App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
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Thus far, Kairosoft has released an impressive and distinctively styled collection of games across several platforms with more than a little success. Most iOS users, myself included, see the developer’s name as nothing short of a massive “Buy This Right the Heck Now!” sign. And many of said users, myself included, do exactly that. It’s a choice I’ve never regretted, and Dungeon Village is no exception.
Playing each of the developer’s releases as they appear makes for an interesting study in progressive game design. So many of Dungeon Village’s elements can be found throughout every other Kairosoft title on the App Store, and at the same time each one contains at least a couple of unique elements that are all its own. Much of the town-building and stat boosts brought about by placing certain structures near each other remain intact, with a few slight adjustments to account for the world’s economy (1,000 G instead of 100) and other minor factors. The biggest difference this time around – aside from the dungeon/RPG theme – is the emphasis on attracting wandering adventurers. These freelance heroes will begin to show up as the village’s popularity rises and will quickly take to the nearby fields in order to vanquish wandering monsters. Players can shower them with gifts and hold special events to (hopefully) convince them to put down roots in their town, which can make finding the right hero to tackle a tough quest much easier.
The ever-present addictiveness in all Kairosoft games is here as well. What seems like a fun albeit a bit too simple game at first soon opens up, giving players all manner of choices to make and goals to shoot for. Special heroes can unlock new jobs for everyone else in the village (warrior, merchant, etc) and items can be tossed into a cauldron in order to learn/craft various magical things, among several other features. And the tongue-in-cheek humor is as chuckle worthy as ever thanks to a massive amount of puns referencing classic role playing and adventure games. I’m particularly fond of “Clown Stripe,” a.k.a Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII. Although “Donkey Hotty” (Don Quixote) is kind of funny, too.
The problem with games such as this is that the lack of direct control over a character can lead to some frustrating situations. Starting a quest and finding four heroes to tackle it is great, but they don’t all arrive at the quest area at the same time. It’s not so bad when exploring caves and the like, but it can really screw up monster horde quests. And those dragons can be tough.
So yeah, Kairosoft made another awesome game. No surprise there. It takes a little while to hit its stride, but once it does it’ll get its hooks in and keep them there. Just like all the others.