Actual reviews are so last year! We here at sevengames.com want our tests to thoroughly reflect the fast-paced online and mobile gaming industry, which is why we are launching a new review format. Instead of devoting endless time to a game, we will take a quick bite and share our impressions after having played it for 30 minutes. For our first Quick Byte, I decided to try out ZeptoLab’s King of Thieves, a new jump’n’run meets tower defense game!
A Truly Coherent Gaming Experience
If there’s one thing to say about King of Thieves straight off the bat, it’s that the developers managed to create a very coherent work of art. From the lush graphics to the quirky humor and straightforward gameplay, the app feels very well-rounded. The game can best be described as an auto-runner jump’n’run. The only influence I had on my main character was to make him jump by tapping the touchscreen. Jumping off walls allows him to change his direction or hop upwards from one wall to the next. Simple, familiar, and fun mobile jump’n’run gameplay!
On top of that, the game gives each player their very own dungeon where their stolen treasures are stored. In order to make it harder for other players to steal my treasures, I had to set up my very own traps. King of Thieves gives players the option to play regular levels or loot customized dungeons, and I thought this was a great idea allowing for potentially endless gameplay fun.
Microtransactions as Far as the Eye Can See
That being said, I really wanted to give the app a great rating because I thoroughly enjoyed its presentation. However, I was quickly disenchanted by the platformer and realized that I preferred the idea behind King of Thieves more than its actual execution. Microtransactions play a major role in ZeptoLab’s latest effort. Starting a new dungeon requires you to open its lock. Each stage has several potential locks to pick, but it is completely random which one is the right one.
It’s no surprise that I quickly ran out of my available keys. While a key is replenished every four minutes, I faced having to purchase new keys three times in 30 minutes of gameplay. There was also the choice of watching a 30 second trailer for two new keys. Aside from that, premium currency could be spent on upgrading my gems to improve my ranking on the leaderboard and to choose better means of defense for my dungeon.
My Verdict after 30 Minutes
Sigh. I was really looking forward to ZeptoLab’s King of Thieves. Cute and colorful games with a coherent art direction like this really speak to me, and the game concept sounded promising and fun. Being faced with ads three times in thirty minutes and being asked to spend premium currency so early into the game really turned me off, however. If there was a way to spend a one time fee and not be faced with the key and lock situation, I would gladly make use of it. Great game, bad monetization.