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  • Writer's pictureJoe Pace

Player of Games, #83: Stronghold Kingdom Simulator

As the title of this game might suggest, we're looking at a product that occupied a sweet spot on the Venn Diagram - Dungeons & Dragons meets SimCity. In this overlooked mid-90s gem, you took control of a dwarf or elf or mage or fighter (or something else) and set about carving a civilization from the oddly bucolic wilderness.

Build housing and fortifications, mine gold and iron, plant crops. Attack your neighbors or make peace with them, sure, but that realpolitik was always secondary to the intensive resource-management aspects of Stronghold, making this a favorite of a certain subset of nerds and anathema to others. Some guys were born to swing a sword, even virtually, while others were formed to count coppers and grow turnips and plan the optimal location of the blacksmith's shop. I won't deny being a veteran of many a well-fought Excel spreadsheet or deftly crafted budget proposal. Stronghold was D&D's digital love letter to its public management devotees, and boy, was it fun. Yes, I said it. Fun.

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