I’ve been disappointed with some of my iOS games, but never regretted spending money on them. That is, until I bought 100 Rogues.
As a former console gamer who’s become a casual iOS player, I’ve searched far and wide across the internet, to the distant recesses of Google’s second page for acclaimed iOS games. Next on my list was 100 Rogues due to endorsements from several authoritative sites lauding its charm and whimsy — now, I know better.
Most wouldn’t be surprised if DinoFarm Games allocated funds (that could have gone to art design and game developers) to the marketing team to snag spots in blogs to feature 100 Rogues. But the game is so awful, so downright atrocious, that I fear a much worse crime: negligence. I’m of the mind that the internet authors were so desperate to find an obscure RPG to fill their “Best-of” lists that 100 Rogues name was plugged in simply because they could find nothing else. I say a “worse crime” because truthfully, it would be more reasonable — even forgivable — to feature 100 Rogues if the authors were given something of monetary value, but I’m convinced they only included it because there is such a shortage of indie RPGs that they were literally scraping the bottom of the barrel for a wild card.
I doubt any of these authors played 100 Rogues for more than 15 minutes.
But “Objection: Speculation” you say, so I’m compelled to tell you exactly why this game is not only worthless, but unworthy to reside on any list except for admonishments, “Worst ofs” and the FBI’s laundry list for white-collar fraud.
Free, Paid, Freemium & Paidium?!
Typically, there are three categories of games in the app store: free, paid and freemium — where a game is provided for free, but additional (premium) services must be paid for. It’s a business model that works well for iOS games and therapists alike.
But Paidium? That doesn’t sound right and certainly Oxford Dictionary wouldn’t welcome it with open arms the way Freemium was. And yet, that’s what 100 Rogues is: Paidium. It’s pay to play and pay more to play more.
The game’s price tag is misleading as it appears cheap but to have the “complete” game, it’ll cost more than any of the iOS games I’ve reviewed. That’s a problem.
With the Hipster Zeitgeist in full effect, people are looking back to uncover what has been forgotten since there’s “nothing new under the sun” and the 8 to 32 bit graphics are back in bloom, home on the iOS.
But no one actually wants to play these old games — games developed before there was even a study of game design — they simply wish to bank off the nostalgia or, in rare cases, do it again but better. Games like Shovel Knight have a retro art design, but the animations are so fluid and the level design is so modern that it succeeds because they manage to recapture the feelings your nostalgia provoked (rather than simulate or dampen them). It feels like how gaming should have always been.
100 Rogues doesn’t do this. 100 Rogues serves as a reminder why you won’t play the first Tetris released; why you can’t revisit Final Fight. 100 Rogues is so cheap in it’s pixelated art that any charm nostalgia could provoke is lost.
To make matters worse, the game has no self-awareness whatsoever. In its poor attempts at charming retro graphics in the 21st century, 100 Rogues comes across as a man in his mid-30s who still orders from the waitress like he’s a child:
“Excuse me, Miss. Sorry to bother you, but um, I was wondering, could I have the grilled cheese, please?”
What was once cute and saccharine now comes across as creepy and stomach-churning. The waitress (who, for those lost in the analogy, is the player) now can only sympathize with the man-child (the substitute for DinoFarms’ 100 Rogues) as he must be suffering some sort of mental deficiency and lost sight of his caretaker. The problem is that, when you call the nearest psychiatric hospital, they tell you he’s a flight risk, so you need to keep serving him food until someone shows up to claim him… and of course, he has no means of payment.
Gameplay & Story
100 Rogues must’ve caught someone’s eye as it’s gameplay mechanic is different although they’d be hard-pressed to say it’s innovative, inspired, or for the better. 100 Rogues tries to combine the turn-based battle element (practically a staple in RPGs) with the open-world dungeon adventure of titles like Zelda. It doesn’t work. It’s like playing red-light, green-light or watching a DVD as it freezes and skips — that’s right a shitty DVD, because the nostalgia-factor can’t even amount to an archaic VHS. Add to this the monotony of the art style and it feels like you are on the long road to nowhere.
If there was a story, I didn’t get far enough to hear it.
This may be the worst game you can buy on the iOS, so don’t. I haven’t been wowed by all my purchases, not even ones that range in the $10-15 range, but even at $3 for 100 Rogues, I demand a refund.
For more iOS reviews, visit Derek Hobson’s Article Archive