Thursday, May 25, 2017

Pox Nora (Micro Review)

Desert Owl Games' PC card based strategy RPG was released this week on the PS4 as a free-to-play experience. Alongside it's base release came paid for starter bundles ranging from $30 - $50 with some paid for currency and card DLC thrown in for good measure. While I had zero intention of paying anything for the experience I went into the game to see if it was even worth bothering with at the no pay level. In doing so I was met with gameplay that was so confusing that it made me want to delete it only part of the way into the tutorial. The main flaws I encountered came in the form of a poorly crafted control layout, an equally poorly crafted user interface, and the over-complication of mechanics that have no reason at all to be so complicated. When it comes to said mechanics, or point of the game you are basically meant to use your bought or earned card troops to farm Nora (the game's main resource for troop usage), fight the opponent's troops, guard your spire, and destroy the opponent's base. All in a turn based sense. Somehow the developer made this simple series of steps extremely complicated through menu navigation though. So much so that I stumbled around the tutorial's guided first section tour for a good thirty minutes like a blind bat. Even with the tutorials in place (in small obscurely placed dialogue boxes, mind you) I found myself lost numerous times. Sometimes even in searching for the tutorial hints.

What this game boils down to is an experience that looks good in the trailers, but that functions less than decent when played. The user interface is all over the place, and the controls used to navigate the multiple options therein are so odd that it makes the experience more of a chore for it. The UI, in my opinion, needs to be redesigned to a single panel instead of obstructing the field of vision like it does. It also needs to be refined, and simplified in a manner that makes feature access less confusing. As is "Pox Nora" failed to hook me enough to even play on a no pay level. I have deleted it, and honestly do not recommend you taking up your PS4's HD space with it. That is my verdict.

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