Kingdom Adventures could be an absolutely amazing game. Unfortunately, the “Freemium” model has been taken to the extreme, and it’s rarely that I’ve come across a game with such gouging of premium currency (“diamonds”).
Essentially it’s a kingdom/town-building strategy SIM. Like many Kairosoft games it’s intimidatingly complex and you’ll almost certainly be relying on guides and forums to figure stuff out and get strategy tips. You start with a town, gradually exploring and unlocking areas outside it, gathering materials and finding new buildings and (low-rank) characters in the wilderness, and eventually some monster hatching and training. And so it goes on. There are all kinds of buildings, storage facilities (these felt distinctly unspacious), weapons and equipment. Every single thing can be upgraded, though upgrading doesn’t always appear to do very much.
The problem is that success in the game – or simply having fun and being able to do stuff, like build certain houses and shops – depends on having decent-grade characters. But not only do new characters cost a fortune in diamonds (unless you wait to find weak, free ones in the wilderness), it’s a crapshoot every time whether you get (a) the profession you need or (b) what rank they are. Apparently once you’ve unlocked Area 35 you can buy rank-A characters outright, but you’re going to have a hell of a wait for that.
In fairness, you can accrue a lot of diamonds for free early on. But this soon slows, just as the number of energy crystals you need to do anything soars (if you want to deploy several warriors, which you’ll need to do for tougher fights, it’s edging towards 100-Energy a time once you’re getting to Level 20+ bosses), and the only way to refill energy is to wait endlessly or spend 40-odd diamonds to refill your meter.
I gave up this game after finally unlocking the “people moving” function, so I could repopulate my second town, only to find that it appeared to cost several hundred diamonds to move a set of people, and if you clicked the wrong one, you couldn’t unclick them. At that point there was no more fun, only frustration, so I deleted the app. (If you mess up and need to restart, by the way, the only way to do this is to delete the entire app and reinstall it. There’s no way to delete your current game or start a new one within the app).
Basically, wherever Kingdom Adventurers can force you to wait or spend diamonds, it will do so. For example I finally upgraded a weapon, which took ages to get the right components to do. BAM! 100-diamonds or you can’t use it (or even exit the upgrade dialogue). If you want an extra item storage shed (and you’ll need loads of them) you have to wait several hours to be able to “research” one again, and then the research itself may take several more hours, unless you pay several hundred diamonds. 200 diamonds is USD$1.99. That’s two bucks to accelerate one thing, once. It’s 400 diamonds just to get a new character, and you may end up with a C-ranked character of a profession you’ve already got. In my last game, my four rolled-characters were two Bs and two Cs.
It just felt like a gouge. Perhaps if you play this game over the long term, a few minutes a few times per day, it doesn’t feel so bad. But it’s a game that could be like Stardew Valley – something rich in features and complexity that you can really immerse yourself in. And instead, Kairosoft has chosen to make Kingdom Adventurers a junky gacha-infested IAP gouge.