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Dungeon Hunter 4 iOS Review - -

Gameplay 7.0
Graphics 8.2
Sound 8.1
Value 7.3
Distributor: iTunes
Review Date:
May 2013
Ho Wong


Dungeon Hunter 4

One cardinal rule about Action RPGs is that there must be loot and a lot of it.  Loot comes in many forms - it can be the glistening gold left laid out in little piles after overpowering a horde of hell spawns, that enchanted dagger that has finally dropped with its glow finally in your grasp or even all those ampoules of potions that may come in handy when you take a beating to an inch of your life.  That is the problem with Dungeon Hunter 4.  There is a not a lot of loot, actually very little.  This ultimately makes DH4 a rather frustrating, flawed game that seems to have a weird sense of priorities.  Itís a shame as there is a lot that DH4 does right.

It begins with the usual fare of selecting your character class, each with the usual warrior, hybrid, mage and hunter clones and being burdened with saving the world.  The controls work well, with single or dual virtual thumbpads. The main thumbpad controls movement while the secondary button or thumbpad fires your weapon.  The control scheme is surprisingly tight and responsive. Visually, it actually is rather impressive.  Environs are vibrant and stunning - beautiful lighting and shadows complemented with minor touches like grass blowing in the wind, blood splatters, little things just add up to a minor triumph for the eyes.  Character customisation comes in the form of a rather simple talent tree and  a limited variety of weapons.  Letís not forget the daily deals in the shop  as well as the chance at winning prizes at the Wheel of Fate.

So a valid question is what makes DH4 so flawed and frustrating?  The first sign that something is amiss is during the loading screens, it advertises weapons, amour and items that may help in your quest. Clicking on these lead you to the shop where the aforementioned item is being sold for a ludicrous amount of gems.  Gems cannot be earned in the normal course of the game and are bought as a form of IAP.  Did you want to rearrange your attribute-modifier jewels in your armour?  Remove your current jewel and wait 15 minutes game time or spend gems to speed this up.  If you die, you restart the whole level again or you can pay gems to respawn/continue.  

You are given 3 health potions and each will restore your full health - note that these are never dropped as loot, you actually have to buy potions in this game.   Oh, but they do respawn at the rate of one potion every 2 hours of game time.  And no, you cannot get out of the game and come back later after 2 hours, you will have to wait out 2 hours in the game to get one potion (or spend gems). 

As mentioned previously, there is very little loot.  Defeating a major horde of fiends may net you one small pile of gold if you are lucky. Getting an item is like winning a scratchie.  In this respect, this game is miserly, to the say the least.  (Diablo 3, all is forgiven).  The shop itself is stocked full of items that can only be bought by gems.  I can go on at other things that will cost you a whole lot of time waiting (or gems) but I think you get the idea.  

Apologies but I just donít get the point of hamstringing a player and not allowing them to experience the game to the fullest and forcing them to either spend their time waiting in the game or spending money.  It also frustrates me no end when things that you take for granted in other Action RPGs now actually cost money or hours of your time eg potions, continuing on from where you died, customising the jewels on your armour.  This is actually a reasonable game if it had a reasonable price and stopped all of this desperate selling nonsense, the kind of selling you expect in a social network game.  Instead, you are left plain frustrated.  This is a freemium game but still a game,  so I just have to ask the question - where is the fun? Forgotten, it seems.



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