Dungeon Hunter 4 is a return to Dungeon Hunter form, but it's also a free-to-play title with one of the most bananas schemes we've ever seen. Need a new sword or helmet? Don't wait for them to drop, just simply buy one of the several pieces of gear offered on your own inventory screen. Want to use two healing potions in rapid succession? Either wait eight hours or pay twenty diamonds for the pleasure. Need some new skills and don't want to level up for them? You can pay for them instead, which we're fairly sure throws the game's balancing all sorts of off. When we looked at the game this morning, we came away pretty impressed with the lengths this game goes to in order to compensate for being free. It's not so much gross as it is hilarious.

This is kind of a shame since there's some good stuff in this. The visuals are solid and the art has a really cool oil-y and colorful look. The action feels pretty good, too, as far as virtual d-pads and buttons go. The skill and crafting systems feel like they're going to be great, as well.

Dungeon Hunter 4 hits tonight at 11PM EST for the price of zero dollars.

  • sakara214ever

    Shame on you Gameloft. Shame.

    • airwa1k

      You expected something else?

  • http://twitter.com/klouud Timothy Polumbo

    the potion thing is just stupid

  • Mike Binks

    I remember when iOS gaming didn't used to be a soul sucking, non-stop attempt to wring money out of the player. I'm out.

    • dancj

      There are still plenty of game that aren't. Just play those instead.

    • _Jc_

      Completely shameless. Utterly pathetic.

      I know you think I'm talking about Gameloft, and those would be apt descriptors, but...

      I'm talking about the players who buy progress.

  • troyster

    Looks good but I'm not getting near this one

  • SoyGreen

    SO yeah... I will probably try it - but after DH3 was so crap - soon as this becomes obnoxious in any way - I'm out...

    I really enjoyed #2... was a fun play. But once there is a hint at items not dropping of any quality - because they want me to pay money for them instead... I'm out. I would rather have paid $6-7 for the game unlocked in just a normal experience like #2...

    This IAP style will really threaten them getting $0 out of me...

    I have a trip coming up - please tell me I can play without internet on the plane...

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matthew-White/1633850433 Matthew White

      I would have bought this game probably, but instead I will avoid it. one lost customer here Gameloft.

  • coolpepper43

    What the hell is wrong with the comments? I'm seeing comments talking about many things that have nothing to do with gaming.

  • Smokey956

    Getting this game tonight

  • Smokey956

    The illuminati is in control

  • grits

    IAP needs do go away. I think the tide is turning on this. A lot more people are starting to be grossed out by it. Hopefully people will stop spending their money on garbage.

    • KenGriffeyIII

      It also helps if people buy "premium apps" (formerly known as "apps") that don't beat you over the head with IAP i.e. Ridiculous Fishing. If paid apps are a more viable strategy for developers they'll go that route a lot more often. As it is making a game w/tons of IAP seems like its absolutely the way to go, as any look at the top grossing apps charts will show you.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matthew-White/1633850433 Matthew White

        The problem is a lot of children have idevices and no money so these "free to play" games sneak their way on their devices then they beg there parents or steal their password and give money to these bastards. I can't imagine any grown adults with common sense doing this.

      • KenGriffeyIII

        I'm sure that does happen but there is no chance in hell spoiled kids are accounting for that huge of a share of the app market. Adults make people like Honey Boo Boo and the Kardashians famous. You're giving adults WAY too much credit. I think its much more the "casual gamer" accounting for these market trends than spoiled kids.

      • grits

        You're right and I have no problem paying four and five dollars for those type of games. If they look any good, i pay up.

  • HellzHavocz

    Is there Co-op multiplayer?

  • http://profiles.google.com/fleshman1992 Laszlo Tuss

    Another trash from the dump.

  • Twenties

    Please stop advertising freemium games.

    • http://rekzkarz.com/ REkzkaRZ

      Yes -- unless you subtract stars for freemium model which sucks. If the game is good & doesn't require IAP, I'd be fine w/regular evaluation... (sorta.)

  • zzandreezz

    IAP- dark side of gaming industries :/

  • Gamer_Kev

    Once a pretty decent iOS game company, Gameloft has really sunk low.

  • Ethan Wall

    Absolutely passing on this and any other 'free to play' title; the only way they'll learn is to refrain from even entertaining the thought of encouraging the implementation of this scheme in the first place.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matthew-White/1633850433 Matthew White

      exactly, don't even install it. Just avoid them completely. I don't see how anyone can think free to play games don't suck.

      • dariusjr98

        *pay to win

        Not all f2p games are bad, you know.

      • one.sixty.four

        Yeah, not all Free to play games are bad. Some good ones like pixel people, dragonvale, tree world, tiny tower and pocket planes come to mind.

      • http://rekzkarz.com/ REkzkaRZ

        Hated PixelPeople, but don't mind NimbleQuest.

  • iammane

    I'll get it and grind grind grind grind grind grind grind grind grind. And then hit a paywall and delete I guess :)

  • diaskeaus

    Having to pay for healing potions is the reason I deleted Dungeon Hunter 3 from my computer IMMEDIATELY when I realized you not progress without damage damage.

    I guess this is just the same old Dungeon Hunter 3. Just 4.

    I really would not mind the insane prices for gear , if the game was even mildly playable without spending more IAP than you would spend if the game actually cost $40 for a game that was worth $40. But when I did the math for DH3 I wasn't convinced, given the limited amount if levels.

  • MonkeyChunks

    Psh...gameloft was always stealing games and promoting crap ideas. Whenever I see these pay to play games I wish they failed quickly. When it is as described here, which is pay per item, it is even worse. The only way this could be "fair" if people could win money back, but that would be illegal due to gambling laws.

  • Atomos

    i really like gameloft, and want to give them a lot of credit for improving people's expectations of mobile gaming. I liked to think that instead of making shameless knockoffs, they were just trying to get game types that people were comfortable with on PCs and consoles, on the mobile platform. But it's IAP schemes like this and those in Real Racing 3 make me worried for the future of mobile gaming. I hope this is just a fad that will die out.

  • Boobi

    So if you buy the $99 gem bundle and get the God armour and weapons then upgrade and charm them ... Whats left to play for?

    Quest for Excalibur, go get me the sword oh wait give me 200 gems and here is Excalibur .... Now what?! Where is the sense of play? Sense of accomplishment?

    • B30

      It's not about "playing" anymore, it's all about "paying"!

    • grits

      It's the worst. Stop promoting these games and give more time to real game developers. I'm not even talking about this game in particular just in general.

  • Jazzpha

    I'm normally someone who tries not to find humor in the pain of others, but this TA Plays was hilarious. I could feel your anguish, guys. Many thanks for taking one for the team so we don't have to. I'm sure there're seats for you in iOS Game Reviewer Valhalla.

  • ODMay

    We want Wild Blood 2 and a new Gangstar.

  • B30

    And another direct-dumpster production!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matthew-White/1633850433 Matthew White

    For gods sakes quit giving money to these free to play games. I'd rather pay 7 dollars and be done with it than nickel and dimed to death. The game looks pretty good, but I will never play it.

  • iValerio90

    Freemium = pestilence

    • http://rekzkarz.com/ REkzkaRZ

      If capitalism encourages freemium games, maybe we need socialism?

  • araczynski

    That was a good suggestion someone made. Maybe toucharcade should take the high road and stop putting out any articles about freemium shovel ware games? How about it Señor Hodap? Part of the problem or part of the cure? :)

  • Ragnar Dragonfyre

    It'd be nice if companies always offered a "premium" purchase option which did away with all the freemium crap.

    I'll probably download this because it's free, but I never buy IAP. Gameloft would have gotten a few bucks outta me if it was a purchasable app for sure. I really enjoyed 1 & 2. As is, my wallet is tightly sealed.

  • http://twitter.com/LightRaigne raigne

    I never hack apps but damn I'm tempted just to say a big F to the developers of this piece of bum juice. I mean really when did free 2 play become free to pay? I won't even support them in AppStore downloads I'd rather just sit there and do nothing at work that support this rubbish. !!!

    • http://rekzkarz.com/ REkzkaRZ

      Yes, I don't hack apps but this is def grounds to jailbreak and vshare or appcake this P.O.S. Maybe cracked it'd be fun??? Is that the secret maneuver?

  • iammane

    You guys are awesome haha, a magical backpack that is only sated by diamonds... Oh man. But really, buying crap from your inventory is pretty whack

  • Allen Arcelo

    Gameloft sure makes the best Horror games. Very in your face horror.

  • xhoffzillax

    Honestly if they would take the time to optimize DH2 I would not even attempt to play DH4 for more than 5 min before having to put my house up for mortgage so I can get the best items.

  • Lostpop21

    Im going to give it a shot. DH2 was one of the best iphone games i've ever played, but reading this overview made my heart sink.

  • J. Mark

    This review was more fun than the game, haha. I listened to you guys talk while I did other things and a couple things you said made me laugh out loud.

  • JJE McManus

    Appalling. I would enjoy playing a game like this but I will not lower myself to give it a download. GL needs to be horsewhipped for this behavior.

    • http://rekzkarz.com/ REkzkaRZ

      Yes -- but I'd modify that to 'metaphorically' horsewhipped.

  • kyle_mccall

    Please don't say "illest"

  • amos38

    Free to play and timers? Not even going to download it. Even if "that's just the way the App Store is" I can choose to buy other games that don't shove marketing down my throat (and I'm glad that many devs do avoid the free to play garbage scheme).

  • drloony

    This is a thread I can really get behind. There are many great premium games to choose from rather then waste time on ridiculous game models like this one

  • regkilla

    More of Gameloft's iAP crap

  • Hex Blade

    Im sticking with DH2 and Orc for my hack 'n' slash fix on the ios.....ill be avoiding DH4 like a plague!!!

  • Dethedrus

    Another vote for Orc for all yer hack and slashery over this steaming pile of cash grabs.

  • jonnyb086

    Everyone complaining about in-app purchases should blame themselves. There was a large consensus that a few bucks for a game was "too big" of a gamble yet many can spend as much on a cup off coffee. Developers tried charging 6.99 or 9.99 for perfectly good titles and a lot of you guys were complaining about it saying things like.....no way I'm spending 7 bucks on this...blah blah blah. So the devs try something different and here you are complaining again. Can't win with that mentality.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ekachai.ritthiwattanadej Ekachai Ritthiwattanadej

      Well, you see if it's a real "good" title it can charge even 20USD and people still buy them because that's worth it. i.e. Battle Academy (iOS sold more than it's PC version. it has IAP for additional "worthy campaign" and people still bought them.), Chaos Rings Series, FF Series port
      For IAP like Battle Academy, I won't complain coz it's like buy DLC or expansion pack that worthy. But in case of Gameloft and many freemium game (buy consumable and cannot play through the half of game without spending money), it's shameless.

  • http://www.facebook.com/xkitox Kito Zeo

    I think what people should do is download the game, rate it 1 star, and give GL some feedback through the AppStore reviews telling them how people feel about their freemium game schemes. That's the only way they'll listen, sadly =/

  • makitango

    How is this any different from EA's IAP lovefest on Real Racing 3, besides a few "tweaks" that make the IAP model look a bit more worse? Seriously, that is gaming these days... your smartphone is turned into a mobile casino where you pay to make your savegame look better, but that does not equal making the app better. The new age publishers just want to squeeze your wallet as much as possible, at all possible times.
    Taking away a full version option pretty much speaks for itself, freemium titles are nothing more than lite versions beefed up with IAPs so absurdly priced that your very jaw falls through the ground. I mean, how can $100 IAPs in a f***ing gaming APP (people these days forget the difference between apps and full-scaled programs) justify any argument towards supporting poor developers?

    While I do not believe IAP to be a bad thing by design, the way it turned out to be right now is purely accountable by the publishers and/or devs who publish them themselves. I am fairly comfortable to pay even $10 up front for really good apps, even those which are free, when it is guaranteed that my app won't be turned into a worse version than I initially bought (paid apps tend to be made free and filled with ads and IAPs and other mechanics which try to emulate a full version quality).
    I really miss the days when apps where rather great, useful and fun than cool and initially good looking. Most apps' screenshot don't even feature screenshots, they consist of plenty of anything with an embedded miniature version of a screenshot where you cannot recognize anything anymore. Sometimes I think that is by design to prevent people from recognizing how crappy the app truly is.

    Sorry for the outrage. :/

  • http://www.facebook.com/rameken Jan Rameken

    IAP Freemium games when done right, is not a bad business model. But this, this is a fucking travesty. I have not been as offended by such a greedy money grabbing scheme since FF ATB.

  • http://rekzkarz.com/ REkzkaRZ

    Actually the GAME looks cool.
    But the IAP / store mechanic looks like a game-killer.
    Meh. Who cares, really?
    The whole 'hack/slash' genre is a bit ... sad ... at this point. Where is the adventure in it? Overpowered dudes run around kill weaker grunts who ave no chance, looting their corpses which vanish into money (leaving no blood on the killer's hands). Can you see this stuff ain't good for society?
    Domination and violence are a bad solution for almost every scenario in life! This virtual violence is part of the conscious attempt to dumb down the masses.
    If religion was the opiate of the masses, mobile gaming is the crack.
    This 'dumbig down with mindless domination & destruction' issue is far more significant than these endless IAP rants all mobile gamers must make.
    What is needed is creative games that give people an opportunity to think, not point and kill games that make meat-heads even more 'Bill & Ted'-like. Last comment in my 'human de-evolution rant': Bill & Ted, Dumb & Dumber, & Wayne's World were all comedies -- they weren't meant to be reality shows!
    Turn off the devices, use your hands, brains, minds, and bodies. Don't just be another programmed vegetable idiot moron who only fiddles with their little 8" screen all day long!
    It's pathetic!

    There's a whole world being stolen from you by corporations and polluters to enjoy! Better do it now, b/c all those rare elements being mined for our smartphones are destroying the environment so badly that soon all we'll have is the virtual world to live in!
    Wake the f**k up!
    /end rant

    • dancj

      Chill man.

      • http://rekzkarz.com/ REkzkaRZ

        Whew! Thanks for that...
        HA HA

  • Michael Groll

    Ok, so, here is my problem:

    I really want to play another Diablo-like game on iOS - especially in a local multiplayer setting. We loved DH2 - though it was a pretty short game. DH3 was utter rubbish (though the visuals were nice).

    DH4 looks promising as the campaign mode is back and the visuals still look pretty good. A free download is appreciated as well, but with all those diamond costs, timers and high gold prices I guess playing this game without choking up a lot of cash will be impossible (paying diamonds for unlocking skills???? What the heck were you thinking Gameloft?).

    On the other hand I can't see many viable alternatives for a Diablo-like game on iOS. I have played plenty of them and none came close enough to that feeling (variety of character classes, skill trees, loot, varied environments, local multiplayer).

    I would gladly pay 10 bucks for a solid Premium Diablo-RPG, but there seems to be none (and no, I do not like those J/K-ARPGs like Zenonia with their constant respawn and cuty visuals).

    Does anybody here have a good suggestion for me?

    @Toucharcade: Several posts back someone posted that you should no longer report aboutz freemioum games. A part of me agrees but as freemium seems to be everywhere these days you would most likely just kill this site as you would have to ignore most new games. BUT I still think that you should have a clear stance towards freemium games reflecting their negative impact on the hobby: Giving a game a worse rating because of greedy IAPs as a rule could be helpful, adding a section to each review where you explain how the IAPs work could be helpful as well to warn potential buyers and maybe you could offer premium alternatives for each freemium game you review so that people who don't like that business model will find better games easier.

  • blackbear219

    Gameplay itself looks pretty entertaining...but, good lord...

  • con4224

    There *are* well made freemium games out there, also in the PC / Desktop world. Where the IAP is really optional and doesn't give any ingame advantage, just different kinds of conveniences, cool additional skins, etc. Where you can pay money to reward developers for a well done job.
    This doesn't look like one of these.

  • grits

    Yes. If it were me I would dock at least two stars for any game with excessive IAP. Personally I would love to see them take a stronger stance on the whole thing and stop giving nimblebit and a few other companies a free pass no matter what they do.
    They continually state that nimble bit designs the game first and then puts IAP on top in a fair way. This couldn't be further from the truth. I'm not sure why they are blinded by their trickery.

  • grits

    Someone mentioned getting these games and rating them one star. Maybe that'll become a trend. Like I said before, there seems to be a real backlash to the whole mechanic. I wouldn't be surprised if it ends up being a pariah And we return to a land where developers make well-designed full games And gamers are willing to pay more than a dollar for them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lintrami Zurk Enburg

    If software piracy wasn't such a huge sport for the masses, freemium pay per play "measure" would be probably never adopted.
    Still, very nice looking, but I simply avoid freemium games likes this like plague !

  • bigjack66

    You lot are a bunch of cretins I've played this game to the end without paying any money I've played a few of these games and not payed a penny if your paying money then your an idiot that's all I can say! It's not Gamelofts fault but yours!