The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot introduces players to Opulencia, a campy fantasy world where the rich are moving on up, to a deluxe castle in the skies, with the intent of protecting their valuables yet ironically they spend the entirety of their existence looting each other and building up ever increasingly complex defenses to thwart potential looters.
You first begin by choosing a character, the first of which is free, with a choice between the knight, archer, or mage classes. Recently added is the Runaway class, a goth punk heroine (or rogue depending on who tells the story) which I really wanted to try but was not available yet.
This tower defense RPG reminds me of a mix between Clash of Clans, Orcs Must Die, with a hint of 3 person Gauntlet style gameplay. The mechanics are simple you build a castle and a character, both of which are upgradable with gold (or gems if you want to fork over some real money), and the ultimate goal is to make your castle unraidable and your character a master at raiding.
The introductory raids are designed against pre-made castles, generally as a learning tool to teach you the mechanics of raiding (as well as defense) and to earn you some gold to begin improving your defenses and your character. As you progress through the levels, you'll eventually be strong enough to start competing on the MainStage against other real world players.
While character customisation feels somewhat limited, players are given much more freedom in constructing castle strongholds. The mix of character customization from armor, weapons to a skill tree is what makes this game in a sense a RPG, while the building and raiding part is what makes it a tower defense title.
New rooms and monsters unlock as players level up their castle using the gold they collect on raids, and the castle editing tool gives the freedom to place monsters throughout however they want, even extending to giving general commands to certain creatures regarding what kinds of attacks they should use on intruders. However, as a twist to ensure that no players are abusing their freedom and creating impossible castles, players have to survive a trek through their own castle before opening its gates to other players. The only annoying thing is that as you test your own defenses, you may discover weakness requiring you to make changes but with every change no matter how minor, you'll have to test it all over again.
The castle's length also comes into play, since attacking players are awarded a bonus for clearing a dungeon faster than the player who built it. As a result, most players tend to stick with castle layouts which they can zip through quickly in an effort to set a par time that invaders can't beat.
There are three currencies in the game: gold, life force and gems. Gold and life force are earned from raiding castles and from mines inside your own castle, which can be used to buy almost anything, from new gear and health potions, to upgrading parts of your castle or placing monsters in your castle's halls. They accumulate over time and must be withdrawn to be transferred to your chest before it can be spent. Gems are the premium currency, bought with your real money, and is used for buying additional character classes, new aesthetic themes for your castle and power-ups that can, for example, allow you to earn more gold for a set amount of time. Aside from unlocking the additional classes, gem have very little influence over the game so far but that may change and they reconsider how to create more revenue from it in future versions.
After awhile you start to notice that if you are patient enough, most if not all traps are predictable and easy to overcome. Even the most deadly traps such as the spring trap into a firing line of skeleton archers could mean instadeath, avoid the trap the second time around is easy once you know where they are. So you have to wonder where is the fun in this. Well because the number of place you can raid could very well be limitless and the constant flux of economy keeps the balance of wealth shifting enough to keep people on the endless quest to remain at the top.
There's also the deep natural human instinct to find revenge for those who have raided you. Pay back is both a bitch and deeply gratifying. My son for example finds himself constantly at odds with his friend and they seem to be ignoring the community at large and focusing solely on defeating each other. The added bonus of being able to review the previous attempts and successes of raiders on your castle makes it extra interesting, giving you the opportunity to change your defenses to make it even further challenging for raiders in the future, that is, if you can survive it yourself. Although I personally find it a bit monotonous, it will be undoubtedly addictive to many with that Candy Crush / Clash of Clan's attraction. I just hope people don't go spending their entire life savings on it in the future when the market place becomes fully developed.