By Jerrico Tan (JetSet), OnRPG Journalist
Atlas Raider First Impressions : A Rock and Rollin’ Adventure Awaits!
If you thought dice games were a thing of the past, CrayonPixel begs to disagree otherwise. And so does this writer after getting a first hand experience on their newly launched title, Atlas Raiders.
Playable on beta via Zynga.com and Facebook, players unfold an atlas like they would a classic board game and start rolling dices in order to collect thirteen crystal relics while completing missions, fighting monsters and hunting for treasures along the way.
The game tells its story in an old school yet edgy comic book style with colorful and cartoon-y characters. As players roll the dice, they move closer and closer to their goal, just like they would in Saturday-night board game with friends at home. Bringing this concept into the virtual world may seem hard to fathom at first but you’ll be pleased to see that CrayonPixel added an entire arsenal of spices, mixing classic board game rules with modern social gaming. Needless to say, it’s a neat concoction of ‘old meets new’ in terms of casual gaming.
Rolling your dice gives you access to various points in your atlas. You could either encounter an NPC that would provide you with a mission or engage in a battle with a monster, among many things, depending on where your dice rolls takes you. The battle mode is also a game of dice but not entirely because arming yourself with better weapons increases your chances of winning against your enemy. Completing missions unlocks more areas for you to explore and meeting new characters unfolds new story developments every time.
Because board games are more enjoyable when played with friends, Atlas Raiders lets you visit other friends’ atlases and help each other decipher codes. In doing so, you are rewarded with XPs and Gold Coins for your own adventure and progress. The more friends you have, the more atlases to visit.
As of its beta release, Atlas Raider boasts diversity in gaming experience though some of its elements include the usual annoying things players nowadays honestly hate such as “invite your friends to get more gold” or “wait for thirty minutes before harvest time or pay cash items now”, which is the inevitable social gaming trend of the decade. The idea of rolling the dice to get to your next destination could seem pointless at first but in reality, it’s about knowing what to do with the situation that is given to you (real-life application, anyone?) Crayon Pixel could also exploit the power of social networking and perhaps create a competitive vibe amongst their players apart from focusing on individuality. Still, for a casual game, Atlas Raider possesses an adventurous story arc delivered by awesome visual presentations with a “chop suey” of gaming memorabilia, which both young and old would surely enjoy.