In making the jump from mobile devices to consoles and PC, KEMCO’s RPG Blacksmith of The Sand Kingdom makes an impression on me that makes me understand why there was a need for a port in the first place. From the gameplay to the characters and art style, those who will be entering the world for the first time won’t be disappointed if this is your cup of tea.
In the world of Muspelheim, also known as the “Sand Kingdom”, you play as Volker, an upcoming blacksmith and adventurer who takes up in his father’s footsteps by running his workshop with your childhood friend Valeria by your side. Along the way, you meet a variety of diverse characters with interesting personalities that help and enable you into becoming not only a successful blacksmith, but a well-known and accomplished adventurer as well.
At the start of the game, you have a choice between five classes; Fighter, archer, priest, wizard, and thief. Along with the decision of class you also are given the choice of faith to believe in. Faith plays a role in giving you different stat boost and battle perks such as more health for your character/ party members, resistance to a status effect or debuff, or even more evasiveness so it’s harder for enemies to hit you in battle. Some faiths obviously correlate with whatever class you decide upon but some are unique, where you can combo them wherever you see fit.
Further down the line, you are given the chance to create your own party members to journey alongside. While you’re able to give them names, classes, and faith’s you aren’t allowed to customize them as you see fit, which I found to be a little bit upsetting.
As you progress through the game you get introduced to the five main areas that you will spend a good majority of your time. You have the infirmary where you can heal your whole team for a fairly small fee and change your faith; the tavern (sounds like a cool place – ed) where you feed your party and gain a generous amount of exp; the arena where you battle monsters in various rankings and leagues to earn money and prizes; workshop where you build and craft new gear, materials, and commodities that you can either equip for yourself, use them to complete guild requests, or sell them to make a profit; the item shop where you can buy potions and different affixes and runes that you can infuse into your weapons and armor; and the adventurer’s guild, where you can accept missions which can range from defeating certain enemy “x” number of times to getting certain materials. Each story’s important request is highlighted in blue and progresses the storyline along.
Finally, we have the main event – Dungeons. Dungeons are where you go to complete guild requests, level up your party, and gain materials that you need for crafting and blacksmithing. Throughout the story, you’ll unlock more dungeon levels where you’ll find better materials and go up against even harder monsters. Even as you progress throughout the story you unlock even more classes and faiths for you to use as well.
Gameplay-wise everything operates on a day and night cycle. As you use the facilities around you you’re limited to only using them once a day. To reset the day cycle you have to sell items in your workshop. After a while, you start to get a general rhythmic flow of how you play. It’s almost like you have to manage your time wisely.
Combat is turn-based and pretty straightforward. Every class has its own sets of skills and abilities and all use mana points when used. Combat visuals aren’t really flashy and after a while I found myself repeating the same actions over and over again. It got to the point where I turned automatic combat on and sped up the battle speed. However, things start to pick up and vary when you unlock new dungeon areas and encounter new enemies.
One important thing to make note of is that you have the option to change up your party’s battle formation to your liking to give you the best combat advantage possible. Overall I found myself being burnt out after a couple of hours of playing as it started to feel more like a chore than just playing for enjoyment. With that being said I feel the same way when I play mobile games which is what it felt like I was playing. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy the time that I played though.
While the music is very peaceful in cutscenes and fast-paced during battle I wish that there was more variety as I felt that they would repeat over and over again, especially in dungeon areas. I absolutely love the artwork in the title and love the designs of all the characters and the surroundings.
I could see myself playing for a good while but not in long sessions. If you’re an achievement hunter you will have to really work for them as the requirements for the sum of them are all tasks that will require large amounts of gameplay time.
All in all, Blacksmith of the Sand Kingdom is an enjoyable and very charming title that soon turned into a repetitive chore to me. With everything that it has to offer, it motivates me to play more just to access those other classes and faiths and to see even more powerful enemies. While it’s not entirely my style of playing an RPG, for others they might feel right at home. If you’re up for the grinding or systematic playstyle then this RPG is definitely for you.Become a Patron!
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by publisher.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.