Romance of the Three Kingdoms (video game series)

Romance of the Three Kingdoms (三國志, Sangokushi, lit. "Records of the Three Kingdoms") is a series of turn-based tactical role-playing simulation grand strategy wargames produced by Koei.[1][2] Originating from Japan in 1985, fourteen installments of the game have been published in Japan, Taiwan, China, South Korea and North America to date. While the game's title as it was released in English refers to the 14th century historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms (三國演義) by Luo Guanzhong, the title as it was released in Japan and Chinese regions refers to the 3rd century historical text Records of the Three Kingdoms (三國志) by Chen Shou.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms
NES Three Kingdoms.png
Romance of the Three Kingdoms for the Nintendo Entertainment System, with the logo in the bottom-right corner
Developer(s)Koei (now Koei Tecmo)
Publisher(s)Koei (now Koei Temco)
Creator(s)Yōichi Erikawa
First releaseRomance of the Three Kingdoms
10 December 1985
Latest releaseRomance of the Three Kingdoms XIV
16 January 2020
Spin-offsDynasty Warriors
Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese三國志
Simplified Chinese三国志
Literal meaningRecords of the Three Kingdoms
Vietnamese name
VietnameseTam quốc chí
Korean name
Japanese name


The series are based on the romanticized Romance of the Three Kingdoms novel and the historical text Records of the Three Kingdoms, the storyline takes place during the Han Dynasty in China with many warring factions that included the Shu Han, Cao Wei and Eastern Wu kingdoms. Gameplay revolves around managing numerical statistics, each representing an attribute of a city or a character. A city is described by statistics such as stored grain supplies, vulnerability to disasters such as floods and earthquakes, treasury funds, domestic affairs and populace loyalty. Characters are numerically characterized by their leadership abilities, melee prowess, intellects and loyalty, as well as special traits or even magical abilities that can be called upon whether during wartime, diplomacy or domestic affairs. Players can increase these numbers before waging war on neighbouring territories or intending diplomatic efforts.

While generally presented as a turn-based strategy game, the seventh, eighth and tenth editions offer role-playing features, allowing the player to play as a rank-and-file character instead of leading a kingdom.

Several spin-offs based on the series include the tactical action hack and slash video game series Dynasty Warriors, Dynasty Tactics which is a hybrid of Dynasty Warriors and Romance of the Three Kingdoms, as well as the three tactical role-playing games Sangokushi Eiketsuden (Liu Bei), Sangokushi Koumeiden (Zhuge Liang), and Sangokushi Sousouden (Cao Cao). Kessen II is a real-time tactics game on PS2.

Another spin-off is the mobile game Three Kingdoms Tactics, based on Koei Tecmo's series.[3] It was published by Chinese company Alibaba Group in September 2019. It has grossed $1.2 billion worldwide as of March 2021, making it Alibaba's most successful mobile game.[4]

List of games in the seriesEdit

The release dates provided are for original Japanese releases.

Main seriesEdit

Other gamesEdit


Sangokushi received positive critical reception in North America when it was released there in 1988.

As of 2020, the main series has shipped more than 8 million copies worldwide.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Encyclopædia Britannica
  2. ^ "Romance of the Three Kingdoms". Legendra. Retrieved 2011-03-01.
  3. ^ "Three Kingdoms Tactics". App Store. Retrieved 6 September 2021.
  4. ^ Chapple, Craig (March 31, 2021). "Alibaba's Three Kingdoms Tactics Strikes Up $1 Billion and is 2021's No. 5 Grossing App Store Game So Far". Sensor Tower. Retrieved 6 September 2021.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 June 2020. Retrieved 12 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit