By Royal Decree: Fit for a King from Kitfox Games is a charming, easy-going monarchy sandbox with a ton of unexpected fun. Using an 8-bit style retro feel for its looks, Fit for a King lets the player fulfill their most Kingly or Queenly desires. It’s a nostalgic blast from 1985 that lets you fulfill your royalty fantasies.
You play as either a king or queen (so choose your most regal name at the start) awaking on the day of a royal summit. Your goal is simple: use your undisputed power to collect gold from taxes, dowries and just finding it laying around your castle to throw the most lavish, over-the-top party and out-do your royal rival.
This is where things get interesting. As the King or Queen, you have the power to do most anything you like. You could be a benevolent king forgiving criminals and knighting worthy peasants. Or be a tyrannical queen, executing everyone after forcing them to divorce and remarry you. Or reform the church and proclaim yourself pope and absolve yourself of all your sins. The choices are yours but they do have consequences so rule wisely. Or don’t. With the crown on your head, who’s going to argue with you?
Fit for a King is surprisingly deep for its playtime. The summit is actually pretty difficult to get exactly right. There are tons of secrets to find and your rival always seems to find something at which to scoff. It’s easy to get side-tracked and end up fighting off pirates while looking for a dragon to kill and eat. NPCs mostly respond to “Name”, “Job” and “Summit” but if you can find keywords in their speech you can find all sorts of secret side-quests to make your party the most spectacular in all the lands.
Fans of super-retro gaming will feel right at home with Fit for a King. The developers seem to use the game as a love letter to Ultima 4: Quest of the Avatar. The top-down map and player interface directly echo Ultima 4’s including the type-based interactions with NPCs. This is great for fans of retro graphics but it can also be a little too much at times. With as much as there is to do in the game simplicity is key but 8-bit graphics can sometimes be a little hard to look at.
The music sounds like it came from a cartridge as well. Its compressed and simple which fits the style just so. The developers wisely play music during key parts but this does leave the overworld eerily quiet sometimes. However, you’ll often be too busy fighting bears to notice.
Overall, Fit for a King is a delightful romp through the 16th Century with all the debauchery, excess and absurdity a king or queen could want. The retro feel is a nostalgic blast from 1985 if you’re into that. Like all good monarchies the rise and fall of the kingdom is written by your own avarice and gluttony. History will always remember you as one of the greats but whether that’s for being just and kind or mad with power is entirely up to you, Your Majesty.
(Editor’s note: Due to technical difficulties on the author’s end, screenshots were taken from Fit for a King’s Steam page.)