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Review: Nocked: True tales of Robin Hood
Cost: 5.99 US Dollars (iTunes store)
Genre: Text-based RPG adventure
I was fortunate to get a hold of this game prior to the release in order to have this review ready for you.
Most of you already heard some stories about Robin Hood. This is a story that has a lot of different characters and your choices will affect their lives. From brutal murders, powerful authorities taking advantage of it's people, to friendship and love. Meet the famous characters you have grown fond of from reading books or watching movies. Enter the Sherwood forest from the famous Robin Hood universe.
You are a wanted man or woman Regardless of your gender, you are Robin Hood. The game starts with the sheriff of Nottingham entering your village. He brought a lot of men and they are searching the houses, looking for you! You have no choice, you need to either run away and hide for the rest of your life or stand up and fight.
Since the local authorities treat the people wrongly there is support for your cause. You and those dear to you have been treated in a way that people won't accept. Since the authorities are powerful, the people can't do anything about it. They are being charged with high taxes, making it hard for them to make a living for themselves.
If you want support you will need to help the people first. How do you choose to act? The decision is yours.
Are you going for a political career where you make powerful friends and allies? Will you explore the dark and mysterious forest? Are you simply going to build an army and literally take the fight to the battlefield?
This is a game where you have a lot of text to read. Parts in bold text are the ones you can interact with, choices to make. Sometimes it is just conversations regarding the weather but it might just as well be a conversation where you try to persuade the other person to act on your behalf.
As the story unfolds and you make choices in conversation with different characters, you are creating a personality. Sometimes you get things like renown or grace.
You can use these points to collect favors from allies.
There are often a number of ways to tackle problems. If you have focused on collecting goldn renown or men. You will still get out of this mess.
Gold and merry men are two very basic things that you will want to collect. Your men are called “merry men” and are the ones that will help you with tasks around the hideout or on missions far away. Gold can buy you most things. You can upgrade the defenses around your hideout, investigate the mysterious forest to find magical artifacts or simply aid the local peasants.
When you aid the peasants they you will increase your numbers of merry men.
The atmosphere is something that is important. That is clear with all the indie games coming today. The production does not have the possibility to use the most advanced graphics on the market which means the developers have to use other means to create the atmosphere.
In a text based game that is a huge challenge.
As a player, you will have to take the information given to you from the game and form images using your imagination. I am impressed with the way the game described the enviroment where my characters were currently at.
During my first playthrough I decided to build a tree house. I know right! That is everyones dream, ever since we were kids. A big massive tree house! I was inspired to start and draw a sketch of what I imagined the tree house would look like.
When sneaking through old castles I imagined how they would look and to be honest. To play something where you ”create the graphics” using your imagination is very relaxing. It becomes more of a personal adventure, no matter what text-based game you play really. Since you decide what the enviroment looks like. Like reading a great book. Only here, you decide how the story will unfold!
A game to play when you might be interrupted often
With every decision made in the game, it is automatically saved. That is brilliant in the terms of being a mobile game. If you are unsure of how much time you have for playing with your phone? No problem. If you are waiting in queue for a match of League of Legends or C.O.D. Just pick this up and kill the time.
The automatic save functions does however mean that you can't make a decision and then load the game if it did not turn out the way you expected it. During my first two playthroughs I experienced that twice. I made a decision, regretting it immediately but the game was already saved. Overall it is a very good thing to have.
There are several difficulties to choose from. You can even choose to be a man or a woman. You can choose to fight the sheriff using different methods like I mentioned above. No need to build a tree house, there are other options as well. I don't know why you would not want a treehouse however.
I would say that this game is a game that you might come back to and play through it a second or a third time.
I have been playing the game in various ways. Most of the gameplay is different while there are still some key events that seem similar.
When I failed, I was immediately hitting the ”Start new game” button. I was eager to get revenge on the sheriff of Nottingham and the prince.
Not really any controls to speak about with a text-based game. I guess the only question is, can you play using only one hand? The answer is yes.
There are a few images that will give you an idea of what the developers thought of when they designed the world. When you see a castle for example there is an image of a castle in the background. The color scheme is nice and easy on the eyes when reading the text.
Did I miss the graphics of a standard video game?
Not at all actually. Several times it struck me when I read the text that it felt like I was playing some RPG where I was in a base, building and making choices.
And the fact that my own imagination needs to work is a positive thing. A good break from the normal video games. I even got inspired and started to sketch what I imagined the base would look like once I was finished.
A difficult task for Roman
Now, I do generally have a hard time navigating mazes. Imagine my frustration the first time I tried to navigate a maze inside this text-based game. I was truly lost and had to focus on finding my way back to the forest rather than chasing bonuses for finding stuff.
On my second playthrough I had a pen and paper and drew a map of where I walked and which rooms were connected! I succeeded during that playthrough and show cased the many ways you can enjoy this game.
A trailer for the game found on Youtube.
I gave this game 90 out of 100 because of
- After playing it twice, I still want to start it and try another tactic.
- Might be because of them using a famous franchise like Robin Hood, you anticipate meeting familiar characters. But the story feels intresting to follow.
- Easy to pick up and play for a few minutes and then put the phone away (at the same time, it is easy to forget about time when playing).
- If you have the money to spend on mobile games and you are into text-based games. This should entertain you for a couple of hours.
- Intresting characters
- A good introduction to text-based games based on the fact that it is a familiar franchise. A genre that certainly has potential.