In memoriam, Donald Sutherland

Knights and Merchants: The Shattered Kingdom

aka: Cavaleiros e Mercadores, Cavalieri e Mercanti, Chevaliers et Camelots, Rytíři a Kupci, Vojna i Mir
Moby ID: 3089
Windows Specs
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Description official description

Knights & Merchants is a game very similar to Settlers II, and that's not really a coincidence, as they were made by the same lead programmer, who started his own company (Joymania).

In K&M you start building a base and gain resources, and after that you make an army and try to attack the enemy. It's a mix between a godsim and a RTS game.

The game features resolutions up to 1024x768 with high-detail landscapes in 3D, with 2D-bitmap buildings placed upon it.

Spellings

  • Война и Мир - Russian spelling
  • 骑士与商人 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Screenshots

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Credits (Windows version)

83 People (77 developers, 6 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 70% (based on 23 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.2 out of 5 (based on 20 ratings with 4 reviews)

Do I see innovation? Nope. Nice try though.

The Good
You can't help imagining that this game is the cross between Settlers 2 and Stronghold (2001). But it sure hell isn't better than either of them.

I would call the game "not well planned" and quite mediocre. It's good enough to play, but not the type of good that will keep you glued to the monitor for hours and hours. This is one of those games that you just play because you happen to not have another game to play at the moment.

The Bad
Everything was mediocre from the beginning and with a lot of faults. The storyline has to be one of the lamest stories I've seen yet. You appear to be a prince or something being rebelled at by another prince or warlord...not much effort in describing the details. The voice of the story teller needs to whipped by the local bards for lack of charm - his lines are even more so terrible.

One thing essential in these managerial type of town simulations is the excitement of unknown technologies or buildings - a little description here and there to increase the educational value of the game. Knights & Merchants had poor ratings on all the mentioned. Do you know why?

Because they treated this game as...a game.

I could even sense that this game lacked the soul and excitement of a fanatic gamer trying to create a masterpiece. There was nothing in the game that "stood out" that was worth noting for future reference.

To give you an example, in the campaign you have different types of buildings that required certain specialist persons (e.g. farmer, blacksmith) to run the building. Fine so far. I noticed I could create a "Animal Breeder", so I created him. It turns out, although I could create the "Animal Breeder", I couldn't create the building that goes with him. Why even bother giving that option then, I wonder?

There also seems to be a lack of diversity - or just plain lazy. I spent several minutes trying to figure out which guy is the guy that creates bows. Turns out to be a carpenter, which also is the same guy that turns logs into wood in another building. Seems odd to me, these dual tasks. The fact that this game makes bakers run the mill is nonsense. I don't know if this is just plain lazy to create new units or just trying to be efficient. Either which, I'm not impressed.

The Artificial Intelligence of units is downright terrible. Those beta testers should be fired big time. Units keep bumping into each other which wastes several seconds, until they figure out where they want to go - those several seconds may turn to several minutes when you have a lot of workers wandering about.

The same problem occurs when it comes to combat. They had very interesting features when it comes to formations, but the combat mechanism itself ruined the whole system. Combat units can only fight when they're facing the opponent. This means if your opponent is on your rear, your dead meat. That's not a problem if they can move fast enough. These units move very slow when they're told to turn, plus they keep bumping into each other, which means by the time they get to the position they want, no one's alive to even care.

The Bottom Line
More minuses than pluses. A state of the art in the word "mediocre" and not much else.

Windows · by Indra was here (20750) · 2004

Painfully slow

The Good
Graphics wise the game isn't too hard on the eyes. Units can be formed into formations. Honestly I can’t think of too much to say about what I liked about this game, truly mediocre.

The Bad
Basically the pace of the game nailed this game in the coffin. I remember playing the demo of this game when it came out and thinking that it wasn't too bad, maybe worth a play. After later revisiting the game, the pace is simply too slow to keep the attention.

The tedious process of road building exacerbates this point. Each building in the game is required to have an adjoining road to it, and each stone slab must be built. Also the process of feeding troops is tedious and also time consuming, each soldier requires a unit to bring food to them, so if you're planning to manage your troops away from camp for an extended period of time forget about it.

The Bottom Line
If the slow pace doesn't faze you, and a real time strategy game set in a medieval world interested you, this game just might be worth the play.

Windows · by IP Freely (3) · 2004

Be a king

The Good
First of all the games graphics are great and smooth (even on a p133 16mb). The characters are perfectly drawn and animated. Its beautiful to look at. The music is well composed, it got a medieval sound. The whole level is alive with some animals, like fishes and wolves.

The Bad
The problem with this game is, that the gameplay is slow. First you must build a little village and this tooks a while. When you got a village you must make an army to attack the enemy. But when you got the hang of it, you may get like it. At least I do. Another thing that isn't oke, is the AI of your serves. It isn't possible to give them individual jobs. They just find something to do by themselves and guess what, it is always something that isn't important at that time. Also what I don't like about this game, that there isn't a fog of war like in Warcraft. Now you are able to see the enemies actions. Oke not before you explored their settlement.

The Bottom Line
If you like strategy games with a lot to build. Than this is your game.

Windows · by Buuks (197) · 2001

[ View all 4 player reviews ]

Trivia

Cancelled add-on

Joymania planned to release an add-on for Knights and Merchants: The Shattered Kingdom entitled Mission CD. This add-on was supposed to include new gameplay elements and a lot of new missions. It was canceled because of financial problems at TopWare. What happened to the material that had already been completed is unknown, but it is thought that it was used as base for Knights and Merchants: The Peasants Rebellion.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Erwin Bergervoet.

Macintosh added by Slik. Linux added by chirinea. Amiga added by Игги Друге.

Additional contributors: chirinea, Sciere, Ivan Napreenko, Klaster_1, Litude, CaesarZX, Cantillon, Patrick Bregger, Nightson Blaze, Plok.

Game added January 19, 2001. Last modified May 24, 2024.