It seems like everyone is trying to cash in on developing microtransaction games these days. Gree, a mobile social gaming company who you’ve probably never heard of, released Knights & Dragons: Rise of the Dark Prince, a game you’ve also probably never heard of until now. I was lucky enough to snag a digi copy a few days prior. Will it be able to hold its own in an already over populated genre?
The in-app billing genre is a double edge sword. On one hand it hinders playability of the game; you either need to wait several hours before advancing, or you can advance immediately with a little $$$. On the other hand, you’ll never have an issue of non-replayability since developers are constantly working on new items to keep the consumer purchasing gold, crystals, poop, or whatever the primary currency is. It’s great for business. But is it great for gamers?
K&D doesn’t bring much to the round table. You’re presented with the main quest, a generic story you’ve probably heard thousands of time before. Basically, it’s up to you to help rebuild a kingdom so that it can fight off the evil bad guys. The only redeeming qualities are well animated, quirky characters you come across. But that’s neither here nor there. Why? Because it takes so damn long to play the game (no thanks to microtransactions). Since the store was never available, I couldn’t advance even if I wanted to. And I really didn’t want to.
There were multiple times when I thought, “This reminds me of (enter any iOS in-app purchasing game). But they did it better.” It’s frustrating when you can’t continue sparring against other people because your little characters need more energy. Really? And if you don’t have enough crystals, then tough luck buddy. You either need to wait, or pull out that wallet of yours. See a recurring theme here?
If you’re looking for a game to keep you occupied while downloading an app, Knights & Dragons is your game. The charm of its characters will draw you in until you’re interrupted by not having enough currency or energy. It’s free to try, so download it and see for yourself just how crappy the microtransaction genre has gotten. Who knows, you might actually enjoy it.