There is always a risk when suiting up and going into the labyrinth of the early access world. Most of the time it is like mining, you have to hack and slash through an almost incomprehensible amount of “dirt” to find something, well, shiny. And I do believe that I have found something that you might just like.
Since it is still in early access and the game and mechanics can still pretty much change in any direction of the wind, I will not be giving a full review score as with fully released products. However I will tell you if I think it’s worth digging into, or just side-stepping and moving along swiftly. So all other early access or concept pieces will fall under my shadow shuriken reviews.
With all that out of the way let’s set sights on this early access game. Coming at at a total of free-to-play, or your regional equivalent.
In this game you have a top-down view over a hand drawn island, well, one of many that you will soon discover. Where you start out with cities, which can contain guild halls. These guild halls can be equipped with guild cards that spawn a variety of guildians that will fight for you. Ranging from explorers to brave knights. And what will they fight and explore?
Well just about anything you throw at them. Each island has a path or multiple paths where you have to choose, which adventure your guildians will face, each having their own rewards in the form of gold, experience and more. These pathways leads to island bosses, they drop chests where you can get cards, which can contain more guildian cards to use in your guild halls, quest buffs that boost the rewards of certain quests, buffs for your guildians adding stats to make them more effective as well as the other resources in the game, experience, gold and gems.
Did you just say gems? sigh. Yes I did. This is a free-to-play model of a game where I don’t mind the use of micro-transactions, since it doesn’t have a chance to give you a potential one-up on another player, such as where I penalized Faeria. So now you expect a game where you plonk down a building and have to wait for the rest of your life for the structure to finish, to build a unit that takes another life time to spawn, where you can get a few short moments of satisfaction of battle and then the wait starts again.
Not quite, sure, the bosses are on timers bound by physical time constraints, but the rest of the game relies on the amount of gold, or experience your guildians have. This makes the waiting element feel a lot less tedious than, that of other titles that can fall into the same genre.
In essence it plays like a clicker, without the absurd amount of clicking. This is not a title where you will spend hours on end glued to your screen, by no means so. This is a nice game to have running in the background while you’re doing other things, or not have it running, it keeps gaining resources while you are away as well. Meaning that in those moments you would stare at your feet triple counting your toes, you can now progress in this incrementally challenging game.
When defeating a boss and unlocking rewards and new items, don’t expect it to be a walk in the park for the rest of the game.And the other islands you have cleared are also not forgotten never to be returned to, the game has difficulties for each island that you can unlock with progression making the rewards from the first island to still pack a punch in later stages of the game.
It’s a fun little distraction in-between and I would urge you to give it a whirl if you are into these type of games. If you’re not, then this game will probably bore you to no end, but it’s definitely good for those who like this genre.
This is probably the part of the game that drove me to install the game and check it out aside from it’s obviously good price of absolutely nothing. Will everyone like it? probably not, but there is something that almost drives a sense of nostalgia home where I would sit and draw little stick men fighting each other in a class when I was a young kid.
As you can see, this has a “hand drawn” art style, which I find quite pleasing. Does it have all the bells and whistles that other games has? a definite no. However the whole theme of the game really fits well together and I for one absolutely love the style.
Other than that, it’s simplistic yet elegant in execution.
There are sound in the game, very simple sound and the music of the game is more ambient sounds of chirping birds and a breeze blowing. So not really something I can classify as music. Only in the city planner view and other menus you get some nice music.You can hear the cling clang of swords and gold dropping constantly and with honesty probably the weakest aspect of the current build as of today.
In actual fact I just mute the game in my operating system settings, because most of the time I’m actually doing something else while my guildians are making me some sweet loot.
The first few minutes of the game is engaging, showing you how the game works and what can be expected, after you got the ropes, the game goes into “clicker” mode. Where you aren’t glued to your screen as I previously said, but rather keep you engaged in intervals between other things. I find it entertaining. Setting up my guildians and islands and when I get back from work, I have a lot of stuff that I can do.
So for someone like me that has 400+ hours in clicker heroes, I can definitely pull enjoyment out of this game and I can see it dragging me back for many hours to come.
So there you go, something I could retrieve on early access that has gotten me quite intrigued. What further enhanced my experience is the fact that during my time looking into the game, I decided to try and contact the HyperHippo studio and they came back.
So let’s take a last look at what they see for the game ahead, just keep in mind that it is in early access and vision and direction can change dramatically with development.
Q: Keeping in mind your success and continued support in, no doubt your most successful game Adventure Capitalist. Will Guild Quest also receive the attention and love that you have put into the aforementioned title?
A: “AdCap is definitely our flagship game, but we know a studio can’t count on a single game to carry them forever so we are actively striving to get other games out that are just as good or better. We’re really happy with the response we have gotten from Guild Quest and we will be pouring as much time and effort into as we can. We’re not a big studio but we have a really good group of talented people. We (the support team) likewise make sure that we dedicate the time needed to see that all of our players get the help they need, that we regularly collect feedback and pass it to the devs, and work on promoting all of our games when they are in the right stages.”
Q: Giving the game’s current development status, with the in game skills coming up soon. Without divulging or spoiling anything, are there still ideas on the board for further features and patches content wise?
A: “You bet! Guild Quest still has a long road ahead of it. The team has new features that they want to implement, we regularly meet to brainstorm and we take player feedback and requests into account as well. We also want to offer a decent amount of content for players to work through so you will definitely see more coming to Guild Quest.”
Q: You as HyperHippo, has encouraged suggestions and feedback in this and previous titles. Does some of the suggestions translate back into the game’s design?
A: “Yeah, like I mentioned above, we definitely listen to players. Player feedback is where we learn what is and isn’t working; no sense in building something no one wants to play, right? The devs try to get on the forums as much as they can, but the support team is in there every day, collecting and organizing the feedback to pass to the devs. We note trends and popular requests and collect the ideas that players share with us; as well as bugs, game imbalances and all that fun stuff. Lots of these either get put into the game as new features OR they validate ideas that the devs have already had and help direct what they have planned. Some of the features that have specifically been influenced by player feedback have been the Island Stat displays, Forging, Island navigation and Quest balancing.”
Q: In 2 years time, do you believe that guild quest would be able to follow in the footsteps of that of Adventure Capitalist?
A: We sure hope so; the potential is there! With every game we make we learn how to better release and develop games and we try to be very aware of how a game is being received so that we can improve, change or drop a project so we don’t waste time and resources. Guild Quest’s popularity was a pleasant surprise so we are running with it.
Q: Lastly, a monologue is quite boring and doesn’t open up the discussion. So anything you would like to add?
A: ” Like I mentioned before, we are a small studio and we are always trying new things to see what works – from game development to player communication. The more our players post, share and talk to us, the more we can improve.”
I must say damn cool of the HyperHippo team to reply to the questions posed.So with patches and game content abundant for the near future, a studio that listens to feedback and adjusts and adapts, it’s worth keeping an eye on during its progression to the store front.
And that’s all folks! (wait can I say that?) sure, why not.
You can hit them up on steam or on their website here: http://hyperhippo.ca/
I hope you have enjoyed the article and stick around for the next thing that falls under the ninja sights!