Blacksmith of the Sand Kingdom is a very unique RPG. It begs you to question what you get when you cross a JRPG and Business Tycoon. And that’s what Blacksmith tycoon, Er I mean Blacksmith of the Sand Kingdom is. The game offers a unique feature that is grind intensive. Which personally, is a perfect game for any JRPG enthusiast. The game offers a simplistic take on gameplay that is easy on your device.
The tale of Blacksmith of the Sand Kingdom (Which we’ll refer to as BSK) follows the story of a Volker, a blacksmith’s son of the kingdom of Muspelheim a nation of desert and wilderness. The story is set after the death of Volker’s dad who is also the kingdom’s court blacksmith. As the kingdom needs a successor to the blacksmith, there was no other fitting to the title than his son Volker, making him the new blacksmith. You are aided by your childhood friend and a fairy from your father’s workshop in dealing and making new crafts worthy of your father’s craftmanship.
Gameplaywise, BSK offers a mixture of both strategy and traditional JRPG. Which means plenty of the tactics and build possibilities on the way. Added to this is the job and sub class mechanics that further expands the gameplay possibilities. The unique game play of BSK also extends to the equipment mechanics of the game. Being a blacksmith, you are able to build your own equipment and enchant it not only for your adventures but also to be sold on your shop. The simplistic art style, while not a huge stand to most people, is a very decent mixture of retro and modern class of pixelated style.
The combat follows both the traditional turn-based JRPG and the rock paper scissors type of damage system. Meaning, the game lets you select a variety of moves and skillset per turn and have enemies that have different and varying elemental weaknesses. Thus making the combat somewhat varied in a sense where you could have situations where you maxed out a certain skill only to have an monster encounter the monster where one of them will get devastated by it only to be absorbed by the other monster in the encounter. This can somewhat be predictable as the game progresses.
Although the unique premise of the game makes a few things stand out, the lack of combat and other variety to make the grinding nature of the gameplay more enjoyable isn’t there. All in all, the game is enjoyable if you just ignore the grindy nature of it. But let us be honest, most RPG fans already accepted the fact that most RPGs are grindy by nature. In fact, that is why we play this right? All in all, the game is an enjoyable experience that offers a unique feature or two, however the lack of overall uniqueness of the combat and equipment list makes it a bit by the numbers kind of gameplay.
My personal gripe here is, outside the augmentation there are no other customization options for the said forged item. Say, if you were to make a customized sword, there is no way to give it a more defined traits to make it standout above all the other swords. What if we want to add an extra iron to it? One thing I also noticed with this game is that you are unable to go physically to any of its shops. This makes me feel like this game was meant to be more of a mobile game rather than a console game.
With all that being said, BSK is still a decent game just don’t expect any else outside of the crafting mechanics. This is from both the combat and overall game mechanics. Would I say the game should have done a lot more? In some areas yes but all in all the game is still enjoyable, but lacks that special thing to make it really stand out.
Blacksmith of the Sand Kingdom – Review
It’s a fun game that has its few kinks that can easily be ignored.
Unique way of both getting money and equipment
The variety of enemy and dungeon keeps the game fresh and enjoyable from time to time
Variety of job class and stat building decisions for a variety of character and party builds
A by-the-numbers kind of approach on equipment making
While enjoyable, lacks a sense of distinguishing factors to other JRPG of its kind
You are unable to physically go to shops which makes this feels like a PS4 port of a mobile version of the game