If you’ve ever wanted to command an army, Skyworld: Kingdom Brawl is the game for you. A fantasy-themed board game at heart, it blends the military tactics of a real-time strategy game with the deck-building of a card battler. From Vertigo Games, makers of the award-winning zombie shooter Arizona Sunshine, Skyworld: Kingdom Brawl is available today on Oculus Quest!
Previously available on the Rift Platform, Kingdom Brawl isn’t the first game in the Skyworld universe. The first, simply titled Skyworld, brought the RTS genre into VR in a big way. Kingdom Brawl has everything fans loved about the first game, like unique battle cards, cool arenas, and competitive PVP, only now players get a whole new way to experience the combat with Oculus Quest. With no cords to worry about, aspiring commanders are free to walk around the battlefield and inspect everything from flying dragons to battle formations up close and personal.
There’s also a greater focus on fast-paced competitive play since Kingdom Brawl does away with the turn-based portion of the original Skyworld to focus exclusively on real-time strategy. With this simple refinement to the formula, each encounter—from single-player bouts to high-stakes tournaments—feels downright speedy.
To hear more about Skyworld: Kingdom Brawl and what makes card battlers fun to play in VR, we spoke with Vertigo Games Game Designer Nick Witsel.
How would you describe Skyworld: Kingdom Brawl to someone new to card battle games?
Nick WItsel: Skyworld: Kingdom Brawl is a highly competitive card-battle game in VR. It’s about building a great deck with a variety of cards, from an array of soldiers to different spells like fireballs or ice, and casting them onto the battlefield where you can watch them come to life and destroy your enemies.
How does VR change the way you play a game like Kingdom Brawl, where command dozens of individual units all at once?
NW: It’s like you’re playing a board game, but one where the pawns actually move and fight! It’s fun to take the cards from your hand, throw them on the table, and watch them turn into animated soldiers that take to battle!
What are some key differences between the Rift Platform and Oculus Quest versions of the game?
NW: Well, in the Rift version you could grab and turn the table to change the angle of your view, but since the Oculus Quest offers completely untethered gameplay, you can physically walk around the table. This allows you to get close to the board and inspect all the action that’s unfolding on the battlefield from every angle.
Why pivot from Arizona Sunshine, a zombie first-person shooter, to Kingdom Brawl, a strategic card battler?
NW: With Arizona Sunshine, we were among the first to create a VR game for the FPS genre, and we became one of the pioneers of the genre. It was the same with Skyworld. We saw that strategy was a genre that didn’t have a lot of VR games yet. That got our attention. We’re really interested in pushing the boundaries of VR and seeing what we can achieve.
Can you tell us about Kingdom Brawl’s multiplayer options, clan system, and leaderboards?
NW: When you enter the game, you join a multiplayer server where you’re matched against a player with a similar skill level. It’s cross-platform, so it doesn’t matter which headset players are using. If you join a clan and battle members of an opposing, whatever clan the seals you win in battle are added to the collective seals of the entire clan. At the end of each month, you’ll be rewarded for your contribution to your clan’s total seal score.
How did you design the game’s 20 battle arenas to ensure they all felt unique?
NW: All battle arenas have a different environment. For example, there are desert lands, jungle forests, mountain ranges, and volcanic terrain. The arenas also differ in the number of blockades and capture points that players will contend with, calling for different battle strategies for each.
What’s the most challenging thing about designing a game like Kingdom Brawl?
NW: Adding new units requires a lot of thinking and balancing. Because there is such a broad variety, it’s really important to ensure proper balancing between them. For example, if you would increase the strength of one unit, you would risk making it overpowered and it would collapse the entire web of interaction between all units.
What’s your favorite card in the game and why? What’s your strategy for using it?
NW: My favorite unit is the Summoner. It’s a Fresh Meat DLC unit and, although he may not seem like much at first, this is a unit that will continuously increase in strength during the game. He summons a smaller unit every few seconds, so the best way to use this unit is to spawn him close to your end of the board and watch him gain in numbers as he makes his way across the board toward enemy territories.
Can you give us a few insider tips on building a killer battle deck in Kingdom Brawl?
NW: Of course! Having a balanced deck is key, so make sure you have around three units that require little mana to fill up the battlefield and overwhelm your opponent. Then, make sure you have a high health unit which is difficult to defeat, making it hard for your enemy to attack your towers (hint: the Battle Tank unit is perfect for this!). Lastly, make sure you have at least one unit that is good at eliminating your assailants' stronger targets. You’ll be sure to give your opponent a run for his money with a strong deck like this! And my final tip: I always wait for my mana to fill up, then quickly spawn a group of complementary units at the same time.
What’s next for the team at Vertigo Games? Any news you can share on the development of After the Fall?
NW: We’ve got some big and exciting announcements coming up, so stay tuned! You can keep an eye on our channels for the latest updates—please find us onFacebook andTwitter or visit ourofficial website.
Do you have any final thoughts or a message to fans you’d like to share?
NW: Skyworld: Kingdom Brawl is a very quick and easy game to jump into, so feel free to take your Quest with you when you visit friends or family and use it as a fun way to introduce them to virtual reality. But be warned: all is fair in love and VR, so be prepared for friends to turn foe as you wipe your enemy off the map!
Ready to play commander and lead your troops into battle? Check out Skyworld: Kingdom Brawl on Quest today!