If you haven’t picked up Dungeon Hunter 5 yet from the app store, read my review. This game is once again another installment in the franchise that has plenty of potential, but Gameloft have included some odd monetization strategies (again) that make it an overall strange experience that leaves you not-so-satisfied.
The Dungeon Hunting
If we focus on the real gameplay elements first, and not the strange monetized additional content, you’ll find that there is enough to enjoy in Dungeon Hunter 5. Character control is responsive, using your attacks and abilities feels delightfully rewarding, and the level design and art style is more than enough to keep me impressed. Players can’t fight each other online or team up with one another, but they can recruit the help of their friend’s character, which will be controlled by AI. This feature gives a bit more help to players without forcing Gameloft to introduce any real multiplayer content, which I find odd. There is multiplayer in this game, but it’s not what you’d expect, or even want. We’ll talk more about that later.
There is an in-depth story that features great voice acting and overall, playing through the main game is a lot of fun. Unfortunately though, there are certain elements of this game that have been tacked on to increase Gameloft’s revenue, and it leaves you wondering whether or not to keep playing.
Firstly, if you played Dungeon Hunter 4, you won’t be surprised that you can easily spend $50 bucks on in-game items to completely overwhelm your enemies. It’s no way near as satisfying as earning the gear yourself, but finding gear like the IAP store items is pretty difficult.
It’s not just the store items this time though, oh no. Gameloft have introduced a brand new Clash of Clans style multiplayer element. Players will be able to invest time into building armies and a stronghold to defend against other players. Every action takes time, and it just feels like it’s designed to squeeze cash out of any loyal player base the game manages to capture. Oddly, the troops for your army can only be captured by collecting cards from chests in-game or by spending IAPs on them. If you can remember back to a time when trading card games were swamping every other app on the top grossing chart, you’ll know what Gameloft have included this feature on top of the Clash of Clans style base building.
These two casual IAP-powered game features are incredibly easy ways for Gameloft to make cash. Fortunately though, a lot of this stuff is optional. You don’t even need to touch the multiplayer, although it does present itself as a way to earn more gold. The actual Dungeon Hunting gameplay is not bad, so you’ll end up feeling trapped in a love/hate relationship with Dungeon Hunter 5.
It’s free though, so you should give it a download. Or maybe you shouldn’t. It’s fun, but it’s not fun. Dungeon Hunter 5, you’ve made me so conflicted.