Finder’s Keep Review

Finder’s Keep Review

Jun 30, 2014

Finder’s Keep is another dungeon crawling, monster bashing, loot fest in the vein of similar games. Will it loot your free time?

Finder’s Keep is, as hinted by its puntastic name a dungeon crawler. The player is thrust into a dungeon with lousy equipment and fights a series of increasingly disturbing monstrosities to gain power experience and loot in the shape of larger items to stab or avoid being stabbed with. The game uses a simple top-down view for dungeon exploration. The dungeon is shrouded in mist until the player explores it and stumbles upon treasure or combat.

Screenshot_2014-06-24-12-33-15Combat is a very simple affair. The player can unleash standard attacks, a far more powerful but less accurate attack called a haymaker or assume a defensive stance. The game tells the player what the monster is planning to do next and this introduces a modicum of strategy as the player has to react correctly to avoid being pummeled into paste, such as blocking when the monster winds up for a devastating attack. Monsters are often weak to a certain kind of damage, such as crushing and resistant to others so using the right weapon is important.

Unfortunately, Finder’s Keep critically lacks gameplay depth. While the game looks pretty, it just has no skill or interesting gameplay. The dungeons all look the same and are very short and mindless. There is never anything to do except fight monsters and occasionally combine one item with another. There is nothing wrong with simple games, but other simple but effective games like Faif have a gameplay hook and actually require more than dumb luck. Finder’s Keep does not.

Screenshot_2014-06-24-17-25-16Battles are exceedingly dull affairs which are based almost entirely on chance. If the player runs into a too tough monster, there is nothing to be done except to grind until better equipment is found. If the battle system causes the player to miss a lot, they’re dead. If the player fails to find a certain kind of weapon due to random chance and runs into a resistant monster there is nothing for it but to grind constantly until one is found. The gameplay never evolves and the limited size of the player’s inventory is a constant annoyance. A slight redeeming feature is the game’s sense of humor; there is some funny dialogue here and there.

Finders Keep doesn’t look that great either. Monster design is unimaginative, there are too many palette swaps and the creatures aren’t very interesting. There is some nice graphics for equipment however.

Finder’s Keep does have a little replay value due to the copious amount of loot to be had. Most trips to the dungeon will reward the player with new items so they can get just that little bit stronger. The gameplay never changes and the lack of even the slightest bit of strategy dooms the game to a short shelf life.

Finder’s Keep is perhaps worth a game or two and its dungeons are bite sized so it’s great for killing a few minutes.

My Singing Monsters Review

My Singing Monsters Review

Dec 17, 2012

My Singing Monsters is a world-building game with a musical theme. To make the game stand out from all others, the characters — which are monsters, in this case — have the ability to “sing”. The player is then encouraged to take care of these monsters in exchange for coins and other rewards.

Other than feeding, a player can also increase a monster’s happiness by buying and placing their favorite items near them. These items are indicated in a profile info page, which can be accessed by tapping on a monster. Monsters can either be bought or bred. To breed monsters, one must purchase a breeding tree — where existing monsters can be cross-bred to give birth to new, more powerful monsters.

Certain monsters cost more than others, and in return give more coins. Coins can be used to buy monsters, structures and other decorative items. Another currency are gems, which can be collected by building mines, or through in-app purchase.

Experience is also gained and certain items can only be unlocked at specified XP levels. Experience is awarded when baking food, upgrading structures, clearing objects and breeding monsters.

Another great thing about My Singing Monsters is the number of different islands one can buy. For a huge amount of coins, which would require ample time to accumulate, one can purchase more islands to build another world with old and new monsters. The song also varies with each island. The coins, gems and food collected from all islands can be used in any of them.

It’s important to note that the game requires an internet connection, as it needs to get game data from it servers. Being internet-based, it does let one share progress through Facebook and Twitter, with an option to add friends who also play the game.

Perhaps the best thing about this game is its stunning graphics. For a free game, the quality is more than what is expected. The latest update also includes a world “makeover” that decorates some worlds with a holiday theme. For instance, in Cold Island, rocks are wrapped in ribbons and Christmas trees light up the place.

World-building games often feel a bit silly and childish, but with this game, it feels completely appropriate. It’s easy to be amused by the monsters and how they complement each other in song. For something that’s free and playable without IAP’s, My Singing Monsters delivers excellent worlds with lovable, singing characters that’s fun to take care of.