Smash the Chickens! : The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot

Possible Deception

From the images in Steam, this game appears to be nothing more than a dungeon crawler, resembling something like Torchlight or a cartoony Diablo. But The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot takes a different approach to the core element of scouring castles for riches. It conjoins tower defense and dungeon delving in a manner that creates its own perpetual story. This is done in the same common fashion as most free-to-play games.

The marketers have focused on the fighting as the key element to this game, but it is not. Dungeoneering makes up only about a third of the actual game. The other two thirds are made up of designing your own castle, which can be torn apart by other players for a fraction of your assets as the award, and upgrading your character through purchases made in the slimy banker’s store. These purchases are either made with in-game gold or with blings, which is the currency that one can accumulate with real money. There are aesthetic items only for sale via blings, but that is nothing new to the free-to-play universe.

The mechanic of designing your own castle is actually very much like that of The Castle Doctrine. You are attempting to create enough of a challenge for your fellow players to prevent them from breaking through to your “castle heart” which will disburse a percentage of your funds to the player upon completion. The only things preventing success are both the amount of money that you can accumulate through bashing other castles and the “validation” of your castle. Put simply, it must be beatable to be open to other players.

Ascension

Now that the real meat and potatoes of the game is out in the open, we can examine the direction of the game. Namely, this is up. The design of the game is simple, elegant. As you and your castle increase in level, you gain altitude, floating high above the lower leveled players and castles. These miniature goals are basically the rest of the game, fighting your way until you can beat the boss of your particular sector of the clouds and defending your castle so that you aren’t losing gobs and gobs of money.

The game is fun for a little romp every once in a while, but the depth of the game is not enough to hold my personal interest for more than a few minutes a day. This would be a great addition to the gaming library of those that adore multiplayer games or games that one can leave up on their desktop and chat with people. This might also function really well as a game that acts as an intermediary between casual gamers and the rest of the gaming world. It has elements of deeper games without requiring too much commitment. 

- Katie Hanson