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Review: Hoard

Posted by on November 7th, 2010 | 3 Comments | Tags: ,

Developer: Big Sandwich Games
Publisher: Big Sandwich Games
Release Date: November 02 2010
Availability:
Price: $14.99
Demo: No
Players: 1-4 (Online + Local)
Rating: Everyone

What I Liked:
Great art style creates a unique atmosphere
A whole load of fun to play
Number of modes and awards available to keep you busy

What I Disliked:
Text is tiny to a ludicrous extent
Game is easy to figure out, but really tricky to master

Hoard is quite frankly a silly amount of fun. Taking control of a dragon, the player is tasked with collecting as much gold as possible, whilst playing on the fear of the people and the economies of the nearby villages. In short, Hoard is a game you can pick up, play for 10 minutes, and almost always walk away from it with a smile on your face.

The game’s art style takes the form of a traditional tabletop game, with the pieces literally falling into place when the game begins. The sounds and music are also appropriate for the mood the game brings over, with its bright, vivid colors and quite frankly charming atmosphere. All this charm is certainly warranted, as Hoard is definitely going to kick you every which way until you play by its rules. If you think you can stay in one place whilst being fired upon by archers, think again. In the early stages of each game, your dragon is so weak that 2 arrow hits will send him retreating back to the Hoard, tail between his legs. It is only through keen utilization of the game’s upgrade mechanic that you truly begin to feel powerful, as you can upgrade every key statistic of your dragon (Speed, Fire, Gold carrying, Armour), and by the end of a game, you’ll almost certainly be a force to be reckoned with.

Hoard brings with it a variety of modes, such as the titular Hoard mode, in which you are tasked with collecting as much gold as possible, but also surviving for as long as you can. This is made increasingly more difficult by the fact that every knight and wannabe hero on the map is apparently after your head on a stick. To say that Hoard requires skill to get anything above a bronze is entirely true. You really need to know the intricacies of a map to truly be able to exploit the weaknesses of your enemies. Helpful hint, Knights can’t go on water. You’ll thank me later. Also, the game features a multiplayer component. 4 players (either offline or online) can come together to either aid or hinder each other in the very same modes you can play in single player. Whilst I initially struggled to find a game, it was because of time zones. After trying at a time more suited to the region the game has currently been released in, I had no difficulty finding a game. I did have difficulty winning though.

If there is one complaint that I have to bring against Hoard, it is the text. While the HD generation may have brought with it HD text, Hoard suffers from one of the side effects of this. The text is positively tiny. I struggled to make it though the tutorial, and ended up sitting far closer towards my TV than I would have liked to, in a vain attempt to actually read the tutorial. Suffice to say, I succeeded, but it certainly proved to me that the text in the game is unnaturally small. Hopefully they’ll fix this glaring error in a patch. It isn’t a game breaker, but it is somewhat aggravating to see how well presented the rest of the game is, and then try to read the text.

Bottom line? Hoard is an extremely fun game, with loads of charm only serving to further my enjoyment of this one. It’s a great little title, and proves to me that you don’t need to have a massive budget in order to create a great gaming experience. I urge everybody to buy it; it’s honestly worth the $15 for the amount of sheer fun you’ll get. And in this day and age, who could ask for any more than that?

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  • Eric G

    Something I noticed during PAX play that could potentially be a problem is the game’s camera during local multiplayer. When two or more dragons flew to different sides of the screen, the camera zoomed out, sometimes to a major distance.

    How does the camera work in online games? Does it still zoom out when others are flying on the opposite side of the map?

    Yeah, the text really is tiny. Not sure what happened there.

    • Ben Jones

      In the online multiplayer, each player has their own camera. So, that makes things easier to comprehend.

  • Andrew J

    Game is easy to figure out, but really tricky to master

    For a strategy game, that is never a bad thing. That’s exactly how it should be. If it’s easy to master, then there is no reward to continuing with the game, if it’s tricky to figure out, then no one will bother with it.