GREE’s first game from its minority stake in mobile game developer IUGO Mobile is finally surfacing. The game is Knights & Dragons: Rise of the Dark Prince, a title which Jori Pearsall, GREE lead product manager on Knights and Dragons, calls an “immersive casual RPG” for iOS devices.
“This was our attempt to do something different and make a unique experience that combines the best of a more casual game with some of those more immersive RPG-style elements you usually see in more hardcore games,” Pearsall says.
Set in medieval times, players are tasked with saving a kingdom that’s been ravaged by an evil Dark Prince and his army. Users take control of knights that can be outfitted with armor for fighting baddies through a series of quests. Players can also invite their friends’ knights to play alongside them or compete against their friends in weekly PvP tournaments or in the leaderboards. Along the way, players unlock more knights and collect materials to craft new armor sets to make knights stronger and better looking. There’s an elemental system — fire, water, spirit, air and earth — that adds a layer of strategy to the game by allowing users to equip armor with a particular element to gain an advantage against baddies or monsters equipped with the opposing element.
Pearsall said that in GREE’s relatively small beta test, the company saw more than 400,000 PvP battles completed and more than 200,000 users bringing in their friends to help in battles, which he attributed to the addictiveness of challenging friends or cooperatively fighting alongside them.
Knights & Dragons was co-developed by GREE and Vancouver, B.C.-based IUGO, the first of a series of free-to-play mobile games the two companies will collaborate to make, according to the terms of the agreement.
The game monetizes through players purchasing either the premium currency in gems or gold, which is the in-game currency. The premium and in-game currencies can be used to craft armor more quickly, get extra PvP battles, heal knights to progress through quests faster and more.