Playing Dokapon Kingdom

Over the last couple years I’ve gotten to sporadically sink some time into a game called Dokapon Kingdom on the Wii (it was also released on the PS2). A rough estimate shows that I have at least 150 hours to date in this game (and it could be more like 250+). This game has some hilarious moments, but it all depends on getting people together on the same TV in the same room. Dokapon Kingdom combines role-playing elements into a board game that is both cooperative and competitive and supports up to four players. There is a class based hierarchy (with three to start), four key stats, turn based battles, quests, items, magic, and equipment all within the context of a board game approximately shaped like the continents of Earth with a ridiculous King who “really needs” your help.

But don’t worry because he’ll give you his kingdom and his daughter if you complete his quests and along the way you can draw on your friends faces, change their hair style, rename them (whatever you’d like), or steal their stuff. In the end it is all about the money and whomever has the highest balance with the king wins. Or is it whomever pisses off their friends the most? Here’s the official trailer.

Initial Thoughts

The game was lots of fun as I was getting into my first game with three friends. Everyone was stepping all over each other trying to explore and figure the game out. The local multiplayer, the in-game player interaction, and the RPG and board game combo were all great fun. The pacing was pretty good in our first adventure, but we never finished that game. Don’t start a full story mode game and expect to finish in a day!

Later On

Turns out my wife loves this game, but maybe not the way it was expected to be played. Most of the total time I’ve spent playing this game has been with three human players and one computer player. Everyone picks on the computer and we generally keep things civil between the humans. My wife loves collecting mechanics and systems  and the game has an in-game encyclopedia so we’re on a quest to completely fill in that encyclopedia with only two items remaining. One of these is a hair style of an elephant (yes, an elephant on your head) that comes from one of a number of random events that contain a random chance of the item being attainable and the other is a sword that is a random drop from a random encounter of an enemy character who can choose to use an attack that has a chance of instantly killing you but generally just uses the regular attack. I have no idea how long it will take to complete given the layers of random, but eventually we’ll get there if my wife has anything to say about it!

Technical Thoughts

At this point the use of the random number generator is sort of getting on my nerves but there is one event in which it can be gamed a bit by knowing what’s going on. There is a chance at the start of a week in the game for an event to occur and one of these events is a memory-style card game. Each of the various pairs in the card game gives you a different type of reward (items, equipment, magic, money, etc.) and the inventory item reward can randomly be the elephant hair style item.

Well, we’ve discovered that the random number generator (RNG) and it’s current state/seed value is saved with the rest of the game data and that the computer player uses the RNG to decide what cards to flip and that there are 4 pairs total (including the one that could be the hair style) that also use the RNG. So the last two times this event has occurred we’ve reloaded repeated to try placing the roll for the item reward at as many places along the sequence of random numbers as we can by manipulating the computer behavior and the number of other pairs ahead of the roll for the item reward pair. We did get one item this way previously (the royal hair style), but no luck so far on the elephant hair style. It just hasn’t been in the cards…

Overall

The local multiplayer with friends is great if you can get the people together and the game has lots of ways for players to interact but the systems in the game are on the simpler side and can be figured out with a little digging and experimentation even without the benefit of using the internet so it won’t last forever. In the end, it was certainly worth the purchase.