- Big Sandwich Games
Formats: PS3, PSP, PC
Format reviewed: PS3
Publisher: Big Sandwich Games Inc
Developer: Big Sandwich Games Inc
Made2Game Hoard review score: 7/10
Hoard is one of those titles where the description does not do it any favours, the PSN has it down as a strategy game, but with prior knowledge you would think this is going to be yet another tower defence game, where in fact it's more like a classic arcade shoot-em-up with some item collecting thrown into the mix.
In this top-down viewed game you play as a dragon who is ransacking the local populace, flying around the land, burning houses, crops, castles and wagons and hoarding all of the gold left behind. It plays a bit like an arcade game with the Left Stick controlling movement and the Right Stick firing in any direction.
With all of your hoarding the locals do not take it lying down, archers, knights, thieves and other dragons are all out to stop your rampage. You can push them even further by kidnapping a princess and holding them ransom. As they appear in a carriage just attack, grab her and fly back to the nest, fend off her knights and once time runs out cash in a huge bonus. Not all of the townsfolk are violent towards you, as you progress, the inhabitants that you have mercilessly battered and burned even start to follow you, offering gold in exchange for you not torching them.
Your dragon starts with a low set of powers, a simple flame power that runs out quickly, making you wait to recharge, the dragon can also only carry a small amount of gold back to the hoard and with relatively low armour, even archers can slay you quite quickly. This can change as with the more gold you collect you rank up, allowing you to upgrade your areas of power such as firepower, damage resistance, gold carrying abilities or speed.
There are also random power ups that appear on screen that grant a short spell of their power, like a powerful fireball or ice shot that freezes enemies. There are a few modes on offer adding a little variety, each with plenty of maps to play on and earn top scores, game medals and trophies.
The Treasure Hunt mode asks you to collect as much gold as possible with unlimited lives in a set time limit; Hoard is similar but you only have one life; Princess Rush mode has you grabbing as many princesses as you can. These modes can be played both in local co-op and online against three other players.
The presentation gives off a board game feel to it to the point where you zoom the camera far enough back the map is in fact on a tabletop. With so much on screen there is plenty of detail on offer, with your dragon changing appearance as you upgrade and tiny villages burning under you fire breath.
The only niggle is that the on screen text is insanely small, to the point that even on a large screen to you have to lean forward to read it. Hoard is the type of game that will pass the hours away but suffers from a bit too much repetition. The co-op and multiplayer modes offer more as long as there are people online to play against.
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