In King Under the Mountain, you play as a semi-omniscient king, looking to rule your kingdom. Except you don’t have one — you must create it. Controlling a group of little serfs, you must carve out a small section of the world and make it yours.
In a similar vein to other colony management games, you set tasks to do — such as carving out rock, erecting structures and managing farms and the serfs in their infinite wisdom decide in what order to complete the tasks. Your main tasks in King Under the Mountain, are to build a base, (extra points for designing a castle) make facilities to run such a base like cookery areas such as tables, benches and cauldrons, and to look after your people.
The level of detail provided is very refreshing, such as ore having to be first smelted before you can work it, or items like barrels that need metal bands to be made before the barrel itself. These ideas are nice touches, distancing KutM from other games in a similar vein.
Being very early in development, there are sadly some downsides. My biggest wish to change is a better UI, the current one being severely lacking, with only a few buttons to give basic commands like dig, chop and build walls, designate rooms and build the two basic structures — pillars and lanterns. All the other furniture is locked behind the rooms, where you must first mark out a specific room before you can put any furniture down. I find this approach annoying, stopping me from putting furniture down to create nice spaces unless the items I specifically am looking for is designated by room type, and also by not letting me see all the furniture, making me first click on the correct room before seeing what furniture I can place.
Thankfully, KutM has a solid simulation, modelling the world around you very nicely, and a robust system taking care of the pawns, promising complex interactions and desires driving these peoples.
Looking through the road map showing the future of KutM is an experience, scrolling through the vast possibilities ahead. Early on are simple changes, quality of life things — providing information on jobs, who is assigned to a task, and how far done are they? (both very frustrating questions currently). Later on are talks of magic wielders, pipes to control the flow of liquids through your colony, complex social interactions between nobles and skilled immigrants and more.
While still early on, with a lot of work to do, King Under the Mountain has a solid base, and expectations of a great structure promised.
King Under the Mountain will be available in Steam Early Access for PC, Mac and Linux.