(SNAPP Reviews aren’t really a full-fledged game review as much as they are just a way for us to give you a quick “heads-up” on whether a game is good or not. It usually means that we haven’t finished the game yet, but have played a good enough chunk to know whether or not it’s worth your time/money.)
Juan Collin’s Gaiah takes the popular game mechanics of Niantic’s Pokémon Go and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and puts a Dungeons & Dragons spin on it. The game has you starting with a level one character you create using similar races, classes, and stat blocks from the popular tabletop rpg. The game world, like the previously mentioned mobile titles, uses a map of where you are. My neighborhood was the battlefield and monsters appeared around me. There wasn’t a way to tell what creatures were higher level than me so a lot of trial and error and learning to not attack certain monsters until I’ve leveled up more. What I do like is that it seems you can attack the assorted enemies even if they are a few blocks away. So, no need for this busy father of two to go for a long walk to get more out of the game. The fights themselves follow your typical D&D formula of each character rolling dice and attacking if the result matches or beats the other’s resistance. It’s a slow process and when both you and the AI are rolling bad it could mean you’re just sitting there for minutes waiting for anyone to connect. The game has some free-to-play options involving purchasing gems to buy coins to pick up new weapons, skills, and/or spells. Things are really expensive and I can see that spending real money will save me hours of grinding fights. The game captures D&D’s combat well but misses out on exploration, talking to NPCs, and playing with friends. The whole purpose of the game is to fight, level up, and fight. I’m hoping, in future updates, the developer will add multiplayer features and maybe dungeons connected to landmarks in the real world. For now, Gaiah feels very basic and doesn’t have enough of a shine to keep players coming back for more.
Gaiah is also in this week’s SNAPP Roundup!
Rob Goddard (@SuperLobster06)