Gaming with Children
Home Forums Review Archive Columns Feature Articles News
Search Our Site!
 
What is GamerDad?
Why do Kids Love Games? Are Games Harmful? You'll find the answers here. At GamerDad, we believe in Gaming with Children.

Email Us, Visit our FAQ, learn About Us, Bookmark us now and join our message board. We update daily!



Donate to help Hurricane Surivivors

In Association with Amazon.com
Buy something from Amazon using this link, and GamerDad gets a percentage!

Columns
Balancing Act
Alpern's humorous look at family life.

GamerDad Family
A look at the family behind the Dad!

GamerDad Signal
Dispatches from GamerDad HQ

GamerKid Reviews!
GamerKid Reviews!

LongShot
Dave takes aim at Gaming - and fires.

MomGamer
Colleen Hannon & the MomGamer's perspective.

Mommy
Young mother of 3 & children's book author.

Prairie
Doug Hanna's view of those wide open spaces.

Reader Soapbox
One Reader Speaks! You, hopefully, listen.

Retro
Steve Fulton's all about nostalgia with Retro.

This Week In Games

Unplugged
Dr. Matt Carlson talks board games.

Home > Review Archive > Video Games > Results: Majesty & Majesty Northern Expansion

Majesty & Majesty Northern Expansion
by Dr. Matt J. Carlson
November 08, 2003

Reviewed for PC.

Format For Printing | Tell A Friend

Scroll down for our Kid Factor.

GamerDad Seal Of Approval - 10+.  Click to learn more about our review seal. You must go out and buy this game if you like a number of the following games: (a) - Sim City/Pharaoh/Caesar, or (b) - Starcraft/Age of Empires/Settlers/Warcraft. This "Sim-Kingdom" game is a combination of the two types of games, but most of all, the game is UNIQUE. If you are a micro-manager, it may bother you a little, but I think there's enough there to even appeal to the micro-manager types. The premise is that you are a king and you build your kingdom up from scratch in almost every scenario. You build buildings. They do one of two things. The buildings in turn construct heroes, or they provide some sort of benefit to you or your heroes. The game is based around these heroes, and they DON'T DO WHAT YOU TELL THEM! They do whatever they feel like doing at the time. True, you can "persuade" them to attack the enemy fortress or defend the town by placing a cash bounty for the deed, but if they don't feel like it, they still won't do it. That is the best part and the worst part of the game.



You build up your town, building guilds to make heroes and other structures to generate money. For example, if you build a marketplace, it will generate income. If you research healing potions at the marketplace, your heroes will spend the money they earn by buying potions, and you'll make money back! You're basically an economic baron/king, out to keep the kingdom going by selling the people (heroes) what they want to buy. Some guilds and buildings allow you to cast spells on your heroes to make them better, but these cost gold as well. You watch your heroes gain levels as they go out and explore and take out bad guys and their lairs.

The single player game consists of lots of different scenarios you can play that give you different goals and objectives and often handicap you in which units are allowed. This is nice so you don't fall into the same old pattern. (Although, I do feel that paladin's ROCK. They always like to kill evil creatures w/out additional incentives, and once they get a couple levels under their belt, they aren't likely to die off...) Multi-player consists of you trying to take out the other player's kingdom with your heroes. Remember, you can't control heroes directly, so if someone sets a large bounty on your own castle, don't be surprised if you see your own thieves trying to collect the reward! I like the graphics of the game, it ran pretty well on our older, slower system, and the interface is very usable. The only downside is that we had a lot of trouble with screen lock-ups. They were only slightly better after using the initial patch that was released. In longer scenarios there is sometimes a good chunk of down-time while you wait for your heroes to explore and gain levels, so if you have to be doing something all the time, that will be a limitation. A successful king is always looking to find the way to do the least amount of work possible since most of your powers and decisions all involve spending money. When it was first released, this was definitely a game of the moment for its creativity and unique playing style.

The Northern Expansion

A very fun, but not too deep RTS. Build up your kingdom and protect it from invaders. However, you aren't allowed to directly influence any of your underlings. You can only encourage and persuade them by offering rewards.

If you're unfamiliar with the real-time strategy game called Majesty, you're in for a treat. Its a fantasy kingdom-management strategy game where your main powers as king are to pay out rewards to heroes you attract to your kingdom and then collect taxes back from them when they come and purchase heroic odds and ends (like rings of protection and healing potions) at the local magic shop. Its an excellent mix of planning and economic management, and since your heroes gain levels over time as they scout out new territory and kill invading monsters, you grow quite attached to some of them. See our review of the original game for more detailed information.

The Northern Expansion is just that, an expansion for the original Majesty game (the original game is required to use the expansion). The good news is that all of the enjoyable game play of the first game translates over to the new game. Included in Majesty: The Northern Expansion are a fair number of new intermediate to very challenging single-player quests. New buildings (including a new magic shop) are available giving you access to several new global spells and new items for your heroes to spend their hard earned cash on. A favorite new spell allows you to directly affect a single hero telling him or her to flee if currently fighting or fight if currently fleeing from a foe, for when you as king, absolutely mean business!

Other upgrades are more behind the scenes with some slight improvements to online multiplayer game play as well as special cheat codes that allow you to call in waves of monsters for your kingdom's heroes to fight. This is a great way to turn the game into a kind of "sim-city" style game when you've completed the objectives of a particular scenario. All you need do is call in some new enemies and your heroes are (usually) more than happy to go out and defend the realm. If they're not enthusiastic, a few well-placed gold bounties will inspire the rest.

Overall, if you wanted more single player scenarios, the expansion is a great deal. If you were always yearning for more action once a scenario was completed, the expansion can help you there as well. If you liked the original and just wanted more options and toys for your heroes to play with, again the expansion is a good buy. For only $20, the expansion is a great deal for anyone with the original game. If you haven't played the original, you may want to wait for Majesty Gold (presumably the original and the expansion) due to come out in January of 2002. Majesty is one of the most unique and different real time strategy games of the past couple years.

Kid factor: Its a complex, real-time-strategy game, so younger kids might find it troublesome. However, it is one of those games that is quite entertaining to watch. Since its so hands-off even the person playing the game is somewhat more of an audience than a participant. Death occurs to units with a small gravestone appearing at the site of the
character's death, not too graphic. Kids in middle school and younger (and some adults...) might find it frustrating that you can't just "take control" of a unit and tell it what to do. You have to "persuade" them
more subtly with rewards of gold.



Reviewer's Recommended Ages: 11+
ESRB: T-Teen
Developer: Cyberlore
Producer: Infogrames


Click to learn more about GamerDad's Kid Factor review section. You must go out and buy this game if you like a number of the following games: (a) - Sim City/Pharaoh/Caesar, or (b) - Starcraft/Age of Empires/Settlers/Warcraft. This "Sim-Kingdom" game is a combination of the two types of games, but most of all, the game is UNIQUE. If you are a micro-manager, it may bother you a little, but I think there's enough there to even appeal to the micro-manager types. The premise is that you are a king and you build your kingdom up from scratch in almost every scenario. You build buildings. They do one of two things. The buildings in turn construct heroes, or they provide some sort of benefit to you or your heroes. The game is based around these heroes, and they DON'T DO WHAT YOU TELL THEM! They do whatever they feel like doing at the time. True, you can "persuade" them to attack the enemy fortress or defend the town by placing a cash bounty for the deed, but if they don't feel like it, they still won't do it. That is the best part and the worst part of the game. Kid Factor by Dr. Matt J. Carlson

Format For Printing | Tell A Friend

Home > Review Archive > Video Games > Results: Majesty & Majesty Northern Expansion
GamerDad Game Of The Year 2005
Best Games of 2005!

GamerDad 2005 Holiday Guide
Read the GamerDad 2005 Holiday Guide!

Game Info:
Platform(s):
PC

ESRB rating:
T - Teen

Score:


Developer:
Cyberlore

Publisher:
Infogrames
Past Articles


Visit the GamerDad Store and Buy Stuff!