Pretty much every iphone game is shit; total garbage that should never be bothered with at all. However, with every rule, there are exceptions and while incredibly rare– like one per year, it is possible for there to be a few good iphone games. Dreamquest, SmartGo, Ascension, King of Dragon Pass are the main three, as for the rest I make the mistake of buying and installing, one by one they step down into the darkness before the footlamps, destined for a night that is eternal and without name.
That said, Kingdoms: New Lands is pretty great! I finally finished the game last week and even went back to try stuff on various islands for fun. The game is essentially a real time tower defense where you build a town/castle and then try to survive attacks from trolls until you can rebuild your boat and get the fuck off the island you are on before a troll steals your crown. You do this solely by riding around on a horse distributing and collecting gold. You can run your horse, walk your horse, stop for your horse to eat, pick up gold, disburse gold and that’s it! You cannot attack, you can’t shoot a bow, you can’t talk to anyone in the game. Walk, Run, eat, collect, disperse.
One thing the game does is not tell you how or what to do at all. What are the cabins in the woods? What do the different horses do? Why are the trolls attacking and what do they do? I’m going to keep this recommendation very short as to not spoil anything. You can build various stuff and interact with the stuff on the islands in different ways: shrines, trees, horses, portals, etc. Advice: don’t go off at night. Get catapults quick.
Aesthetically the game is fantastic, rendered in a beautifully pixilated side scrolling world with an elegance that approaches Dungeon of The Endless. The weather effects, change of day, change of seasons (!?) and changes in light as you run through the woods are worth the purchase of the game alone. While containing some specific elements always, such as a dock and a cliff portal for trolls, each island is somewhat randomly generated.
I was fairly enthralled by this until I was able to finally finish it, and I bet you will be too.