Ah, dragons. It’s hard to say no to a game that allows you to be in control of these majestic beasts…perhaps it has something to do with having the ability to breathe fire?
Hoard is hard to pin to a particular genre, but I’d call it a mix of real-time strategy and action arcade with more focus on the latter. Players will assume the role of a dragon whose goal will be to score the most points. Players can go it alone, compete against the AI, or invite up to three friends into a multi-player match.
In Hoard, there are four modes: Treasure, Princess Rush, Survival, and Co-op. Treasure is the main mode in which players will be competing to earn the most gold. The map will evolve around them as gold carts make their way from building to building. Cities become more populated, castles become stronger, and the human NPCs become more vicious. Players will be attempting to burn down whatever they can to collect gold and bring it back to their base, though they are free to attack each other. If a dragon loses its health completely, it is forced back to its base to regenerate health and loses any score multipliers or gold that it may have been carrying.
Therein lies the strategy element to the game…players can go about their business and just concentrate on collecting gold for their stash, but will miss out on resetting an opponent’s score multiplier by draining all of their health. Allowing another player to keep a 3x score multiplier throughout the game can be disastrous. Multipliers are earned by staying alive and continuously funding the stash, but can be lost in a number of different ways.
Another neat aspect of the game that I find to be a great addition is that you can level up your dragon. The more gold you stash, the more you can level up. You’ll be able to increase your dragon’s speed, fire strength, armor, and carrying capacity. Will you spec your dragon to be a slow-moving, but powerful tank…or will you opt to be Speedy Gonzales, stashing gold like no one’s business?
Besides flying back and forth constantly from civilization to your stash, you’ll be able to kidnap princesses and hold them for ransom. NPC knights will automatically come to her rescue, but if you can stave them off long enough, the princess will disappear and add a significant bonus to your score. You’ll also be able to “convince” cities to deliver gold right to your stash by attacking them repeatedly without burning everything down.
Power-ups appear at random, allowing players to increase their speed or bring the hurt to their opponents in various ways. My favorite has to be the power-up that let’s you steal from an opponent’s stash. Nothing adds insult to injury like stealing their gold while resetting their score multiplier.
My least favorite part about the game is the time limit…I would have liked to make games longer. Matches start out slow, but as the map unfolds, it becomes a chaotic mess that can be difficult to navigate. Of course, more gold can potentially be made towards the end of the match, and I would have enjoyed playing in that setting for a longer period of time. I also found the pre-game options to be lacking a bit and I would have liked the ability to choose my AI opponent. Mr. Honorable, for example, won’t attack you. It’s a great way to practice, assuming you end up facing him when the match begins.
All in all, Hoard is a fun diversion in fifteen or twenty-minute spurts. It’s not something I’d play for hours on end, but it’s a game I come back to every so often when I need to fill time. I’d recommend waiting until it was on sale (Steam does this often) and pick it up then.
Final Verdict: 7/10
You can view play sessions here: