I’m not what you would consider a “gamer.” I dabble in mobile titles like Monument Valley and occasionally play Super Smash Bros. or Mario Kart with friends, but few games manage to grab my attention for very long.
Yet there’s a new iPhone game I haven’t been able to put down for the past two weeks.
King of Thieves is ZeptoLab’s first shot at capturing the attention of “midcore” gamers, which is industry talk for someone just like me. Your average hardcore PC gamer likely won’t find it engaging, and it’s just a little too complicated for kids.
But for the average, iPhone-owning millennial who plays Clash of Clans and Trivia Crack, it’s the perfect fit. I’ve been using the private beta for the past couple of weeks, and I’ve had numerous friends ask me what I’m playing with bright eyes, eager to try it themselves.[avocado-gallery ids=”311954,311950,311951,311953,311952″]
In King of Thieves, your mission is to become the wealthiest thief in the world, a feat only made possible by sneaking into other players’ dungeons and stealing their gold and gems.
To protect your own stockpile from attacks, you can set up traps you customize and upgrade over time with more gold. Your character can also be upgraded along with your dungeon to give you more perks, like faster gold production, more lock picks to thwart would-be attackers, or an increased chance of stealing gems.
There are three main currencies in the game. Gems, which you can also steal from other players, determine your net worth and ranking on the leaderboards. You have a limited number you can hold at any time, and multiple gems can be combined by your dungeons totem ritual to make them more valuable.
Gold is produced by your dungeon and stolen from other dungeons, which you in turn use to improve your own defenses. Lastly, blue orbs are the backbone of the game in that they are harder to get but very valuable. With orbs you can buy power-ups to help you raid dungeons, ingredients to upgrade your character, and more lock picks to break into dungeons.
Playing the game was still fun without dropping a dime
That’s where monetization comes into play. King of Thieves is free to play, but you can buy more orbs with in-app purchases. That specific part of the game didn’t work with the beta I’ve been using, and while I would have probably bought extra orbs once or twice, playing the game was still fun without dropping a dime.
There are 80, increasingly-harder-levels in single player mode that earn you more experience, orbs, and gold, but the real magic of King of Thieves is the online play. It’s frictionless and designed to be difficult, but not defeating. I was enjoying raiding dungeons of people I didn’t know, so I can’t imagine how fun it will be when I can invite my friends on Facebook.
It has all the potential to the next hit freemium game in the App Store
On the surface, King of Thieves is a cute, quaint little platformer in the artistic vein of Cut the Rope. But after playing it probably too much, I can attest to how thoughtfully it’s designed. It has all the potential to the next hit freemium game in the App Store.
You’ll want to keep checking back on your dungeon to collect more gems or see who’s raided you so you can retaliate and raid them back. The different echelons of leagues and guilds you can join will make you want to amass more wealth. And when you get good enough, you can try to steal from me.
Grab your copy now in the App Store. I dare you.