Dungeon Hunter 4 Shows Dark Side of In-App Purchases

Dungeon Hunter 4 Review

Castles and dungeons with armed people around.

 Dungeon Hunter 4

There are good 'freemium' games, and there are bad ones. Temple Run is a great example of a good freemium game. Free to play, you don't ever need to pay anything to enjoy the game. The in-app purchases are there to enhance your enjoyment of the game, not simply create a hole in your wallet that leaks money to the game's publisher.

Dungeon Hunter 4 is one of the worst. 

Dungeon Hunter 4 Features

  • Classic action RPG gameplay
  • 4 Character Classes with unique skills and combat styles
  • Solo, Co-Op and PvP game modes

Dungeon Hunter 4 Review

Like Dungeon Hunter 3, the latest in Gameloft's Diablo-esque action RPG series takes in-app purchases to the next level. The in-app purchases come in the form of blue gems, which are the game's currency for unlocking certain features, buying certain items, etc. And offers to use these gems come fast and furious. You'll see special items you can buy when transitioning between areas, when browsing a shop's inventory, when browsing your own inventory, and even when doing normal tasks that don't require gems such as using skill points.

Action RPGs tend to be all about the loot, and Dungeon Hunter 4 is no different. There's plenty of loot. Only you'll have to either pay for it or wait for it. The loot that drops from monsters and chests is invariably trash. You can upgrade it, which means waiting for a few minutes for the upgrade to finish or spending blue gems to upgrade immediately. And of course, you can simply buy your loot using blue gems and not worry about the upgrade process.

And in what amounts to a game-stopping decision, Gameloft decided health potions shouldn't drop from monsters. They also shouldn't be purchasable in shops. Instead, you will get three health potions a day. And if you guessed you can get around this limitation by spending blue gems, you are correct. Basically, you'll only be able to play a limited amount of time before you run out of health potions and must put the game down, or you'll need to reach into your digital wallet and shell out some money to continue playing.

Sadly, the game itself is pretty good. The graphics have been polished, although all of the Dungeon Hunter games tend to look pretty good, and the game offers solo play, co-op play, and PvP play. The four character classes offer two melee fighter classes, a ranged class, and a mage class, and instead of being just a bunch of arena fights like the disappointing 3rd entry in the series, Dungeon Hunter 4 is a full game.

Sure, the story itself is pretty bland, the dialogue indicates that no writers worked on the project and the voice acting is poor. But that's just window dressing to a good Action RPG, and when you are in the action, Dungeon Hunter 4 is a pretty fun game... until they want you to pay to continue playing or gear up your character sufficiently enough to take down a boss mob. 

You can download Dungeon Hunter 4 from the App Store.