King of Dragon Pass (1999) is a fantasy strategy game where you control barbarian clans settling in the dangerous frontier region of Dragon Pass.
You play as the Orlanthi clan, who have fled from their home after a foreign magician has usurped the throne. Along with dozens of other Orlanthi clans, the clan seeks to build a new home in Dragon Pass, a previously populated area left deserted after the Dragonkill War hundreds of years ago.
You control the seven-member clan in all aspects of its life, such as trading, warfare, agriculture and diplomacy. The game is played in seasons, in each of which you can make two top-level decisions. You then see how events play out (mundane law disputes, spiritual or demonic incursions, political disagreements).
To succeed you must balance resources and manage clan individuals to your benefit. A lack of food might be solvable by clearing more farmland, but when the forest responds by sending a talking fox to urge leaving the trees alone, a wrong choice could bring the clan hunters to war with their environment. Likewise, should a member of the clan act in a selfish and foolish manner, action needs to be taken to stabilise and defuse the situation, if necessary.
King of Dragon Pass is unusual in that it depicts action with hand-drawn artwork rather than animation. It was originally a commercial failure but became a cult classic. This led to it coming to other platforms, and the spiritual successor, Six Ages: Ride Like The Wind, being released in 2018.
Our examiner, Andy Robertson
, first checked King of Dragon Pass 3 years ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson
and updated 5 months ago.