Hoard: PS3 Review

     To be honest, I had no idea what this game was going to be like.  I stumbled across it as a free PS Plus title and I'd never heard of it before- so I downloaded it to give it a try.  Oddly enough, I'd found that I had played for hours without realizing how much time had passed.

     What I found with Hoard was a kind of a backwards version of a tabletop strategy game.  Instead of building up towns and adventuring around- you play as a dragon laying fiery waste to the lands being built up around you.  Your mission is simple- to amass the largest hoard possible- leveling up abilities like longer fire breath, more defense, or a higher gold carrying capacity.
     The controls are the most basic possible- one stick controls flight, the other controls the fire breathing.  A couple buttons for the leveling menu and that's it.  But Hoard doesn't need anything more complex.

     There are multiple modes of play including single player, PvP, and even multiplayer Co-op.  In every mode the gist is the same- spread tiny terror around the board collecting a wealth of gold to fill your hoard through dragon-based panic and mayhem by burning fields and towns.  The strategy actually does change from level to level.  Some maps have a better gold from taking out travelling merchant carts, some maps you might get a lot more money from ransoming kidnapped princess, or occasionally ruining a city enough for them to set up tribute payments and then they'll even protect you from other dragons (players).

     The game has pretty good sound effects, fairly decent graphics, and only the music was sometimes strangely unfitting.  Everything else about this game rides that fine line of addictiveness and monotony.  There is just enough to keep players going in every mode despite the repetitiveness.  Just enough to make it fun and keep you interested.  There are certainly some flaws- like an inability to fly and breath fire at the same time- but really this game is definitely worth a play.  Because all modes have about a 10 minute time limit, it doesn't require hours of investment or have a huge learning curve- this is a game perfectly set up for nice short gaming fixes.

     Hoard isn't the greatest game, but it is like one of the blue wizard gems you so actively try to haul back to your tiny tabletop dragon's lair- it's curiously enchanting.  It's not the shiniest, it's not the most valuable, but it holds a magical charm that's hard not to like.

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