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Hunter Island

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Hunter Island is the youngest facelift given to the Pokemon clone genre slowly seeping into Apple’s App Store. The game is largely a turn-based strategy game, featuring both online and offline play. Hunter Island was released by Pocket Trend, a subsidy of ZigZaGame Inc. but published to the App Store under NTT Resonant Inc. on October 13, 2013 at the $0.99 USD price point. In-app purchases are prevalent but not necessary to fully advance through the game.

The most recent update was posted on November 14, 2013, fixing text issues. A large update dealing with online multiplayer issues is scheduled for release in early 2014, but there has been no concrete date set.

Although it is a paid application, Hunter Island is marketed with the concept that there are no timers to wait for as with most free-to-play games of its type. Another front on which the game is marketed includes a focus on the fact that IAPs are completely unnecessary to complete the game in an effort to dispel the thoughts about in-app purchases that may scare some potential players away.

Gameplay

When first beginning the game, the player is introduced to a simple, yet full storyline to act as the backbone of the game as progression is made. However, unlike the Pokemon games this one attempts to replicate, the storyline is largely flat and unrelated to the progression of the game. Quests and online gameplay also take part in a side-variation to the main story, but do not have any cutscenes or back lines.

Story Mode

After picking a character and starting on a journey to find a mysterious trouble-maker, the player is presented with a map featuring twenty-nine different locations that can be traveled to. At the beginning of the game, only one town is shown and as users progress through the game, the towns they visit will become viewable and can be warped to within every location. The storyline encourages the player to follow a well-defined path through the game while encountering many wild monsters in the wilderness between towns.

Free Roam

Although there is no specific free roam feature in this game, there is generally an acceptance of the fact that moving between towns satisfies a roaming movement. While roaming, monsters will be randomly and spontaneously spawned when moving to certain pre-defined locations on the map. Depending on the speed of your monsters (also known as Arkadion), you will either start first or the opponent monsters will begin. The monsters have four attacks each when fully evolved and

Arkadion Facts

- There are currently 360 monsters loaded into the game - Some monsters are not obtainable because they are reserved for weekly events - Past weekly event monsters may not make another appearance for a while after their debut - There are four rarenesses: common, uncommon, rare, and super rare - Stars determine a monsters stats and range from one to twelve - There are many types of monsters that fight well against one type and poorly against another - Ranks of monsters range from E to S with the higher letters (towards S) being more likely to receive a bonus action during battle - Most monsters evolve two or three times but some (including the starters) evolve four times and are usually very powerful

Online Multiplayer

An online multiplayer feature, although buggy, is included in the game to allow players to battle against other players online through a controlled environment. Users can play against people they know by utilizing GameCenter’s friend feature or by choosing a random opponent to meet in the battle arena. The opponents are randomly placed together based on a ranking system given by the game and the same quickness factors that play a role in the main game also play a role in the online multiplayer environment. Each player is allowed to bring twelve different monsters into the match. The winner gets diamonds that can be spent on in-game monsters or eggs that can be spun to get rare monsters. Once a player wins enough matches to advance to the next difficulty level in online play, they will be eligible for more diamonds upon winning more matches.

Weekly Events

Each week, an event is posted that players can participate in to win monster eggs and the rare monster only available through the weekly event. Players must advance through levels of a dungeon that have periodic checkpoints and bosses to beat. Once a player gets to the final level and defeats the boss on that level, they will be awarded with the rare monster that has been selected for that particular event.

In-app Purchases

Although the game can be completed without utilizing any in-app purchases, they do advance gameplay significantly if purchased in large amounts.

IAP List: $1.99 USD - 200 Gold $4.99 USD - 550 Gold $9.99 USD - 1150 Gold $24.99 USD - 3000 Gold $49.99 USD - 6250 Gold $99.99 USD - 13000 Gold

Controversy

Most commonly voiced on the official Hunter Island forums, a lot of controversy looms over the heads of the developers of this game. The main issues have been centered around the online aspect of the game.

Event Rewards

When first released, it was promised that 10% of the players to reach the last level of the challenge dungeon and defeat the boss there would be awarded with a predetermined unobtainable monster. Much to the developer’s surprise, more people participated in the challenge than expected and too many users were able to come away with a monster. Over a week later (another problem that is yet to be addressed is the non-promptness with the supposed every week event), the second challenge was released with the preface that players would be divided amongst two pools. Pool number 1, the pool with users who had never won a challenge before, would remain at the 10% completion and reward rate. However, pool number 2, the pool with users who had won a challenge before, would change to a 1% completion and reward rate.

Multiplayer Battle Bugs

A lot of backlash has been posted on the official Hunter Island forums about the glitches and clear prematurity of the multiplayer feature within the online experience of the game. Users have complained of being kicked out of matches while in them, losing matches even when clearly won, and not being properly rewarded for their win record. Unofficial statements have been made from the administrators on the Hunter Island forum that an update is coming after the 2013 holiday season (early 2014).

Grinding

In order to obtain the rare monsters in the game, a system of grinding has to be put into place. A player must fight the same monsters over and over in a certain block of ground that will randomly spawn a rare monster. Opponents of this strategy say that the game is extremely like other grinders in the App Store but without the digital currency that is necessary in most of those free-to-play games. It has been argued that the difficulty of finding these monsters should be lowered significantly.

Strategy Game


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