(Spiral Knights Review)

It’s that time again!  I checked out Spiral Knights a few weeks back and I have to say I absolutely LOVE the idea of this game!  I mean, it plays like Zelda, the colors are nice and saturated, levels are beautiful, your little robot dude is kinda cute, and it’s freeeeeuuuhhheerrrr…. not so much.  Lets get to that soon.  So anyways, this little gem is made by Sega; remember them?  Anyways, what’s interesting about it is that it’s a “F2P” MMO hack and slasher dungeon diving crafting game.  It bugs me slightly that the entire thing in instanced, but it’s not so bad.  You can collaboratively build dungeons by donating color crystals to an open dungeon slot; when the timer is up, the most popular color combination unlocks the design.  Not too shabby!  And the multiplayer is pretty neat.  Sure, it’s about as close and personal as an Alteric Vally run in wowcraft, but still, the levels are pretty straight forward so it doesn’t really take too many braincells to figure out what’s going on.  You will pick up all kinds of strange material drops that you can combine to make super leet armors!

It’s actually a LOT of fun!  You’ll have a great time for about 30min… that’s about how long it’ll take before your energy runs out and you’ll either have to pay ingame currency (“crowns”, but I just call it gold) OR real money.  That’s when the fun ends.  See, EVERYTHING you do costs energy.  You get 100 energy every 22hrs and you can purchase reserves beyond that.  So what happens is that when you go into a dungeon, it costs a few energy to go down each level.  At first the dungeons were like 5 energy per level, but I guess these change daily or something, so one day, my last day, it was 10 energy per level!!  Do the math… that’s 10 levels and that goes pretty darn quick!  Oh, and if you die… it starts to have increasing returns, so it’ll eat through all of your allowance pretty fast.  Then there are gates (as seen above), these cost a bit of energy too!  Beyond are bosses and whatnot, so you want to go through… but… you cant!  Cause you spent all your free energy!  Exit game, fire up Minecraft!  lol!

Now, to be fair, you can buy energy with gold from the player driven market.  I’ve noticed it hovers around 5200 golds for 100 energy (the permanent kind).  But, you can get anywhere between 5000 to even 10000 gold a day if you’re SUPER lucky!  I’m usually somewhere in the middle of that.  So, “in theory” you can keep going if you spend all your gold.  However, here’s the rub; if you want all that leet gear, you’re going to need a LOT of gold and a TON of energy!  The highest tiered items are 5000 gold and 800 energy to craft.  Times 6 items you can craft and 3 other levels to craft inbetween… you’re looking at a lot of resources.  To be exact, 53,400 gold and 8,700 energy.  That’s 505,800 gold (at average market exchange) if you go it the free rout.  And given the average gold you get from a daily run, it would take about 102 days to craft it… And that’s NOT accounting for the energy it takes to get the materials!!  So a generous timeline would probably be between half to 1 year of playing daily.

But let’s be reasonable here…  What are you looking to get out of the game?  If you want instant gratification, you can spend $20 for 7,500 energy (which would cut your time immensely) or $50 for 20k energy and be set for life.  Or if you go the free route, it’s not all that different than gearing up in any other mmo type game.  So either way, it’s just how you like to play.  Would I pay for energy?  No, not personally.  I’m not a big fan of the cash shop system, especially when it’s linked to important gameplay mechanics like play time or player advantages.  Is it worth trying out?  Absolutely!  It’s a really fun game!  So give it a try!  If you end up liking it, $20 isn’t a whole lot for a game so I think no matter what route you go, it’s worth checking out.

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