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Fantasy Quest

For: iPhone   Also on: iPad

First and second impressions

Product: Fantasy Quest | Publisher: Gamevil | Format: iPhone | Genre: Casual, RPG, Strategy | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0.1
Fantasy Quest iPhone, thumbnail 1
This is a freemium game review, in which we give our impressions immediately after booting a game up, again after three days, and finally after seven days. That's what the strange sub-headings are all about. Clicks on the link to jump straight to day three or day seven.

Fantasy Quest? Fantasy... Quest? That is the most generic name for a role-playing game I think I've ever heard of. It may as well be called Warrior Saga. Or Chrono Mana.

Come to think of it, I reckon a Chrono Mana would be pretty good.

In any case, Fantasy Quest is a boring name for a game that I hope is more interesting than it sounds, because I've got to play it for at least a week.

First impressions

One of the first lines of text from Fantasy Quest is "your workers are highly motivated by gems". Yeah, I'll bet they are, Fantasy Quest. I'll bet they are.

Early on you can clearly see the city-building genre tricks of restricting access to content through two types of overly strict energy bars, as well as the two forms of currency: one limited, one less so.

Fantasy Quest looks very Gamevil 101. It's got a simple and bright anime aesthetic, all the characters look like kids, and it's set in a fantastical world with goblins, humans, and bows, arrows, and please stop me if you've heard all this before.

Your mission is to build a town, cut down surrounding trees so you can build more town, earn money, hire characters to join your party, and then go out to kick some baddie bum.

The one thing that has differentiated it so far is that I'm being almost constantly attacked by other real-life players and having my cash stolen. Super.

Day 3: Never ending story

IAPs explained
Rubies are £2.99 / $4.99 for 50, while the same amount will net you 5,000 Coins.

To give you an idea of what that will buy you, ten Rubies will refill your Energy and your Stamina, which is used to go out on Quests and Raid rival villages.

Rubies are also used to speed up processes. And if you're a serious player, you'll want to use them in an effort to counteract the soul-crushing tedium.
Oh, sod off, Fantasy Quest.

This game is banal with a capital 'B' - and that 'B' is written in a comics sans font. Its slow-going early pace has evolved into a slow-going slightly-later-in-the-game pace.

My tiny town has few buildings in it, there's barely any life to be seen anywhere, and I'm hemmed in by thick forest. If I want to expand I need to aggressively start chopping into the surrounding trees.

This means waiting until that action is completed, obviously. But what's most surprising - and boredom-inducing - is that if you upgrade a building, or even try purchasing a brand new one, you have to wait until that process is finished before you can upgrade or build another one. So the number of actions you can take in each session is minimal.

The rest of your time is spent harassing low level players to (rather ironically) build up your Valor, or saving nearby villages.

Regarding the whole Valor thing, this is a currency that I've had to use just once in my three days with Fantasy Quest so far, and I've no idea why the game is setting me challenges to raid other players to acquire it. I can't see its use, other than to allow my to check off a quest which is then replaced by an almost identical quest.

Battles with enemies may as well be automatic, such is your level of agenc, and I keep dying in them because the bad guys are too powerful. Can I upgrade my hero? Should I be buying new armour and weaponry? How long can I keep playing before apathy and bewilderment force me to delete the game from my iPhone?

Wait, what's that, Rob? I've got at least four more days of this?


Day 7: Make it stop

I figured out how to win battles, and you'll never believe what boredom-defying game mechanic this involves.

That's right: grinding.

I'm so utterly bored of Fantasy Quest that I've started inventing my own fun. Rather than attempting to destroy seven enemy buildings by raiding them, I've dived into the multiplayer environment to troll the community there.

That wasn't my original intention. I wanted to try out this aspect of the game for review purposes, playing the group-based XXX mode with others. But the connection is so unstable that people keep dropping from groups, leaving those who remain to boredly examine their shoes, so I never managed to get a game in.

So I decided to hop into the chat there (which worked beautifully, to its credit) and pretend I was a Californian hipster who enjoyed using the word 'brah' instead of 'friend'.

One of the people playing was called Riverwood, and I spent an enjoyable five minutes winding him up, mostly by saying things like, “peace to you and yours brah”, and then telling him to calm down when he got upset that no one was joining his group for a multiplayer match.

Oh, and I think the game broke at one point, as I can't complete one of the quests. I need to upgrade my cottage to level 4, but that achievement was reached ages ago and the system seems to have forgotten to check it off. Cool.

Just in case you haven't got the message, you shouldn't play Fantasy Quest. It's clichéd freemium fare that doesn't care whether you enjoy yourself, just so long as you're spending money. Don't even bother wasting your bandwidth.

How are you getting on with the game? You can tell us and the rest of the PG community about your experiences by leaving a comment in the box below.
Fantasy Quest
Reviewer photo
Peter Willington | 5 April 2013
If your surname is Moneybags, then you might have enough cash to make Fantasy Quest move at a tolerable pace. But there's no point, because it's an intolerable game
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