Hoard: A Review
What it is
Hoard is a quick drop into some fun addictive gameplay. Made by Big Sandwich Games, which has since been accuired by Z2Live, this little gem from 2011 is a rarity. The game itself doesn't have a story, and the only hint of what the story is is the fact that the edges of the map look as if you are on the edge of a table, so it may be just a board game that wizard kids play. Who knows, it doesn't take the time to make some corny, cheesy stroy, it just gets into the fun. If they had gone that route honestly it would have only cheapened the experience. The gameplay itself is you control a dragon and fly around the game area and destroy things and collect gold for them. You can destroy farms, or cities, kill knights, archers, and mage towers (DESTROY THE MAGE TOWERS) you can also detroy the carts of grain going to the farm to the city, or the carts of goods going to other cities or castles for trade. You can kidnap princesses for ransom, and you must constantly be on the lookout for theives coming to steal your hard earned gold.
Then there are other dragons to compete with, who are doing the same thing. You can steal their hoard with power ups, or freeze them with ice breath, or many other options to be discovered in game. If you terrorize a town enough, and protect it from the competitor dragon or dragons, they will send you tribute in the form of carts of gold directly to your hoard.
You pick a mode, which you can choose between treasure, princess rush, survival and co-op, then you pick a map, then you jump in for 10 minutes of fast paced fun. Not screaming holding onto your seat crazy driver face paced more like comfortable acceleration into high speeds fast paced. Which is nice, each dragon starts off with the same stats and as you gain gold in your hoard you level up, getting to put points in speed, fire breath, carrying capacity, and defense. If you don't want to co-op and want to compete against other players, you can go to multiplayer and play via lan or over the internet.
Critisism I have heard
Looking at people talk about the game, alot of people say that the gameplay in Hoard is way too shallow. That seems to be the main complaint from critics, to that I say sometimes you have to take a game for what it is. Hoard is a relatively inexpensive game, $10 is full price on steam, watch for it and you can get it on sale. I also does exactly what is is designed to do, it gets you in quickly and entertains you and lets you leave when you need. Those deep complex games often times have a large entry time where you get in, you check your inventory, look over everything you need make sure your ready to go out and play, then the gameplay itself takes a while, not something you can do on a lunchbreak, or while the wife is going to be just a few seconds longer getting ready. A game of Hoard is 10 minutes, so you can easily get 1, maybe two games in that time frame.
Along those same lines personally, sometimes I need shallow gameplay. Being able to enjoy simplicity for what it is is relaxing. I am not sure if you have figured this out yet, but life outside in the world is tough, and alot of times it sucks, and requires alot of thought. Sometimes mindless fun is a blessing in it's own right. Hoard delivers that, you just go start destroying the countryside.
If you want to have to think, pushing a gold medal score on all the maps can get challenging, and will require some strategy. You have to make decisions like, do you burn the town down and clooect it's loot, or do you let it thrive and attack the shipments it sends to other towns. Do you burn the castle down, or let it gain money for higher princess ransoms, and more powerful knights to come save her? So it is not without thought, but if you just want some fun and don't care about score, you don't have too.
The Flaws I See
There are two major flaws that I see that really are easy to fix, but they are worth mentioning. if you play the game on PC it is worth getting a controller, the game was designed with a controller in mind. The keyboard and mouse make it possible to play, it just doesn't seem to mesh right. This won't be an issue if you play in on the PS3 or the PSP, I would say on XBox, but that is another flaw, it isn't available on XBox.
The other problem I have had with the PC version is getting into multiplayer, it is hit or miss sometimes I have to wait much longer than others, and I don't think it is the amount of people playing, I think it has to do with the matchmaking system. Their have been improvements made to this since launch but it could still use some love and tweaking. I doubt this problem exist on the PS3 cause it will use the Playstation network to set up multiplayer. So if youhave problems then it is a population issue.
I don't give a 8/10 or stars or anything like that. I also don't break down into catagories, because some games might be designed to have 8-bit graphics. Then you also run the issue of, "why did you give FF7 a 10 and Gears of War a 8.5?" issues, so this is how I rate a game, you have an idea of what the game is like, and about, if applicable, and here are some simple questions about the game I am going to answer for you, the potential consumer.
Do I own a copy of this game? Yes
Where is my copy of this game? Loaded on my PC
Would I sell you my copy of this game, if possible? No
How often do I play this game? Once or twice a month
Have I given it as a gift? Not yet
Would I recommend it to you? Yes
Where to Buy
Hoard is sold on Steam and on the Playstation Network, and at reatailers who sell PSP games.
You can get it on PC at the time of this review writing (7/15/12) for 40% off, but keep a watch cause during steam summer sell, ending 7/23/12 you might find it on the daily deal or in the flash sell area for even cheaper.