Atlas Raider review

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CrayonPixel rolled out their freshman title on FacebookAtlas Raider. Though the player introduction is sparse, the storyline is that your father has gone missing on a treasure hunt (perhaps for crystal skulls). Only a mysterious group called “The Foundation” knows his whereabouts. They hire you to find the crystal skulls and in the process you might find your father using your guide, an enchanted atlas.

The atlas is a map of different lands and players navigate the board game by rolling a dice. Along your quest you will complete tasks, encounter characters, plant crops, construct buildings and battle wildlife.

670x540_5If you appreciate anime and comics, the graphics will be up your alley. Similarly, if you play Facebook games with friends, the social components will appeal to you, for you will not get far in your quest without a little help from your friends. In fact, while playing the free version solo, you may find yourself circling the same block for a while as you try to unlock the next level.

That is not to say your free play quest does not go a long way. You can certainly continue rolling the dice and moving around the board collecting experience stars and coins, and having conversations with natives for fair amount of time. However, pixel and energy points are hard to come by and can prevent leveling up. There are only so many times you can circle the same block without major action and still maintain interest.

Friends and money can move this process along, as most major moves will request help or notification to friends. If your Facebook friends are more of the casual friend type, it might be a bit awkward to offer to sell them as slaves to the game’s dealmaker Bic Mac or to bug them for tools and power-ups. If your friends are into it, this could be pretty hilarious.

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PROS: Plenty of free game play. Opportunities to grow crops to replenish depleted funds. New characters to interact with or battle with a dice roll for rewards. Special features unlocked by friends. Rewards for daily check-ins and a variety of lands to explore.

CONS: Still buggy at times. Just because you move, the board does not move with you. Not much storyline guidance. The aid of friends is required to complete major tasks. Without leveling up, the game can get boring fast.

As covered previously by InsideSocialGames.com, Atlas Raider took several years to flesh out and it is the first social game and release from this design studio. Formed by a team of gaming veterans from EA, Sony and Disney, CrayonPixel has offices in Pasadena, CA and Seoul, Korea. The Facebook game has vied for and earned a spot on Zynga’s new third party platform, which should give it a big marketing advantage and push.

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“There are a lot of clone games in the industry, you see them pop up fast,” said Jaxon Fang, director of game design told InsideSocialGames.com. “Companies are not taking risks. I understand that is all about the biz. I think for us, we are gamers and we know what is fun. We love board games and social adventures the whole family can enjoy.”