It’s been a little over a month since I last beat the Evony\Civony dead horse. In that time, I’ve stumbled across posts that demonstrate the game’s plagiarism of art and text, as well as the suspicious iEvony client, a post that shows the early progression of the ads from normal to stupidly raunchy, and a bunch from Bruce Everiss - fellow game blogger, former Codemaster, and veteran marketer - who is being threatened with cease-and-desists to stop talking about Evony’s abuse of AdSense among other things (frankly, I’m a little jealous I haven’t gotten a C&D yet). These tidbits… they are interesting, but they hardly make up the meat of a post. I prayed and prayed to the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and He delivered a completely original, totally fresh game: Kingory. Naturally, I had to have a look.
If the login page was any indication, I was about to have some epic adventures, possibly involving sexy geishas. At the very least, I was guaranteed “Oriental, Extravagant, Exotic Gameplay!” I made an account using email@example.com, username J0hnQPublic, (that’s a zero) password: 1234abcd and I am greeted by a friendly mascot:
Welcome to Evony v2.0: The wonderful world of price gouging and copyright infringement. Kung Fu Panda will show you around.
Suddenly, flashbacks. The town view:
The rural view:
And the map view:
My God, has Civony\Evony found a way to replicate itself? Are we looking at some Agent Smith of terrible browser games? Perhaps Kingory is the game that Civony\Evony ripped off in the first place? As Bruce Everiss describes at the end of his post, we can’t be sure. There is some evidence to suggest that Kingory existed before Civony\Evony, albeit under a different name. Perhaps the raw code that built both games was licensed from a third-party? Either way, we’re looking at a really unimaginative re-imagining:
“Server 001″… Oh God, you mean there’s going to be at least 100 servers of this?
Also: 30 dollars gets me 180 dollars of stuff AND 30 dollars? FUCK YEAH!
It looks like someone licensed them their unique style of mega-Engrish too. They made an effort to markedly change some of the in-game and forum text: and by that I mean they rearranged some words into new but still incomprehensible sentences. Determined to screencap my experience, I tried to log back in. I could not enter again until I solved a riddle, delivered to me in black Arial font on an empty, white background:
“User is already exists.”
I dug deep into my well of riddles. I’d already given my name, so I told it my quest. To this, it offered a new challenge:
I responded with “What do you mean, an African or a European swallow?” thus beating the web form at its own game.
…speaking of quests
While drafting this post, I spent a few minutes clicking about to see if there were any major differences between this and Civony\Evony. I’ll let Kingory’s satisfied customers (re: fools) explain…
Different themes, graphics, and chat settings, you say? That’s a whole new game then!
To be fair, Kingory also doesn’t charge you to use world chat… until you’ve played for 7 days. Some of the other ridiculous things Civony\Evony charged you for seem to be gone entirely. Then again, I had to dig in the forums just to find out about the chat thing, so who knows what else they’re not letting you know up front?
Mechanically, though? There are a few minor improvements, but overall it’s the same dull joke of a game that is built around forcing players to pay for in-game currency (here called “diamonds” instead of the extremely misleading Civony\Evony “cents”) or otherwise be completely locked out of basic strategy game functions. As with Civony\Evony, You still wait minutes, hours, days, and weeks for buildings and research to complete. As I concluded back then: you’re way, way better off downloading some abandonware or shelling out $40 for a deep, polished game made by a legitimate developer. Hell, Armor Games, Kongregate, Newgrounds, Yo! Arcade.net, and Blurst are all completely free and have tons of great games. Then there’s Utopia, which I mentioned before (MMOTBS with a heavy math emphasis) or The Dark Grimoire if you just want a time-waster (and a great community of RPers). And shit, there are always ROMs and emulators!
Well then, that’s not an update…
In fact, the only part I enjoyed about Kingory was that, if it turns out to be part of the Civony\Evony group of dickheads, then I predicted its birth (not that it took a genius). In my first update back in May, I made a very blunt statement that “once the ROI for the Evony scam drops to an undesirable point, UMGE will simply rebrand, relocate, and rescam. Shell games ftw!” I suspect Kingory is exactly that, but I suppose we’ll have to see
In short: what we have here are two games that are nearly identical in UI layout, mechanics, quest chains, Engrish descriptions, “beta phase” approach, misleading sexvertising, premium items, and “Free forever” tagline that barely deviate in name. They could - by some cruel twist of fate - be completely unrelated…
Call it a hunch, but something tells me otherwise.
I’m going to hope that what is happening here is that blogs like ours highlighting the scam that is Civony\Evony have taken their toll and Kingory is their futile effort to duck and weave. It’s possible that some other company is trying to get in on their action. It’s also possible that Civony\Evony stole all their fundamental codework straight from the Chinese Kingory (known as “RXSG”) in the first place - though you’d expect them to be more pissed about Civony\Evony in the forums. I seriously doubt it’s anything more than another short-con.
Whatever the reason for this abomination, I cower in the corner as I finish this post since it was only a couple months ago that our (NFO’s) Akismet queue hit the 6666 mark, almost entirely spambots advertising Evony\Civony. For those uninitiated of you: 6666 is the Mark of the Beast in Engrish.
Kingory, Evony, Civony… they’re all the same - and now they’re possibly linked to the Devil, too. The self-replicating Kung Fu Panda Devil. We’re fucked. I’m fucked. Fuck.