Shakes and Fidget First Impressions: Shake, Rattle and Roll the Dice
By Stephen Boyd, OnRPG Journalist
Shakes and Fidget is a curious beast. Firstly, I have absolutely no idea where the name of the game comes from OR what it means, but it is kinda fun. German developer Playa Games has crafted a quirky and addictive turn based combat browser game.
You create your character using either the random roll selection or can use the selection tools to create a unique look that comes in an appealing, almost Plants vs Zombies art style. As a lifelong cartoonophile, I really like the look of this game.
From here, you choose your class. You have the holy triumvirate of RPGs to choose from, Warrior, Mage or Archer. Once this has been done and you have chosen your name, it's time to leap into the fray.
On entering the game world, you will see a sidebar of choices containing mission types and vendors. The Tavern is your one stop shop for picking up quests. The quest givers generally have three or four quests and each journey will reward you with a combination of money, XP or items in varying degrees. Money in Shakes and Fidget comes in two flavours; Gold and Mushrooms. Gold is used to buy armour and weapons, mushrooms are your special currency and are used for mounts and higher tier gear. The Mushrooms can be earned through questing or bought using the usual Micro transaction methods.
Each mission is also timed, meaning once you select it you must let the timer tick down before you can fight. You can skip the timer by using your Mushrooms, and that would be were those MTs come into play.
Each quest will also remove a portion of your ‘Thirst for Adventure' meter. Once this meter runs out, you are done for the day. The meter can be topped up by purchasing a beer from the innkeeper in the tavern to allow you to keep questing.
In a half hour of playing the game I raised my character, the ace archer Shooty Steve to Level 6, so progression is quite quick, at least in the early stages of the game.
An alternative to questing is to enter the arena. Here you pit your character against other players to earn gold and XP. The combat is fairly evenly tiered and I did not face anyone more than two levels away from my character. One sorceress I battled two shotted me at the same level, but other than that the battles were fairly evenly matched although my Lucky Rabbit's Foot Amulet allowed me to block a lot of incoming attacks, leaving me undefeated for the evening, which was nice!
Once your questing and arena fighting is done for the day, you can take a job from the City Guard. Working for them means you cannot quest or fight in the Arena, but they pay handsomely and that wage can be used to upgrade your gear in the morning.
Turn based combat normally turns me off, but something about this game made me want to come back for more. The art style is fun and the missions are rewarding. So why not give it a shake and see what you think?