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    jp's King of Thieves (iPd)

    [November 17, 2016 07:13:37 PM]
    I quit cold turkey the other day (uninstalled the game) because I had reached the point of vastly diminishing returns. Not only was it getting really hard and slow to make progress but, more importantly, I was starting to reach the limits of my skills (or at least the point where, for a casual experience, I wasn't willing to put in the additional time and money to practice enough to get better/be competitive). In some ways this almost feels like a design flaw - because the platforming part is skill-based and the game is deeply competitive at its core, once you hit a wall in terms of skill required that surpasses your ability, the energy/resource gating really kicks in hard. You can neither practice nor get better and your only sparring choices are above your league. You can't really just play the game "for fun" and neither can you potter about in your own little space making slow progress. Progress just comes to a screeching halt.

    To be fair, I'm not saying the game is flawed, rather that it seems designed to filter out people like myself too late in the process of their engagement with the game. In a nutshell, it took me a while to realize that as I played more, and made progress, the game would get harder for me. Other player's dungeons would be more challenging for me to clear AND I wouldn't be able to craft dungeons for players that were challenging enough for them (and so, I'd become easy pickings, thus no longer making progress and furthermore, feeling somewhat punished/picked on). Huh. I did not see that coming!
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    [October 25, 2016 11:59:40 AM]
    My son encouraged me to play this and I've been having a bit of fun. It is very much a mobile game in the free to play lets monetize this out the wazoo sense. I don't mind that all that much, but I'll admit that it seems like the game is often actively trying to get me not to play it. Some times in bizarre ways... The game has multiple economies/resources/currencies going and running out of some means you can't play that much (the main resource in that sense are keys). You need keys to unlock doors to other people's dungeons so you can raid them for treasure. A dungeon is basically a single screen 2D platforming where you don't control the movement of your thief, but you are in charge of when it jumps. Your goal is to get from the entrance to the treasure chest where you get money and (hopefully) can steal a jewel. It's a neat idea, super polished and well-executed.

    You're supposed to create your own dungeon (with traps) by choosing where to put each of the traps (which you can also upgrade so they do more damage). At first I was a bit of a skeptic because it's too easy to make dungeons that are too hard or perhaps even impossible. Won't everyone end up with the same impossible dungeon? Does the editor check to see if there's a valid playthrough? That seems like a really hard AI problem for a small platformer...but, Zeptolabs solved in a really clever way. Whenever you edit/change your dungeon you can only save its new configuration if you can clear your dungeon twice in a row. Not just twice, but in a row. I think it's a really cool balancing mechanic - the really hard levels will be made by the really good players and, when you clear your own level it's saved as an animation that others can see when they give up trying to beat your dungeon.

    Oh, and that thing where you can't play? If you start the game up while someone is raiding your dungeon, you can't play. You're just locked out of the game. Sigh.
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    jp's King of Thieves (iPd)

    Current Status: Stopped playing - Got frustrated

    GameLog started on: Tuesday 25 October, 2016

    GameLog closed on: Thursday 17 November, 2016

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    Fun, lots of clever design ideas, but ultimately not my thing.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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