|This is a /v/ related article, which we tolerate because it's relevant and/or popular on /tg/... or we just can't be bothered to delete it.|
A medieval wargame played on your computer. It was spun off from the popular game Europa Universalis. The first version of Crusader Kings had some file corruption bugs that were never properly patched, so most people play Crusader Kings II. The game uses historical figures and situations, so you cannot create a realm of anthropomorphic penoids like in Spore. Still obtainable via abandonware vendors.
Crusader Kings II
Okay so this is what most of you probably came for.
Crusader Kings II is best summed up as a Dynasty Simulator. You play the part of the head of a dynasty of nobles as your families fortunes wax and wane through the ages. While initially you could only be various flavors of medieval European noble houses, complete with coat of arms, later expansions would eventually broaden the range of playable experiences to include Arabic harem masters, Mongolian hordes, VIKINGS, Jewish tribes, merchant republics and more, the basic gameplay remains the same: Gain enough power to survive the tides of history and reach the highest score possible when the game ends.
While that might be the "objective" of the game, (such as: Restoring the Roman Empire and Fucking up all of Europe on the side, Taking Holy Relics back from fitlhy Heretics, Forming a Holy Roman Empire on Steroids, etc.) the real meat of the gameplay lies in how you guide your character through their lives. Their short, brutal, adultery-filled lives. For example, starting from a petty duke of Murchad, some Irish noobland, ending up a syphilitic, dwarven, insane Holy Roman Emperor having a horse for a courtier, dying fighting the Jewish Mongols in pagan Lithuania.
Crusader Kings II Basically follows a simple premise: You're a King/High King/Sultan/Deathlord on a Horse let loose in a world of Heresy, Shitty Friends, Homeless shitheads that wanna make a kingdom out of your existing kingdom and strangers who want to torture you for fun, have fun. Almost immediately you can do whatever the hell you want. See that country right there? You can take it. You wanna have some crazy-ass Harem? You can do that too. The real challenge of the game is keeping your Vassals happy, keeping your title away from the hundreds of bastards your predecessor left behind, and making sure your next-door neighbor doesn't surprise you with an army of angry Heretics standing at your front doorstep.