Monday, April 4, 2011

Actually Pretty Cool - Hoard (PSP)

So, I grabbed the demo for the PSP version of Hoard earlier while I was waiting out official meteorological consensus that the storms for today had passed, which meant that I wouldn't have to worry (much) about getting back to the normal electronic lifestyle.  I'd been meaning to grab the demo ever since it became available because, I mean, dragons, but I just hadn't, since I've been a bit preoccupied in my gaming and such, as one might surmise from my posts here.  Now, with nothing but time on my hands, I figured, "Welp, it's time", and managed to grab it before the PSN became rather hard to access today for reasons.

Upon starting it up, I navigated through a couple of the menus and tried out the offered tutorial, which involves telling you about the overall goal of the game, which is to collect gold to take back to your hoard, because, well, Dragons.  Dragons are pretty fond of gold, you see!  But all they do is keep it, presumably to look at when life gets them down, especially after putting a little fire in the air to make them glint and glitter.  But they collect other things, like Princesses and Jewels, which you also can steal through different circumstances; destroying a carriage in the former, destroying a wizard's tower in the latter.

The way the game is played is rather simple; you burn things to get gold, take it back to your hoard, rinse, and repeat.  Of course things get varied so it's not so cut-and-dry.  Over time, the map grows and grows as civilization does, cities rise up, fields grow, and eventually offensive buildings go up as well, like Knight Towers and Mage Towers.  Knowing what to burn and what not to is cruicial; letting towns flourish to start is a good idea so that you can swoop in and burn part of it later, just enough to frighten them into sending you tributes of gold directly to your hoard.  And as an added bonus, any archers that come from the town will from then on, fire at any dragon that is not you.

Unless, of course, the town square is destroyed, because that essentially acts as a reset button for the fear.  I imagine because there's an implied deal of "We give you gold, you make sure we don't die in a fire or by a giant", and upon failing that, they're like, "Welp, Dragons suck".  But of course, I might be thinking into it a bit too much.

Over time, provided you haven't died (upon doing so, you're forced back to your hoard to recover), and a thief or other dragon hasn't stolen from you, you gain a multiplier, which, as you would imagine, multiplies the amount of gold you drop off.  Burn a cart that drops 100 gold and take it to your hoard with a 3x Multiplier (which is as high as it will go) and you'll obviously get 300 gold.  You eventually get to 'level up' as you get more and more gold, which lets you upgrade you dragon's speed, fire-breath, carrying capacity, and defense which will last the entirety of the match.

Admittedly, I just played the demo version, but I can imagine in the future, I'll end up picking up this version of the game, since it's really fun drop-in-and-out style playing; the basic modes offer a time limit that doesn't go on too long, but, from my experience, makes me just want to go another afterward.  "Just once more", of course.  I'd urge you to give it a shot if you haven't already since, well, demos are free, after all.  (Aside from Duodecim's.)

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