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Review: Majesty: The Northern Expansion – A Classic Fantasy Strategy Game For iOS

Rating: 4/5

Posted in Apps, Reviews on 20/02/2013 by Henry Taylor-Gill

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The original Majesty: The Northern Expansion was released as a sequel to Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim in 2001. Both were fairly popular strategy games, and 10 years later the latter was released on iOS. Now though, Northern Expansion has hit the App Store – let’s see how it performs.

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Overview

We’ll start with the good news, but if you want the bad news first, then read the last few paragraphs of this section before this one. Before you even start playing, an excellent tutorial comes up and teaches you the basics of the game, especially useful for those like me who never played the original version.

Probably the main positive is that after you’ve completed the tutorial, it’s actually quite easy to play. It’s your standard strategy game layout with a myriad of options, but all are quite clearly signposted.

For those who don’t know about the older game, the gameplay involves building various castles and other buildings, which can produce warriors, wizards and other characters. You then have to take over the map, and you will face goblins, giant rats and other creatures along the way.

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The game takes a long time complete. I don’t know if I’m just playing slow, but I think it’s something true of most strategy games. You really want to set aside a couple of hours if you want to get anywhere, but at the same time, it’s value for money, so it’s hardly a negative.

The final really nice aspect of the game are the leaderboards. It lists all your achievements, and tells you which missions you have and haven’t yet completed. Online leaderboards are also available if you sign up.

Now for the bad news. Unfortunately, there are a lot of things, but most of them are minor, so it’s not disastrous. For starters, the background music is not turned on by default when you open the app. I think it creates a good ambiance for the game if it is on (especially as this game’s music is actually quite good), and having to manually turn it on via a series of menus isn’t great.

Secondly, the menu page of the game isn’t that great. The format of the menus (drop down from the top), doesn’t make best use of the space. Certainly on the iPad, there is room for a much cooler menu system, which takes full advantage of the screen space.

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Related to the menu screen are also the social links. I wouldn’t call them obtrusive, but you definitely notice them, and it would be more subtle if they were put in the info section or somewhere less visible.

Last point is that at times it’s not intuitive. For example, as you open the game, you are asked what profile you want to load. Instead of just tapping on the profile, you select it and then tap another button underneath. Why not just simplify it? The same scenario also happens a few other times when using the game.

Verdict

If you can put up with the at times counter intuitive navigation and poorly designed menu, then Majesty: Nothern Expansion is a great game. Of course, you’ll need a lot of free time, but if you played the old version or like strategy games, this is a decent choice.

Rating: 4/5

Price: $2.99 (App Store Link)

Pros:

  • Excellent tutorial.
  • Easy to play (after tutorial).
  • Leaderboards.

Cons:

  • Menus and navigation poor, needs to be improved.


Henry Taylor-Gill

Author

Henry Taylor-Gill

Henry is a student who is a huge Apple fan, and has used their products since day one. He can remember how happy he was when he received the first iPod back in 2001 as a birthday present. He has an international background, having spent most of his life in France but he now lives in the UK. He is also a native French speaker and can also speak Spanish at a decent level. In addition to tech, Henry is an avid sports fan and has his own sports blog.