Traditionally, dragons have been the bad beasties that you need to defeat in order to win the game. Your princess was captured? No worries, the local dragon probably has her. Need a huge hoard of gold? Check the dragon's den, after you slay the nasty thing. A hideous creature has been terrorizing a local town? Yep, probably a dragon.
Rather than fight the dragons, Big Sandwich games wants you to become one in Hoard, and revel in the joy that comes with being a winged, fire-breathing dragon. This is an analog-stick top down shooter that is surprisingly whimsical and fun, and has a very strong tabletop influence. What's not to love?
Big Sandwich Games in Vancouver has worked on bits and pieces of many other titles, but Hoard is the first game that they've created themselves. It's a very simple idea where you become a dragon, and fly around collecting loot for your hoard. You'll also pick up princesses to ransom, defeat armored knights, and coordinate attacks to take out nasty wizard towers that aren't so friendly to dragons. In other words, you get to be the bad ... thing.
Four players can team up on a PS3 to play cooperatively, gathering goods for a shared hoard via couch or online co-op, and it's as simple as drive with the left stick, breathe fire with the right stick. You'll pick up powerups from time to time that beef up your breath, and collecting gold allows you to rank up your armor, speed, and so on. The graphics are sharp but simple, and you'll notice that as you stray towards the edge of the gamemap, it looks like you're playing a tabletop game. Nice touch.
At the basest level, this thing is about breathing fire and being a winged badass. But even though you're lord of the sky, it's not that hard for you to be taken down. During my time in the game, I set fire to village. I scorched crops. I kidnapped princesses and held out for the big loot, and I destroyed wizard towers and collected the giant gems inside of them. Oh, and I had a lot of fun. I'll definitely be picking this up when it comes out later this year, so let's do some fire-breathing together. How's my breath?