Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My Life as a Dark Lord: Impressions So Far

So I finally got this game! Yay!

While My Life as a Dark Lord is a direct sequel to My Life as a King, gameplay is completely fresh and unique. Oh yeah, and that bit about playing as the "bad guy."

At the beginning of a stage, all you get is a tower with a staircase at the bottom and the big heart balloon that houses your dark crystal. You also have a certain number of points to spend (In the picture a blue heart at the upper-right that says "500" is your indicator).

Your goal is to protect your crystal from all the adventurers that come along. Use your points to add floors and summon monsters in them. Watch what types of adventurers are approaching, and you can plan the best way to fight them.

Melee beats Ranged beats Magical beats Melee. Pretty standard 3-way setup. But you have to add floors and monsters in real time. New adventurers approach 1, 2, or 3 at a time. You need to prepare floors that will be effective against them. You are awarded additional points for beating each adventurer, so you can continue to add to your tower as the stage progresses.

The chart on the left of the screen shows what types of floors and monsters you've placed, and which adventurers are attempting to climb your tower. Yellow indicates generic typed creatures/floors/adventurers. Blue is magic-type. Green is Ranged Type. And Red is Melee Type. The icons also empty as HP is depleted, so you can see how high an adventurer is getting and gauge whether he'll reach the top before your monsters can stop him. Hopefully you have enough resources to react if they can't!

So far, I feel like this game has engaged my critical thinking with each stage, as it continues to introduce new adventurers and offer me new types of floors and summons. Getting a feel for what type of defense is best against which adventurers takes some experimentation. The game is also humorous, as the Dark Princess tries in vain to be the most fearsome bad guy ever, but nobody will take her seriously. It is highly polished, with lots of dazzling effects and a great depth of detailed artwork drawn up in a charming style.

I've had nearly 2 hours of gameplay out of it so far. Very excited to keep playing!

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