Good evening, dear readers, and welcome back! I really wanted to write about one of my favorite co-op games (The Typing of the Dead: Overkill), but we try to be a PG-ish site, and that game is almost as far from PG as you can get. Instead, I’m going to gush a little over yet another free game. Surprise!
I downloaded Pokemon Rumble World fully expecting disappointment. Pokemon Shuffle had taken a small stiletto to my inner fangirl, and was wary of yet another freemium Pokemon game. What horrible pay walls will I have to scale this time? What features will I never see because I am cheap and a little bitter? How badly am I going to pout over another stingy game? How much temptation, dripping with premium gravy, will be waved before my nose? Mmm, gravy.
In actuality, I was, and still am, pleasantly surprised. Pokemon Rumble World actually has a consistent trickle of microtransaction currency for the player to enjoy. The pay walls are often, but small. The cost of the currency itself is reasonable. The most surprising part is that it limits how much you can actually purchase. You can only buy 3,000 diamonds, and that’s it. That’s less than $30, depending on what bundles you purchase. It may sound like it’s still a huge money grab, but I find it to be pretty commendable for the developers to essentially allow the players to pay the same price as a physical 3DS game, and not beyond that point. Even better, once you essentially buy the game, you get a daily allowance of diamonds and discounts where you’d probably end up using them anyway. It’s a rather brilliant way to present a game for free and allow the user to decide if they want to support them or outright buy the game.
But what about the pay walls? How are these diamonds utilized? What do you do after you’ve spent your limit? Well, for one thing, the main part of the game uses hot air balloons to take you to certain areas. Each have a certain collection of monsters for you to try and collect. This is where the diamonds mainly play into the game. There are currently 18 hot air balloons to unlock, totaling out to 1,270 diamonds. The rest of the diamonds are used for adding mega evolutions to your monsters, inflating balloons (the major time or stamina factor of the game), or buying silly customizations. There is very little actually keeping you from playing the game frequently. The patience factor doesn’t even really apply to the storyline, which I will get to next.
The storyline (however meager) will give you chance to receive 13 diamonds per errand. With 12 errands total, that’s 156 diamonds. You’re allowed to attempt the various challenges per errand numerous times without limit. There is no time limit on the challenges, just a level constraint. Throw in diamonds you get from StreetPassing strangers, SpotPassing your friends, and inviting strangers from across the globe into your castle, and suddenly there’s a potential trickle of diamonds without doing a whole lot. On top of that, when you invite these people into your game, you have a chance to save them, potentially getting you even more diamonds for being a hero. I’m impressed by the generosity of this game.
Unfortunately, the biggest thing possibly holding this game back is the gameplay itself. The Pokemon Rumble series a love it or hate it kind of game. It’s very much a beat’em up, but it also has a ton of variables (types, moves, traits, wobbles) to keep track of and pray the RNG will grant you a cookie. There’s a lot of maybe involved, and it’s definitely not a game for everybody. When I first played the game on the Wii U, I hated it. I’m not sure why, but I just couldn’t get into it. This rendition eventually sucked me in, but it did take a big of coaxing first. My best and most basic advice would be to give a shot. Worst case scenario: you hate it, delete it, and never speak of it again.
I honestly think 3DS owners should give this game a shot. The way they’ve handled the microtransaction part of the freemium equation is brilliant, and have won me over to their dark side. The game itself has hooked me in, but that was not an easy process, and this might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Give it a crack, and let me know what you think in the comments.