When I was young I started off on the Enid Blyton books – Enchanted Woods, Faraway Tree then to Famous Five, Secret Seven and later Nancy Drews. As a result there was a time when I would relate more to Christmas festivities over Diwali. I knew more about the English culture than my own at least I thought so. It was only after I grew older that I realised this disconnect that was present in my life because I kept reading stuff that was entirely based in a different culture, land and social conditions. Now a days this has been changing with a large variety of Indian literature in many genres coming up… A very recent example is the popular Immortals of Meluha trilogy.

Being aware of how much influence books have on us I was very excited to see an Indian Facebook game called Karma Kingdom. I genuinely believe that entertainment that is rooted in Indian culture would really be much better for Indian kids! So I went and checked out the game. Its Indian in game play and creator. It has been made by company Avasthaa. Oddly I wanted to research the company but am not able to find even a basic website for it!  Though they have obviously done a lot of PR activities to get their press release printed in so many traditional and online news dailies!

The story

We start off building our village on a green island. We start with few small houses, each house has a population of 4 members. We need to collect health, community and knowledge points as we build our village. Attractions like decorative stone, bush, rice field etc.. help increase these points and keeping the villagers happy. In return the houses & villagers generate goodwill (tax) on a regular basis which keeps our coffers running! As we level up, new items open up which would add to the village.

Upside

The Game is very playable and I was very happy with the UI, look and layout! The different concepts are very similar to other games in the FB game genre like Fishworld, Farmville etc.. The design elements are appealing and colorful. I am sure kids would really enjoy this game. Our advisor is none other than Ganesha. As we level up other advisors become active including Hanuman, Devi and others which I haven’t activated yet! It includes the concept of having neighbours where we can see all our friends islands. In fact the first task given by Hanuman is to add neighbours thus bringing a viral element into the game.

Downside

According to me, the game lacks one crucial aspect which makes it not so engaging to grown ups – there is no real story! We are playing the part of I guess the government or village leader. It starts out very ‘Age of Empires like’ starting on an island with a few folk and we go about building our city. The problem is that there is no ‘work’ being done by anyone. One of the crucial aspects that makes AoE, Civilization and the ilk so exciting and engrossing is the option of alloting work to certain villagers and then managing them to grow the civilization. This lets us choose whether to make the civilization militaristic or cultural or religious…

In this game, we just keep making houses and cultural attractions. In return the people and some attractions give us some goodwill (tax) in return. This makes it boring cause we are just building the town and collecting tax, there is nothing to manage. No occupations (warriors, fisher men) to choose for the people, no work to assign because no work is being done at all!

So I would say this is a good game for smaller kids to play around age 10. Hopefully we will see more Indian games which are lot more exciting that even we olders can enjoy. In fact while we are hoping why not a Civilization or Caeser built around one of our exciting Indian scenarios!

 
  • Apart from feedback . what counts is the initiative to enter the market

    • Ya I agree, I am glad we have such games which are from India and about Indians 🙂

  • Anonymous

    I love this game!!

  • Anonymous

    I love this game, wonderful!

  • Hi Priyanka,

    Appreciate your candid feed-back on Karma Kingdom. As you will be aware, social games evolve as new features get added and you can expect exactly that to happen in our case as well. We have a lot more being added based on very thoughtful feed-back from players such as yourself.

    The website for the company is http://www.asvathaa.com 

    The web-site for the game is http://www.karmakingdom.com

    Ashok

    • Good to hear from your Ashok! Hope to see more features 🙂
      I read somewhere on some press release that the game has some option where people can donate money to real causes… but didn’t see anything like that in the game. Could shed some light on it please – cause that sort of a option to donate would be really good!