Compatible: iPhone - iPad
When I first started up Pot of Legend I was very confused over the objective of the game. I skipped over the tutorials because I learned by DOING like every kid playing games in the 90’s. Whenever I’m asked ‘What do the buttons do?’ when passing the controller to someone is met with a cold, harsh and incredibly sarcastic ‘push them and figure it out yourself.’ But I’m getting off topic. My first few seconds with Pot of Legend were three platforms and a hero in the corner, all with an 8-bit retro look. There’s a pot bar that fills up and once full unleashes a pot somewhere on screen.
You'll be looking at this screen for 95% of the game.The hero in the corner rushes into motion, heading towards the teleporting pot. ‘I must tap it before he gets to it!’ my gamer instinct tells me and I pat the screen like an asshole waiting for something to happen. Nothing happens and the hero smashes the pot after a few strokes of his sword. Several coins burst from it and the hero becomes as stone once more. Swiping these coins passes them into my inventory in the corner and we both wait for the pot bar to fill again.
‘I won’t let him win the next one’ I vow to myself and watch eagerly as the bar reaches a climax. Unfortunately the same thing happened again. And again. And again. And indeed several times more. I acquired a healthy amount of coins but spat in frustration. What’s the point of a game that plays itself? Am I the games little servant who cleans up after the heros destructive tendencies of suddenly materializing pottery? As it turns out, yes, that is the only objective of this game (within reason.)
The gold that is collected and accumulated over time fills up surprisingly quick and can be used for a numerous amount of things such as quickening the rate of pots, the heros speed and weapon strength, getting more heros on screen and such. Basically strategic investments can lead to more money to… well… smash more pots. As strange as it sounds, this sort of game sucks you in tremendously and is satisfying while being laid back all at the same time. It gives a sense that you’re going somewhere and this is the sort of experience on the App Store that I find charming and endearing. How long it’ll hold my interest has yet to be seen.
My steady progress after one hour of minimal tapping.But the most surprising decision in all of this is the lack of micro transactions. Pot of Legend is entirely free with the occasional ad in the corner of the menu screen and can easily offer players the possibility of getting a virtual money boost using real world currency. But it doesn’t which is a breath of fresh air. This means there’s no invisible paywall that won’t be blocking the way however long I’ll be playing this game. In a medium full of developers and companies that suck players in to ‘free 2 play’ games in a slimy money grab that relies on addictive tendencies, Pot of Legend could have easily fallen in with this crowd. Making the bold choice to go this route and swim against the current works in its favor (at least in my books) because I know the skies the limit.
Bottom line, the games fun with charming 8-bit graphics and sounds that carries a running joke from a classic game franchise and really rolls with it. It won’t cost anything to give it a shot and it’s good for downtime game sessions where you feel you want to be productive (or at least want to boss around small sprites to do your destructive bidding.)
That is until my gamer instinct failed me yet again…
As it turns out, tapping the screen fills up the pot bar. Once I discovered this the name of the game changed completely from a laid back pot smashing strategy game into something… absolutely chaotic. How did this change the spectrum? Exponentially.
After further investigation, this is my same game after discovering what tapping the screen like a maniac can do.Tapping makes the game go faster without a doubt. In the space of my initial hour, I was able to earn a good 10K+ in gold which got me some formidable power ups and an assistant whom I thought was useless as she just sat there half the time. How much did I earn tapping the screen for fifteen minutes? My math fails me but I managed to bank 800K, buy 500K in level ups, additional heroes and power ups for their weapons.
So what have I learned? That I know jack shit about iOS game design I suppose. That I should keep an open mind when testing out strange new games. Mind you I did discover this shortly after writing my bottom line and getting further into the game. However at the core I feel that the game can be played both ways. Slow and steady or quick and die hard. Albeit you’ll get a lot further ahead if you go the maniacal tapping way but I found the slow method endearing and relaxing. Perhaps the dev might make a note of that if they make a follow up…?
Comparison to before how much I was able to achieve.
Following this discovery I thought the game would go on forever, generating a leaderboard among players over who can earn the most gold ala that cookie tapper game. But once the stats were quickly maxed out on pots and heroes, the numbers grew to the trillions incredibly quickly and the game reaches an end with the 1,000th trillion. At this point you earn the 'Pot of Legend' which gets put on a shelf and the game returns to the start screen. After reaching that thrilling and escalating satisfaction, it's difficult to pull it together to start from the bottom again. Having played through it once, I can safely say this is easily one of the best disposable apps I have ever played. You can play it through one hectic sitting and experience everything it has to offer and then put it away, possibly for another day where the stress gets way too much. It was short and most definitely sweet.