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Published on April 8th, 2011 | by Derek Strickland, Contributor

Knights of Jadora Xbox Indie Review

Platform: Xbox LIVE Indie Games
Price: 240 MS Points
Developer: NoWare Entertainment (Njal)

Knights of Jadora is an expansive Xbox Indie that puts emphasis on elements from RTS, RPG and tower defense genres of gaming. With an extensive story arc in the vein of medieval fantasy, Knights of Jadora is an epic adventure that utilizes real-time strategy gameplay dynamics along with character development seen in role-playing games. Conquer armies and kingdoms as a general of the “Free Company of the Guilds”–fight hordes of enemies in this game of medieval conquest.

For half a century the land of Jadora has known tranquility and peace throughout the kingdoms. Turcia, the most powerful realm, was in turmoil as the elven king Tor’ Jhan had perished from an unknown illness. Since the elven king was without an heir, Zul–the royal admonitor or adviser to the throne–was appointed with the highest authority in Jadora and crowned King of Turcia.

Now that Zul had gained the most prestigious and powerful position, none would oppose his decree. Within one year’s time the new King convinced the entire empire that the beloved Tor’Jhan was in fact slain by an assassin from the nearby kingdom of Ardath. With this declaration came war and carnage–Jadora had finally erupted in bloodshed, and the domains of Jadora scrambled to ally themselves with the warring nations of Turcia and Ardath.

The opposition has fallen, and Ardath is now sovereign to the Turcian flag. Ardath was only the stepping stone in Zul’s plan for total imperialistic reign–he now set his focus on the rest of the land of Jadora. Within only five years time Turcia was now a towering, Clyclopean empire–it’s patriarch transformed by greed and power.

Turcia’s iron grasp stretched all over the realms … except for one: Werndor, which was isolated from the rest of the lands. Werndor’s prosperity is largely responsible for it’s Guild System–the Fighter’s, Ranger’s, and Wizard’s Guilds, respectively–that has a standing mercenary force known as “The Free Company of the Guilds“. This militia is made up a culmination of the three different guilds making for a formidable force.

Will Werndor fall to the overwhelming Turcian Empire, or will it conquer the seemingly unstoppable juggernaut and spark a revolution? It’s up to players to find out in this epic tower defense adventure.

Gamers take control of the Free Company of the Guilds, the last opposing force in the mystical land of Jadora, and it is primarily led by the three top-ranking generals of each guild: Sir Richard the Paladin, Captain Rosealia Julii the Ranger and Arch-Magus Njal Spellbringer the mage.

This game is quite unique it its use of real-time strategy/tower defense dynamics, both of which come together to form this hybrid title. There are also elements from role-playing games utilized by this Xbox Indies game, especially character/unit development, skill trees, and attributes.

The in-game battle system in this game is quite unique and cleverly designed–enemies walk along a set path and players must quickly place their forces around the path. The objective is to let as few enemies past your army as possible, using different combinations of the three types of units: mages, rangers, and knights.

Players must utilize their wits and reflexes to outmaneuver enemies and eliminate as many of the oncoming waves as possible. Protect your kingdom from the invasion while earning EXP and gold bonuses along the way, which are used for upgrading units as well as buying new attributes and abilities.

Strategy is a key factor in gameplay as players will quickly find they must implement a wide array of tactics and planning skills as the areas and enemies become more progressively difficult. Gamers who are familiar with both turn-based RPG’s and real-time strategy titles will enjoy this Xbox Indie tower defense game.

The most unique element in Knights of Jadora would have to be the in-game mechanics that are a mix of many different genres of gaming: the quick improvisational dynamics of real-time strategy, the enemy path system associated with tower defense titles and the intricate and dynamic ability trees and attributes that are key factors of role-playing games.

If a player can beat a stage in a certain amount of time and eliminate a certain amount of monsters, they can earn special Rewards. Some of these rewards are simple EXP or Gold bonuses, but others can be quite substantial and net unique items that dynamically affect gameplay. Earn each general’s equipment to maximize efficiency and strength in-battle.

Players can also utilize four different kinds of traps that can be set on the enemy’s path–as reinforcements can only be set adjacent to the enemy’s path, these traps offer the chance to slow enemies down. The barricade, for example, blocks an enemy’s path and also deals damage–similar to the Pit Trap which slows enemies by 30% while dealing damage. Making good use of the traps available to the player is essential for efficient strategies.

Final Truth:

This Xbox Indie is an expansive title with a substantial amount of replay value and offers many hours of play time. Recommended for gamers who enjoy strategy and simulation games set in the medieval/fantasy era, and is also recommended for RPG fans as this game contains many aspects found in that genre.

All in all this game is a pleasant experience and offers a massive amount of content for only $3–nice graphics, melodic musical tracks, and creative and original game dynamics all come together to make this game a fun experience.

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[xrr label=”Rating: 8/10″ rating=8/10]

+ Expansive RTS/RPG Dynamics

+ Great Music & Graphics

+ Hours of Playtime

Cluttered Battlefields & Overwhelming Waves of Enemies

Gameplay May Be Too Confusing for Some

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About the Author

I'm an aspiring games journalist who writes articles focused on everything from Indie Games to next-gen titles. [Twitter] @Mr_Deeke [E-Mail] derek.s(at)gamingtruth(dot)com

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