Hands on with Chillingo's location-based trading MMORPG My Kingdom

Castle check-in

Hands on with Chillingo's location-based trading MMORPG My Kingdom
| Merchant Kingdom

It seems that the success of check-in apps such as Foursquare is spreading over to game developers, with the Oberon Interactive-developed and Chillingo-published My Kingdom using such features.

Labelled 'the real location-based MMORPG', it's a fairly stat heavy sort of experience that has you using resources to expand your settlements, collecting and trading the likes of wood, stone, metal, bricks and food over time.

As you mine, harvest and quarry resources, you can then use them in construction or trade them for cash, as you move around the physical world, trying to find the highest profits as you go.

Trading up

Of course, one issue for these games is if you're using an iPod touch, your location can only be calculated via your wi-fi connection, but it doesn't seem that My Kingdom requires particularly accurate data for this.

Indeed, you can use carrier units to travel within the game, if you're stuck sitting in your livingroom. Moving around does seem to make the game more interesting however, and, to some degree, changes the way you play.

The main focus of your trading is so you can construct and upgrade your buildings to, in turn, provide more resources and activities. For example, you can create armies, and use units such as thieves and spies.

Nation of shopkeepers

The type of land you uncover also changes, ranging from boring marshlands in the beginning to jungle, deserts and volcanoes. The odder the location, the more rare will be the items you find therein.

There's a guild system too, so you can work your way up either the Traders guild, the Explorers guild, the Manufacturers guild or the Thieves guild, each of which is targeted towards a specific type of movement, whether you're a commuter, or a more random traveler.

You can also gain the favour of the king. When you become a knight, you can then build a castle, expanding your influence by organising events, or just demanding allegiance from other players via the power of your army.

However, from my early experiences with the game, that sort of fun is a long way off. To begin with, expect plenty of resource grinding and trading as you build out your basic settlement.

My Kingdom is out now, and free-to-play.

Or you can buy the Pro version for £2.39, $3.99 or €2.99. This enables you to buy specialist units using in-game gold, rather than real cash as in the freemium version of the game.