As anyone who visited this blog in the past few months knows, activity has slumped in this blog recently, especially when looking at reviews. And now, I've finally decided to take things to my hands and publish a review after almost half a year of inactivity, and publish more in the near future. And what better game to begin this project with than one which is about an "adventure", and was also badged recently? Enter Dangerous adventure by MARTINIRosso, a good ol'-fashioned puzzle game, with a twist that I'm sure I've seen before.
(Hmmm... Probably it's just me. Let's move on.)
Now, this would be the part of the review where I'd detail the story, but the thing is that there's none. Really, for all we know, 5 random guys just randomly went in a tavern and said "Hey, do you want to go risk our lives and hunt for treasure?" - "Yeah, sounds good." No one knows why they decided to team up and trust eachother so much that they all actually put their HP into a shared pool, and why didn't they go out of the tavern and perform a 5-way "last man standing" battle instead. (Come to think of it, that would be far more awesome than what actually came out of this game.)
The graphics aren't really that awesome, but they get the job done. The weapons, enemies and characters are pretty detailed. The game is lagging a lot due to this, though (and my computer isn't from the Stone Age... only the Bronze one), and this pretty much nullifies any good point I could mention.
The music is quite good, to be honest. It fits the theme of the game, and I never really wanted to mute it. The sound effects, though, fall a bit short, sometimes fading into the background music. I wanted to inspect them a bit more, but there was only one mute button, which eliminated the sound effects as well.
Alright, enough of all the fluff, let's get down to playin- er, adventuring. The gameplay should seem familiar to anyone who played more than one game in their lives. For those who haven't, here it is: you have to click blocks in groups larger than 3. This is quite a boring 'adventure' if you ask me. However, here comes the twist: you have to click groups which have the same color as your enemies. Because yes, you have to battle enemies in an actual battlefield (that being the puzzle itself), and yes, you can and most of the time will battle more than one of them.
Sounds complex? Wait, that's not all. There's also a so-called 'color wheel' made so that you are not completely destined by luck; if you attack an enemy with the same color as them, you inflict 100% damage, but if you attack them with a color adjacent to that on the color wheel, you still inflict 50% damage. To confuse you more, there are items, upgrades, chests with color codes, and oh god my head is spinning.
(And imagine this 5 times. Now, have fun choosing what to do.)
Now, from this complexity, we'd at least imagine that we're in for tons and tons of excitement. But, of course, that's not the case. The whole thing is just plain old grind, and neither abilities nor items change that in any sense. There are chests littered around the map, mostly guarded by ogres and the like, but they actually make the things worse; sometimes their color codes just can't be satisfied (e.g. you must click 5 red tiles on a map that has 4) and they force you to spend in-game money on them, while not giving back that amount of cash most of the time. While at it, the money you get is quite imbalanced; you fight a boss in a dungeon and you gain less money and experience than in the first battle in the same dungeon.
Then, time for the concept/innovation. The fact that there are not one, two, but 5 people at your hands, which you may upgrade and control as you wish, makes for a great load of strategy in a far overused, luck-based genre. If the gameplay wasn't so badly executed, the concept and sound would've made the game a cool, refreshing puzzle game which could've changed the genre. In this situation, though, it does little to save the game. A shame, really.
Finally, the other little things. The thing that greatly decreases the fun factor in this game is that the animations are just extremely long. 90% of the game (perhaps even more, since I doubt I've played at least 1 out of every 10 seconds) is pure waiting. This makes everyone quickly get bored of the game, throwing the great concept, sounds and promising gameplay out the window.
Graphics: 3/5 (The graphics are fine, but the lag caused by them brings this score to average.)
Gameplay: 1/5 (The luck-based, grindy, and slow gameplay gives far more frustration than fun.)
Innovation: 5/5 (The concept is great, giving you 5 characters to develop, items and upgrades, making you think strategically in a luck-based genre, which is no small feat.)
Audio: 4/5 (The music is quite good; the game loses one point for the sound effects not matching up to it.)
Other: 1/5 (The slowness of the animation and the various glitches deduct more fun from the game than anyything else. It deserves 2 points taken away.)
Ovearall: 14/25, 2.8/5 (rounded: 3/5) (Let this game be a warning for you: a great, genre-changing concept does not make you able to neglect the gameplay part. With slow animations, glitches, and imbalanced earnings, I doubt this game really deserved badges. Just get them and then go away; there are better adventures to go on.)