– Scott Ellison
Our Score: 5 / 5 – Incredible
This action strategy game from Big Sandwich Games is where you play AS the Dragon! There’s no story, it’s an arena game that can be played online, offline, or co-op (local and internet). The premise is simple: Destroy, upgrade, and steal as much gold as you can in the time allotted to win.
There’s four modes to HOARD: Treasure (standard), Princess Rush, HOARD, and Co-Op. Treasure is the standard mode where you (solo or against 3 other enemies, AI or player-controlled) fight for the highest stack of gold. Princess Rush focuses on getting the most princesses to your stash instead of gold. HOARD is a survival mode where you can only refill your health by capturing princesses (normally this is done by hanging out at your base for a few seconds). Co-Op is as you think it would be, partner up for a high score (it’s Co-Op Treasure basically).
In any game mode, you start out as a basic dragon with fire breathing as an offensive weapon. You have a limit gold carrying limit. As you destroy buildings, crops, kill knights, you will pick up gold. Bring back enough gold to your lair and you will level up to where you can upgrade Flight Speed, Fire Breathing Power, Gold Carrying Limit, and Defense. As you gain higher levels, you’ll have to start to min/max your upgrades. The upgrades are more suited to your style of play but it will be on you if you chose the wrong thing to upgrade. Along with taking gold, princesses will be travelling in carriages. Destroy them to reveal a princess and take her back to your lair. There begins a timer, some knights will come to your lair to take her back. If you capture a Princess, you get a cash bonus. Multipliers are in play and quick actions will help you keep the top score.
There are many tile sets that help you steer clear of boredom. Many sets for 1, 2, 3, and 4-player action. The game looks stunning, sitting on top of a table calling back to table-top games has a great aesthetic. Odd things are in the graphics options. You can choose whether the board is Normal or Snowy. And then can adjust the time of day to be Day, Night, or Randomized. While great options, odd to be buried in the graphics menu if people don’t bother in that area of the options. There are a plethora of achievements, 115 in total. Lately I’ve been mentioning them, but I bring it up here to emphasize that this little $10 dollar download has a lot to offer, and it shows with the number of achievements.
An overall levelling/ranking system keeps you coming back, wanting to increase your rank. On the Rewards page, it’ll tell you what rank you are, the name of it and how much more you have to go to reach the next rank. A little persistence never hurt anyone.
During my play, I was unable to get into an internet game, but with that said – I can’t recommend it more. This twist of role-reversal is really unique and for the price can’t be beat. There’s a lot of challenge and content here to enjoy. Pick this up for yourself and some friends and have a good time.
Retails for: $9.99, recommended purchase price: $9.99
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A Steam (PC) code for the game was provided by Big Sandwich Games for Review purposes