Kingdom Eighties Review in 3 Minutes: Fury Studios / Raw Fury has created a solid, if repetitive 80s version of its base-building series.

Kingdom Eighties Review in 3 Minutes – Base-Building in the ’80s

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Kingdom Eighties is a standalone expansion for the Kingdom series from Fury Studios and like its previous two releases is a 2D microstrategy and base-building game. The setting is moved from medieval Europe to 1980s American suburbia, but a familiar otherworldly threat has returned to test a group of plucky teenagers.

You play as a character only referred to as Leader, stuck at a summer camp as the surrounding area is overrun with dangerous creatures known as the Greed. You’ll be able to enlist the help of young campers as well as other skilled teenagers to fortify your position with barricades and defend it with weapons to stop the Greed from stealing a mystical crown entrusted to you by a ghost. There isn’t a ton of lead-up to the game’s events that explain exactly how things got to this point, though the story does reveal a direct connection to the previous Kingdom games, which I was still able to appreciate despite not having played them. At night the Greed will attack your position in waves, so you’re tasked with managing your personnel, defenses, and structures from atop your bike all with a coin purse.

Since you’re on a 2D plane with no map or option to zoom out, you can only directly influence what you can reach. Every action has a coin cost, but the decision-making is largely your only contribution. For the most part your units follow a set of behaviors, so wisely investing in the structures that will get them to generate more coins and also properly defend your camp is a loop that has its merits.

The limits of that loop present themselves rather quickly. You’ll manage the camp by biking back and forth to each end, slowly developing the area just outside its borders in order to expand. This provides access to new coin-producing methods for your units like lemonade stands or fishing, and it moves you into a better position to venture out and destroy nests where the Greed spawn from. You’ll meet other teenagers as you branch out who bring unique abilities to your group, like Tinkerer who will allow you to build better structures or Champ who enables you to form a siege march by using a dumpster as cover. Once you figure out what Kingdom Eighties wants you to do, it sadly doesn’t offer up any diversity to its gameplay across its five separate locations.

It does, however, manage to peddle a steady stream of cool ‘80s nostalgia throughout its 6-hour campaign. It borrows a lot from other modern ‘80s-themed media like Stranger Things in particular, by jamming a ludicrous amount of references to pop culture movies or video games from the era. You’ll eventually even be able to trade in your bike for iconic rides like the DeLorean from Back to the Future, for no other reason than it was big in the ‘80s and it’s cool as hell.

I didn’t mind the fan service, but the soundtrack and insanely detailed pixel art deserve specific praise. The backgrounds are jaw-droppingly gorgeous and made even more impressive with changes to lighting and visibility depending on the time of day and weather. The persistent lake in the foreground beautifully reflects everything above it, adding serenity or dread, depending on the moment.

Kingdom Eighties successfully transports the gameplay of its previous two games to the rose-tinted ‘80s we’ve come to know from today’s pop culture. Its short and light experience is heavily propped up by a fantastic presentation, but that may well be enough to give it a try. The game is out June 26 on PC, and it will come to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X | S, and Nintendo Switch later this year.

Watch the Review in 3 Minutes for Kingdom Eighties.


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KC Nwosu
KC Nwosu has been making video game content for nearly half a decade. He also streams with his son Starboy who has legitimately won a Mario Kart race against him.