If you are even a casual user of facebook you will have come across or possibly even have played some of the immensely popular flash based games yourself, that have you doing everything from growing crops to growing monsters.
As popular as they are, I find they are fun to a point, but not for me, and in truth have some serious flaws.
- Flash can be slow to load, buggy and can crash often
- Your wall and your friends walls become inundated with game requests
- What starts out as 'cute' or 'fun' becomes increasingly labour intensive until it starts to resemble real work. That's when you find you can speed things up by spending a little bit of the in game cash. Then you find out that the feeble amounts the game doles out to you don't add up to squat. Luckily you can get more of this in-game cash. How? With real cash.
- People cheat and create mule, sock, puppet,kitchen sink and whatever else kind of illegitimate and less than honest account you can imagine.
- The social aspect is there but tends to be a little spammy and hard to get to know new people
- All the bright colours and cloying music make these games very boss un-friendly.
- Might leave one craving something a little smarter and a little more sophisticated in terms of game play.
Luckily there is an option. It isn't as pretty to look at as some of these other games, but it is one that I have been playing for over two years straight, and while not perfect is I believe the best game on facebook. That game is King(or Queen) of the world.
What is King of the world?
King(or Queen) of the world, or KOTW as it is often referred to by it's users is a text based massively multi-player online game (MMO) developed by a man named Don Lee, that allows you to build and expand your own kingdom, and if you are canny enough even become the king (or queen) of the world.
This is done by accumulating 'standards' which represent land that you conquer, buy with gold you earn or even give and receive as gifts to loyal subjects.
You can apply to and join one of the game's many alliances, but even if you want to be independent you will still have a ruler (one is assigned but you can choose) who can help keep you safe from invaders.
The game is tick based, with one tick being equal to a half hour of real time, and as such it allows people to play the game with relative success by only being on for a few minutes once or twice a day. You are not likely to be king or queen playing casually like this, but you really don't need to make it to the very top to enjoy the game.
There is plenty of strategy, diplomacy and intrigue through all ranks of the game as well as being part of a unique community that allows people to find success and enjoyment in their own niche of the game.
The Pros and Cons
The thing with a game like KOTW is that it doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles and pretty animations to draw you in.
It can also be a little tricky at first getting the hang of what you are supposed to be doing in the first place.
If you add the game I very much urge you to take the time to figure it out a little, and to be social and ask questions. There are many people in the community who will help you get started if you show some interest and a little activity.
When I first started I joined at the request of a friend, and very much had to be coaxed in, as I had no intention of playing. Well it will be three years in October of 2011, and the friend who invited me in, they are still playing as well.
The game does have it's draw backs. Even without having the bells and whistles it can get buggy from time to time, and as I said there is a small learning curve to get started, but there are many good points that in my opinion make it the best game on Facebook.
- It can take up a lot of time, but only if you let it and want to.
- What makes the game good/interesting is the subtext and all the wheeling and dealing and diplomacy that goes on. This is a smart game.
- It might seem a little confusing at first, but it really isn't, and there are a LOT of people in the community willing to help you out and get you started as well as a game forum (The World Discussion Board) where you can get help and ask questions.
- The developer takes part in the community via the forums and actively seeks ideas and input on the game and any changes made with it's users.
- The game has a 'lead investigator' who is proactive about weeding out and removing cheaters and people with multiple accounts keeping the game clean and honest for everyone.
- You can spend real money on the game (and I think it deserves a little) but you never feel trapped or forced into doing so and can play without spending a dime and do perfectly well.
- The community is quite amazing. As with all groups of people there are some bad apples, but I have met a lot of great people in the game. Of my 300 or so Facebook friends almost half of them are from KOTW. I have met people from the U.K. Sweden, Pakistan , the United States, Australia and beyond.
- Many relationships start and flourish here, including at least one couple who are now married! In fact the amazing and beautiful woman in my life who makes me feel blessed every day I met in the game when I invaded her over two years ago!!
So there you go, a simple yet sophisticated game that is fun to play and a great way to expand your social circle. It is something that is a little difficult to properly explain to someone who hasn't tried it, so I strongly recommended that you do!
See you on the battle ground!!
David Sproull (author) from Toronto on April 17, 2012:
@Trish: Well you could as well, but maybe I will but maybe best to wait for the upcoming changes.
Trish Brook on April 16, 2012:
I worked it out, how's it going David? You should post this in the WDB again :)
Trish Brook on April 16, 2012:
STILL HERE!!!! :D
I'd love to know who DDS is :)
Kham josh on March 25, 2012:
Thnks 4 sharing
Yuki Kabuki on February 18, 2012:
Just came across this article while waiting for KOTW calculations to be done. :) I joined about two months ago and it has been the most exciting game I've played online ever. I've already made so many great friends and have learned sooo much. I've also gotten three others (2 friends and 1 son) involved in the game too. We love it! Thank you so much for a the great article. Go Swashbucklers! lol (had to get that in there). ;)
Rachelle Williams from Tempe, AZ on September 19, 2011:
I never get these Facebook things. Thanks for sharing.
David Sproull (author) from Toronto on July 28, 2011:
Well not every game is for everybody, but as far as meeting people there are actually quite a few couples who met during the three years we were playing.. maybe a nice side affect of being able to reach out and meet the world and not just the person next door?
Hope you enjoy having a great new family member!
Memories1932 on July 27, 2011:
This game doesn't appeal to me at all. One of my family members plays this game and another just recently quit and has moved onto another game. Like you he also met a very nice girl playing king of the world. So thanks to the king of the world game we now have a great new family member.
Emi on May 05, 2011:
Its a great game. you can play it and it wont get your time. it will not keep your grass groing and you cant cut it but it will be there to resume where you have left... even if you want to spend so much time ther, you want be able to do because it needs ticks and recalcs :-) so here you go, it doesn't absorb you like other games, but makes you think and makes you talk to people. that is the greatest benefit, its a game that helps you evolve its not a double click game. and in order to reach to the throne, then you should be a real strategist and have support from game friends.
its not a big game, buts its a great game....
Trish Brook on May 01, 2011:
It is by far the best game on facebook, notching up 3 years in July :)
Patrick McGee on April 16, 2011:
I've tried a number of war/strategy/diplomacy games on Facebook and the web in general and this one is the best by far I've found. A little confusing at first for a new player but once you learn and start peeling away the layers of complexity, this seemingly simple game hooks you before you know it!
David Sproull (author) from Toronto on April 14, 2011:
@Shaun: I very much agree. Just a bit hard to get people started, but once they do, well nothing really matches up.
Shaun Murphy on April 14, 2011:
Love the game...I'm one of those who can't get away from the computer because of it. If I to sum up the game in two words it would be "Good People", the game gives you the chance to meet people from all over the world. Its just great.