Thursday, February 2, 2012

Not so glorious time wasters -- A Knights Dawn

Android game: A Knight's Dawn

I tried hard to like this one because it had so much going for it --  a hybrid gamethat's a cross between a steampunkish roleplaying game and an arcade shooter.  It comes complete with a storyline that weaves through the levels and ties the scenarios together neatly.  It allowed flexibility with character choice, and once you figure out the mechanics (where to place ranged fighters (musketeers) and melee fighters (knights, axemen, etc)) it wasn't that hard to successfully complete a level.

But where it really went wrong for me was in the persistent microtransactions where you pay through Paypal or a credit card for equipment upgrades.  Yes, you can earn enough points to upgrade ONE of your characters -- if you play six rounds at one level.  It was far too easy to hit on one of the "download this and get THIS much XP" ads, and the constant commercials (along the lines of "just upgrade with XP and you won't LOSE this level!") were a total turnoff.  I don't mind ads and I do understand that developers need to be recompensed.  But I prefer the "upgrade payment" or "free but you've got ads" model to the "buy your way to heroics."

The best gaming experience for A Knight's Dawn is on larger tablets.  It was almost impossible to get through the first level on my phone, and the darkness of the graphics made it hard to locate my heroes on the 7 inch tablet.  Load time of the game itself was quite long -- I thought my machines had frozen.

And I just hate the constant microtransactions (pay money for gear) -- did I mention that?  Yeah.  I thought so.

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