Promiscuous Gamer

Diary of a Promiscuous Gamer: Got double Honors, and dropped $5 down the Dungeon (Keeper)

This guy will play anything as long as it's free

Diary of a Promiscuous Gamer: Got double Honors, and dropped $5 down the Dungeon (Keeper)

As game executive Bing Gordon famously put it (about) in 2010, "This is the most promiscuous app audience in the history of mankind".

This is the weekly diary of a promiscuous gamer.

1. Epic Empire (Pocket Gems)
Pocket Gems' casual RPG has been improved a lot by its first two updates of 2014. These have greatly increased the amount of easy grind gameplay, as well as streamlining the UI and UX flow. Character progression is also much improved.

I'm still not convinced about the core monetisation technique, however, which is spending a lot of hard currency on a single randomised item. I'm yet to do it, at least.

2. Dark District (Kabam)
Have unlocked a new unit - the flying A2 Pegasus. I still haven't totally got into the core game or joined an Alliance, but am still playing. NB - I really like the new graphical effect that when your base has been trashed - your buildings pump out black smoke for a couple of seconds when you log in (see below).

3. Angry Birds Go! (Rovio)
Didn't play this week.

4. Adventure Town (Supersolid)
I'm still thoroughly enjoying Adventure Town, which has plenty of different gameplay options - from the farm/city-building stuff, to character development and item crafting. Might even end up spending some money at some point; which looking at the game's top grossing performance is not something many players have yet done.

5. Eternity Warriors III (Glu Mobile)
Didn't play this week.

6. Galaxy on Fire - Alliances (Fishlabs)
I finally worked out some of the inter-planetary mechanics in the this game, although overall, I think it's a little too abstract. It needs a bit more character, although the space ships are nice. 

7. RoboCop (Glu Mobile)
Playing the daily missions.

8. Heroes of Honor (Nonstop Games)
Just when I think Heroes of Honor is getting predictable, I find something new - in this case it's the Valorium Forge, which enables me to craft orbs, required to unlock new heroes and the item creation part of the game. Currently my favourite game.

This week, I also used 37 of my 114 gems to get 21,000 wood on a 10% fill. Nominal cost was $1.85 but I've been tracking the conversion ratio, so I know I got a good deal. 

9. Sky Adventures (Game Insight)
Everytime I look for an excuse to stop playing this game, I find another layer to investigate. Saying that, I also find it very odd experience - from the weird cat characters to the very hard hard currency gating on certain progression options.

10. Dungeon Keeper (EA)
As ever, the naysayers just haven't played enough to get the full picture. I'm enjoying Dungeon Keeper, although I did spend some cash ($4.99) to unlock the third imp builder. I only needed 200 gems but $4.99 is the minimim purchase.

Other than that, however, the game's pace seems just right. I also like the reversal of not building walls, but digging out earth to craft your dungeon, and the necromancer - who resurrects your dead troops - is a great unit. I think we're going to see that concept in a lot of future game.

11. Glyph Quest (Alexander Trowers)
Love the art style and sort of like the way it unlocks the matching gameplay, but not sure there's enough in this to keep me coming back to it week-on-week, let alone day-on-day.

12. Defenders & Dragons (Glu Mobile)
Didn't play this week.

13. Fightback (Chillingo)
Despite last week's reinstall, I haven't actually played it this week.

14. Deadman Cross (Square Enix)
I like the concept behind Deadman Cross, but the more I play it, the more I think that having an FPS section as the way to get character cards for fusion - core to a card-battling game - is a bit repetitive for little actual gain.

Other parts of the game - the Boneyard, for example when you fight with your decks - are more interesting. And, as ever with card-battlers, I'm not entirely sure how the fusion/evolution (aka feeding/boosting in this game) actually works.

15. Naughty Kitties (Coconut Island)
Unlocked a snooty cat with a laser gun. Does life get any better than a game with a snooty cat with a laser gun? A really fun little game.

16. HonorBound (JuiceBox Games)
I am enjoying HonorBound, which in some parts - squad/movement - reminds me of DeNA's Blood Bros., although it’s not a card-battler as such; you have actual control over the battle.

There's also plenty to investigate in the meta game, which involves levelling up your squad characters - both directly and via summoning and fusion - and researching new abilities, classes and attributes. Deep.

17. Excalibur (R2 Games)
Excalibur is very Chinese in its gameplay and graphics - after all it's a Chinese-developed game which has generated a lot of cash in China - but it means it's rather dated in comparison to western F2P action games i.e. it looks and plays more like a web game than a mobile one.

Installed #1: Band of Heroes (Mobjoy)
Brazilian developer Mobjoy has done a good job on this squad-based side-scrolling action RPG. It has a brilliant nice art style and enough gameplay and general progression to keep me playing. Looking forward to more.

Installed #2: Bug Heroes 2 (Forsaken Media) [$0.99]
Not played yet.

Installed #3: ACR Drift (Crooz)
A car racing game that moves beyond fixed camera drag racing. Will be interesting to see how this one goes.

Installed #4: Battle Quest: Rise of Heroes (DeNA)
An endless runner action RPG with squad-based elements. I'm not a massive fan of the genre, but this is well presented and an interesting enough hybrid to keep me playing for the time being.

Uninstalled #1: Clash of Clans (Supercell)
I've not really been playing Clash of Clans properly for months now, so it makes sense to finally cut the cord, at least before Boom Beach arrives.

Uninstalled #2: Dr. Newton (Brainbow)
It's hard to balance successful brain-training gameplay, and successful monetisation in terms of free-to-play gaming. The game stuff in Dr. Newton is interesting but the monetisation - a sort of level-based boost system - just doesn't work (as is the case with Plain Vanilla's QuizUp. And, you have to work hard at the brain-training stuff too. Makes me look stupid.

Uninstalled #3 Modern Command (Chillingo)
I quickly got bored of the gameplay and the too-restrictive F2P mechanics, which let you research new weapons but don't give you much opportunity (or encouragement) to try them out. Disappointing

Weekly recap
Installed: 4
Reinstalled: 0
Uninstalled: 3

In Play: 20
To Be Played: 1

Spending: $4.99 (Dungeon Keeper)
To-date 2014 'Life Time' Value: $11.97

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.