Crusader Kings II (PC) (2012)

Crusader Kings II is a grand strategy game developed by Paradox Development Studio, the developer of the Europa Universalis series. While the goal in the Europa Universalis series is to build a country, the goal in the Crusader King series is to build a dynasty.

Crusader Kings II (PC) (2012)

Relevant Links:
Crusader Kings II Website
Crusader Kings II (Steam Store Page)
Crusader Kings II (
Crusader Kings II (PC) (

Recently my motivation to play various short games in my library began to decline and so I decided to temporarily move on to a new theme (see the end of this post for details). In any case, the first game using this new theme was Crusader Kings II.

There's also a menu at the bottom of the screen!

The first thing I tried doing was playing the 'Learning Scenario,' but I don't think I was initiating the help dialogues. With so many buttons on the user interface, I decided to escape to the menu and look for some tutorials.

Finding the tutorial at the bottom, I went through all the basic tutorials. At one point, I thought the tutorial I was in had froze. I eventually realized the game had paused itself when the latest tooltip appeared. In any case, the basic tutorials took so much time that I was ready to just play the game instead of continuing through the intermediate and advanced tutorials.

So many tutorials! You can also access the 'Learning Scenario' from this screen.

Restarting the 'Learning Scenario,' I was happy to see that a help dialogue would show up every now and then - perhaps because I was able to follow the instructions each time it appeared.

While I was beginning to like the game, I also felt overwhelmed by all the buttons and some gameplay aspects like managing vassals were annoyingly confusing.

Then, after 112 minutes of playing, I had lost my patience, saved the game, and exited.

Checking out a tutorial.

+ Strongly tied to history
+ Pretty good music
+ Lots of details and options. As an example, there are more than ten possible map views!

- Incredibly steep learning curve. In particular, Sid Meier's Civilization V (PC) (2010)* felt easier to pick up.
- Tediously boring to learn

The tutorial shows you how to go by ship, but it's faster to go by foot.

*While both are strategy games, they belong to different subgenres.

Personally I'm a fan of games which start simple but slowly lead the player into the game's complexity through discovery. As a runner-up, I also like games whose complexity can be found as needed via a wiki. For example, I recall when I first started playing Terraria (PC) (2011) - my first ever crafting game - and admittedly I read a little snippet on getting started. However, after about five minutes I was well on my way to hours and hours of fun and discovery.

'Learning Scenario'

In contrast to the above, Crusader Kings 2 starts complex and requires a fair amount of an upfront learning investment. Unfortunately, the in-game tutorials are dry and the learning scenario occasionally feels open-ended. Fortunately, the game does have numerous external resources available to the player (YouTube, Reddit, and the CKII Wiki), but there is no escape from complexity. For example, a detailed Crusader Kings 2 Tutorial Series consists of 22 videos which last a total of about 400 minutes (= 6.7 hours).

Finding a wife.

While technically I gave up on the game, I only did so after playing for almost two hours. Furthermore, I was beginning to like the game and if I played strategy games more regularly, I would probably love it. In particular, I definitely like the game concept.

Steam: 112 minutes (total game time)

It's a baby girl!


Old Theme:
Already Played/Not: Leaned towards not
Primary Criteria: Ordered by time to 100% (shortest first), Time <= 12.0 hrs Secondary Criteria: 'Score' >= 7.0
Goal: Try to achieve 100%
Remaining Pool Size: 20 - 40

New Theme:
Already Played/Not: Not Already Played
Primary Criteria: Ordered by price, Price >= $10
Secondary Criteria: 'Reviews' >= 80%
Goal: Try to play a game until its Price (on Steam) / Time Played (in hours) is less than or equal to $10.
Remaining Pool Size: about 150

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