In days of old when knights were bold and Barons weren't elected, how their days would end would all depend on which icon they'd selected? Yes, Evil Crown is an icon-driven strategy game set in the Middle Ages.
Starting off as a Baron, the idea of the game is to seize any slight chance of power presented to you and work your way slowly up the social ladder until you become king. This generally involves being nastier than everybody else, but take care. One false step and you could find your head parting company with your neck!
You must manage and increase your estate, by keeping your peasants in order and also increasing your fame (or infamy) by doing well in the tournaments. You start off in the year 1160 and must set the levels for tax, tolls, soutage (how much you pay the King to stop him nicking your militia, etc). You must also decide how much to spend or pay for troops, buying food for the peasants and the forthcoming tournament. You can also select another menu of icons which show how well you are doing in varying aspects such as fame, trade and loyalty.
The tournament is the only action part of the game where you try to unseat your opponent as he does likewise to you. How well you do and what sort of show you put on affects many decisions. After the journey, you may be called to battle, or your peasants may revolt. You then see the results of the year's harvest and get details of the year's income and losses.
The main problem with this game is that there are a huge number of variables to consider and you are given no help at all as to what initial strategy to follow. The combat sequences are also rather unsatisfactory. This is a pity because I feel that deep down there is a good game trying to get out. As it is you will need an awful lot of patience and trial and error to get into it.