A small scale empire builder where you have no direct control over your units. The closest you get are bounties you can set to have them attack enemies/buildings, defend buildings/caravans, explore an area, or stay away from something they are in no way ready to handle. As the king, you decide what gets built, what heroes get hired, things to research and upgrade, and are allowed to spend some of your cash on spells for more influence on the course of the game.
Unfortunately, just like the first game, this one suffers from the problem of needing to be lucky for the first few minutes and hope that the den of mini-dragons that can kill every hero in one attack doesn't decide to send a wave towards you before you've even built a single barrack or guard tower. But the times when you don't get imediately ♥♥♥♥ed from the start are what make the game great. Do you invest in upgrading the rouges guild so that all your heroes have their weapons poisoned? Maybe build a guard tower next to the sewer entrance so that the ratmen that come from it don't ravage your marketplace? Or do you research better spells, equipment, and potions for your heroes to use? Coming to forkroads like that and then playing them out to see if you made the right choice are what gives the game so much character, if you can bear the 10 failed attempts beforehand where a boss teir dragon decided to attack your palace as soon as you loaded the level.