I can see why Levi isn’t a fan of Dokapon Kingdom. The computer is merciless. You need the right combination of items and luck to stand up against three CPU controlled players. Even with two humans and two computer controlled warriors the odds are in favor of the computerized characters. However, I’ve been enjoying Dokapon Kingdom, just not the single player mode of Dokapon Kingdom.
Dokapon Kingdom is a board game/party RPG and like Mario Party it’s not meant to be played alone. Imagine playing Monopoly alone. Now imagine playing Monopoly with computer controlled land barons. That’s what playing Dokapon Kingdom alone is like. I think you need a minimum of three humans without an extraneous computer contender to make Dokapon Kingdom worthwhile. With only two players Dokapon Kingdom feels like a tug of war and you don’t have the satisfaction of teaming up on the top player. Once you throw in a third player alliances – temporary alliances form while you gang up on the top player and most importantly you can laugh with another person when you change a defeated player’s name into a four letter word. Add another player and Dokapon Kingdom is even better.
Since fights are you versus a monster and there aren’t mini-games that gather players you’re technically “alone”, alone in the same way you move you piece in the board game Life. Interaction with the other players comes is mostly from fights where you’re handsomely rewarded with experience and the chance to punish another player. The other “interaction” isn’t as cut and dry. Dokapon Kingdom is a race to collect kingdoms and touch certain spaces on the board. I actually like how Dokapon Kingdom isn’t a mini-game collection since we have enough of those already. Dokapon Kingdom brings elements from board games and turn based RPGs together to make an original game. You don’t have to play Dokapon Kingdom to the end either. If you want to take a break you can save the game and continue it the next time your group of friends get together.
Unfortunately for Dokapon Kingdom it falls into a very narrow niche. You need to like board games, enjoy turn based RPGs, and plan to have friends over when you play the game. If you fall into this category you’re going to love Dokapon Kingdom, but if you don’t you might be scratching your head wondering what you got into.
Images courtesy of Atlus.