oppose you. Each stage tells
you how difficult it’s going to be, and some
stages offer you special challenges to face.
In one challenge I was pitted against an enemy
that mirrored everything I did. It whooped my
ass for a while, which was refreshing, and then I
decided to only build mines. I then replaced the
mines with unit production buildings because
apparently the AI can’t replace buildings,
and it was an easy win. Some may
call it cheese, I call it strategery.
Each challenge offers a different twist on the
gameplay and is a great way to break up the
same types of levels – they are by far the most
challenging levels and I always look forward to
playing them. After beating a challenge, you are
rewarded with a special upgrade to your castle,
allowing it to either act as a turret, produce
troops, or giving you wider starting influence.
You can also level up how powerful your
buildings are as you go through the map.
You can choose to level up any of your
buildings, causing them to produce faster.
You get the upgrade crystals simply by
beating the levels in each campaign.
Another cool thing is when you beat certain levels
you get to watch these super cool cutscenes of you
decimating your enemies’ buildings. The Art style
is so unique and cool. It’s actually the reason
I initially wanted to pick this game up. I mean
damn look at that 1-bit Conan lookin’ sumbitch.
The other game mode is domination, where you
go as long as you can without losing 3 times.
This mode is pretty fun, and it’s the only way
that this game offers any real replay ability.
It’s got a leaderboard so you can
see how you stack up against others,
which is the only real competition you’ll find
in this game. Other than couch co-op that is.
What this game desperately needs is online
multiplayer. Sure it’s got couch co-op,
but who owns a couch these days? Or has real-life
friends? But seriously, playing this game against
friends or strangers online would keep me coming
back to it over and over again. Unfortunately,
it’s not an option, so once I’m done with all
of the main content, it’ll probably just end up
sitting in my steam library gathering virtual
dust until I rediscover it in a couple years.
Death Crown is simple but fun, and scratches
the RTS itch in a way I didn’t think it would.
The gameplay is super fun and fast paced while
it lasts, but it doesn’t offer much in the way
of replayability. The graphics are cool, and the
music adds a lot to the experience, overall it’s
a very well made game. The only thing it needs is
online multiplayer, and maybe some more content.
Is Death Crown worth it? Not at its standard
price. Getting 8 hours out of a $15 game
just doesn’t cut it. It’s absolutely worth it on
sale though – if you’re interested in this game,
pop it into your wish list to get notified when
the price drops – you won’t regret picking it up.
I’m IndieLad, and this this channel is about
recommending indie games you might have missed!
Check out my channel page for indie games by
category to find just the right game for you!
I’ll see you in the next one!