King of the Castle preview: Collaborative chaos that’s only as good as the players

King of the Castle gameTributary Games / Team17

Introducing collaborative chaos, ridiculous rules, and an unthinkable amount of superb storylines — King of the Castle brings a style of co-op gameplay and exciting streamer design unlike any other.

King of the Castle is a mass collaborative experience designed for anyone with large groups, Twitch streamers, and their chat or a smaller group of friends. Essentially, one player will act as the monarch, while the others, split into their respective noble houses, will aim to take over the throne and claim the country for their own.

In a thrilling preview, we sat down with the developers and other players to enjoy an interactive run-through of King of the Castle, including tough choices, hilarious audience participation, and a glimpse into the true potential of this collaborative game. I left feeling a combination of joy, optimism, and confusion.

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King of the castleTributary Games / Team17

At its core King of the Castle is undeniably fun. The idea is both inclusive, easy to play, and incredibly supportive to all types of players, no matter their budget. The cheap buying price and ability to allow up to 3000 people to play for free enables the title to be streamed and enjoyed by hundreds.

However, upon testing out the game with around 50 people, we did come across a few small bugs that took us away from the game, forcing more than one player to be taken away from the story while desperately trying to connect back into the game.

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Nevertheless, small bugs aside, King of the Castle is an extremely enjoyable experience that slowly takes players through a political journey of deceit, backstabbing, and throwing kings, or queens in the river. While it may be a little complicated to truly understand the rules and aim from a first playthrough, I found myself thoroughly enjoying every minute of the gameplay.

King of the castle gameplayTributary Games / Team17

This enjoyment was greatly aided by the extreme passion delivered by the monarch, otherwise known as the main character in the game, who the ‘nobles’ are meant to remove from the crown. Delivered with such excitement, it was hard to not be drawn into the gameplay and enjoy every decision being made.

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With such a focus on the way the monarch acts, it became quickly apparent that this game could only be as good as its leader. Such streaming games for Twitch and mass-player titles like King of the Castle force all the attention to be on one person, and if they produce enough passion, the other players will undoubtedly share the enjoyment.

Final Thoughts

King of the Castle is a thrilling yet complex collaborative experience filled with all the deceit, betrayal, and planning a game like this should have. Combined with the basic style of the game and the hilarious storylines, it’s clear that King of the Castle will likely only be as good as its players make it. An experience with a passionate and engaging monarch will leave any player longing for more, while one that fails to grasp an audience will cause the title to be undeniably forgetful.

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King of the Castle launches on March 2, 2023, for Microsoft Windows.