When Ubisoft contacted me about “The Mighty Quest For Epic Loot,” I was skeptical. I might have even scoffed a bit -- "The Mighty Quest" is free to play, whether you tackle computer-generated castles or ones built by other players online.
Free games should suck. How could studios develop decent games without retail price tags or invasive pay-as-you-play models? Plus there are no ads to sit through, and the core gameplay lets you easily amass enough resources to progress. Ubisoft has a winner on their hands.
So what do you get when you download The Mighty Quest? It’s a traditional dungeon crawler. The interface resembles "Diablo 2," which is a good thing -- it keeps the game simple to pick up and understand.
Most of your time will be spent looting other players’ castles, fighting through the traps and monsters they’ve placed. Of course, you can place your own castle defenses, because other players will steal your stuff as quickly as you steal theirs. You won’t lose a tremendous amount, though, so this isn’t frustrating.
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The characters are what you’d expect: knight (tank/melee combat), archer (stick-and-move/indirect combat), and mage (mana damage dealer). There’s also a fourth class, “runaway,” but you have to pay for that one, so I won’t cover it. Also note that you get one free character when you download the game; if you want multiple characters on one account, you will have to part with some money. And that would make "The Mighty Quest" not free, so let’s move on.
I picked an archer, so my review is based off that experience.
He’s everything you’d expect: agile, deals distance out of most enemies’ range, has a variety of tactical skills but doesn’t do a whole heap of damage. He’ll get served quickly if you get too close to stronger enemies. It’s hard to compare him to any of the other characters directly (no PvP here), but I imagine the knight and mage play just as traditionally.
The most basic enemy you’ll face is a zombie variant in a monster family titled “Derp.” "Diablo" this isn’t; the game doesn’t take itself seriously. What little background story there is satirizes old-school game tropes about adventure and looting, presented with unpretentious narration and humorous conversations with Cornelius, your “benefactor.”
"Mighty Quest" looks and sounds rather good for a free title. It’s not spectacular in either field, but it won’t strain a halfway decent machine and the features get the job done. One thing I do have to mention about the graphics is the wall disappearance animations. That’s a small thing to think about in a game, but in a dungeon crawler like this you’ll be rounding a lot of walls. To have them disintegrate in a non-jarring, fluid manner is a nice touch, really.
It’s surprisingly well-coded and polished for a title you never have to pay for. There is an in-game store, of course, where you can buy gems and such to progress more quickly, but I never hit a wall that paying money would help me hop over. This is all very odd.
Most of the “free” games I’ve played have been, well ... crap, honestly. Having a game that costs nothing to download is great, and it lets me play more titles than I would if everything had an upfront price tag. But free-to-play games usually suffer from one core problem.
They’re not really free.
When you have to pay for more features -- levels, items, what have you -- anything to get a complete experience from the game, that’s not really a free game. Some games are sneakier culprits than others -- "Candy Crush Saga," for example -- but most push you to buy in-game currency or something similar to progress.
"The Mighty Quest For Epic Loot" never shoves this in your face. There’s a little icon at the top of the screen, but that’s it. No pop-ups that scream, “HEY, HAVING TROUBLE, STUPID? BUY SOME GEMS TO GET BACK IN THE FIGHT!” No ads to generate revenue for Ubisoft.
However, there are two problems. The first (and less serious) is that the game is PC-only, which is sad news for Mac fans (though they’re used to this treatment by now).
The second, and by far the most annoying part of the game, is the lack of auto-attack. There are lots of enemy mobs in this game, and if you want to attack any of them, you’ll have to left-click on them. A bit odd, considering left click is also your movement button, but okay. You have to hold the button down to keep attacking. And if monsters approach you, your character will stand there like an idiot, letting himself get pummeled without input from the mighty god’s hand. It’s something you can play around, but Ubisoft needs to update this ASAP. It’s a blemish on an otherwise competent game.
"The Mighty Quest For Epic Loot" lacks the depth and interaction of a free game like "League of Legends," but it’s much easier to pick up. It’s a nice, casual distraction worth playing if you like the dungeon-crawler genre.