Saturday, April 11, 2015

Spirit Lords

Spirit Lords by Kabam

This title slipped under pretty much every ones radar Wednesday night and just showed up featured on apple's splash page. What is it? A mmo-lite rpg hack'n'slash with a unique control scheme that works surprisingly well!

At the core of the game, this is a dungeon crawler. You will be clearing stages killing everything, breaking everything, looting everything in sight and winning. You'll gain experience, you'll level up. You'll find loot and either sell or equip it depending on how good it is. And then after that's done, you'll be off to find more dungeons to pillage, or you can re pillage the one you just did. Its up to you.

But thats just scratching the surface here. For example, all dungeons have 3 to 4 parts story wise. And then they have the grind able repeatable dungeon side to them with really decent gear drops and whatnot based on your level and the difficulty you choose. Oh and then there's the spirit system. Its a card collector / up grader system. The spirits you equip directly affect your stats and even the abilities you have available when on dungeon runs. The spirits are also fully upgradable and once level capped you can combine them to unlock other superior versions with even better benefit. The spirits can also be sent out on their own timed quests, they bring back rewards and experience.

On the surface map is where the multi player rears its face. You can see other players on the surface map (the map you'll be running around on in between dungeons/cities). You can group with them, watch them chat, or ignore them. Entirely up to you. There are guilds, leader boards, all sorts of things one would expect in an online game and yes, this one requires a constant Internet connection.  Guilds gain experience and level up as you do things and there are all sorts of perks to leveling up the guild.

Also on the surface map are diggable sites that usually have coin in them but occasionally spirits.

The controls are unique and surprisingly workable. Tap to go to location. Hold to free run towards your finger. All but one ability uses gestures to activate. Tap on hero and drag from them to use their mana consuming power shot. Double tap anywhere to teleport/leap to the location. Double tap on your hero to use your aoe attack. The final special ability requires you use other abilities to charge and has a button on screen bottom left for activation.

There are two classes currently. Mage and Barbarian. Male and Female options are present along with all sorts of face/hair options. You can re customize your hero at any time and everything can be changed except class and gender.

There is a solid story here and while its got some tongue in cheek overtones, below the surface there is something a good bit more serious going on.

There is an energy bar to this game though honestly I haven't drained it. Leveling comes quickly heh. There is a spirit vendor that lets you free draw once a day or spend iap currency to pull spirits as often as you like. Fully optional. There are iap currency packs and a 'subscription' pack that costs a buck or two a month and gives you a steady allowance of iap currency. I like that one. Coin is overly plentiful. The iap currency is largely used expanding your inventory, adding character slots and spirit rolls.

Spirits come in several forms, elements and purposes. First off you have five ability slots and each one uses a its own finger gesture on the touch screen to activate. So there you have five types of spirits. But then on top of that the spirits come in elements. Earth, fire, ice, etc. And these types directly determine the type of damage that ability slot will do. And then there are the ... errr... critter? spirits. These spirits only serve one purpose. To be consumed by other spirits for leveling purposes. They are incredibly cute but worry not. Its what these particular spirits live to do. Be consumed. By other spirits. -ponders that-

All spirits have a standard form and a superior form. Superior form comes from collecting very specific spirits and then combining them to make a bigger meaner version of the spirit you had. Then there is the star rating of spirits. More stars equals better quality equals more useful in dungeons.

There's a whole lot to this game obviously and I suspect there's more to be seen. The main town seems to be evolving and I haven't actually found a merchant yet for equipment. Something tells me I will soon heh. Probably will be a followup to this one in the near future.

Want to discuss the game with me or my friends?

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