The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn't necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable "best" thing. Instead, it's more just us picking out the single game out of the week's releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.

These picks might be controversial, and that's OK. If you disagree with what we've chosen, let's try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.

Without further ado…

 

King's League Odyssey

I feel like we say this every week, but after the ridiculous night of releases, this was a particularly hard choice. Oceanhorn [$4.99] seems too obvious, and everyone totally already knows about it and if you read TouchArcade you’re likely already playing it… So I figured it was worthwhile to highlight a great game that seems to be getting steamrolled over all the bigger and arguably more well known games this week. It’s called King’s League [$0.99] and I haven’t been able to put it down since our TA Plays First Look video.

We discuss this on today’s podcast, but when I first loaded it up I almost skipped it entirely. It absolutely stinks of what initially feels like free to play, complete with timer bars, two types of currency, what appears to be some kind of energy mechanic, and more. Except here’s the thing, it’s anything but that. Back when Game Dev Story [$4.99] was blowing our collective minds, we also discussed how awesome it’d be if someone took these stat management style simulation games Kairosoft was releasing but instead of arguably pretty bad J2ME ports actually put some effort into them.

That’s exactly what King’s League is.

It scratches all the same itches, only instead of hiring developers and engineers you’re recruiting knights and wizards. You then train up those units, and participate in the actual King’s League along with side activities ranging from quests to capturing territory to clearing dungeons. Like Kairosoft games, the actual combat that you’re training your dudes for, just like the races you built your car for in Grand Prix Story [$3.99], you have absolutely no control over. Instead, your dudes just bounce against the enemy guys, swing their swords, and if you win the statistical dice rolls, congratulations.

The customization rabbit hole goes deep. There's 46 different classes of guys to collect, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, and you need to sandwich five into a party and see how good you do. All of the fantasy tropes are here from your basic knight to battle mages and everything in between, all with their own statistics and character levels just waiting to be raised by you.

screen1136x1136-160

It's weird to say this, but the one odd down side to King's League is that since it looks so much like a free to play game, all those instinctual free to play game playing triggers kick in. I feel like this game should be free with some kind of limiting energy mechanic (Not that this is what I want by any stretch of the imagination, don't get me wrong!) so I find myself playing it waiting for some kind of "OK, come back later" stopping point… But, that never comes- A few minutes turns into a few hours. It's odd.

I haven't completed the campaign yet, but I feel like I'm getting close. Folks on our forums have been completing the normal game mode in around three or four hours, and that seems right. Replay value comes from ramping up the difficult level, as again, the "normal" mode, much like a Kairosoft game, is really only serves as a long tutorial to play it again and do better now that you understand how everything works. King's League does this with the inclusion of a "hard" and "insane" mode that I can't wait to try out. Additionally, there's a seemingly endless arena called the "Battlethon" where you see how many fights you can win in a row to compete in.

screen1136x1136-161

You can also play a Flash version of King's League: Odyssey on Kongregate if you want to get a taste of what you're getting in to. Personally, I look forward to this game absolutely dominating my weekend.

  • Lazer Kat

    What what what?
    Wow. Didn't see that coming.

    • Nektarios

      I did, since it's also the sponsoring app of the week

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        Before this blows up into a full blown conspiracy theory chain of comments, read this- http://toucharcade.com/toucharcade-advertising-and-editorial-policies/

      • Lazer Kat

        All of Link is not showing for me

      • Nektarios

        You have an odd definition of "conspiracy theory"

      • Lazer Kat

        Can I get a quote for a GOTW feature?

      • Lazer Kat

        Makes sense

    • C. Stubb

      Yeah, not trying to contest the decision or anything, but it seems in the past that TA hasn't had any misgivings about putting up an "obvious choice" as GotW. (IB3 comes to mind...)

    • JJE McManus

      I did
      I called sleeper of the week right when all the TA plays came out.
      So cut Eli and Jared a break.

  • DtheGOPkiller

    Well off the fence I go then. Buying tonight when the wife and kiddies go to sleep. Sounds like I may be tired Sat morning if its that good. Will be playing for hours tonight.

  • JustMeNow

    I would love if TA did a "Paid Game of the Week" and a "Free Game of the Week" separately, so that way those that don't want to spend money get a free game each week and the rest of us get two weekly games.

    • mako9227

      I think they should do a Free Game of the Week, a Paid Game of the Week, a Free Surprise of the Week, and a Paid Surprise of the Week. That way more people would be happy and we wouldn't have comment sections filled with complaints about the picks :)

      • Lazer Kat

        Umm. There would be complaints about the GOTW pick if only one game released next week.

  • Amenbrother

    Wait is this over Oceanhorn?

    • Holcman

      That's what I'm thinking!

    • Taclys

      I'm guessing they wanted to talk about a different game, since Oceanhorn is getting an overload of (rightful) attention.

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      Did you read anything but the headline?

      • Lazer Kat

        Lol. My thoughts exactly.

      • NOEN

        Exactly! Did you just skip to the comment section??

      • defaultuser12

        Some people just skip right over to the comments.

      • http://rekzkarz.com/ REkzkaRZ

        Wait! Is there something BESIDES comments?

        (Ha)

  • sakara214ever

    I agree. Oceanhorn is a great game better in my opinion BUT we have been waiting for this for over 2 years AND most of us were sure it was a great game. Not a surprise. King's League was a surprise.

    • Naraka

      Then call it the surprise of the week. I like the free / paid game of the week idea. And anytime you have to explain your title it's not good.

      • sakara214ever

        Yeah i guess they could call it like that. Got to agree with you. For me Oceanhorn is a better game one of the best ever in ios. But for this week King's League is the pleasant surprise.

    • Holcman

      Still should be Oceanhorn. I don't want the most surprising app of the week, I want the most recommendable/best, and that's definitely Oceanhorn.

  • pausiopao

    Anyone know what the hunting training does?

  • workingman

    I wouldn't have thought this would get game of anything, after watching the video I had no desire to look into it any further

    • Mess

      Getting bit bored of 8 bit games ( or whatever category these pixelated games for into)

  • Lazer Kat

    If this game is mainly just leveling up, and has no real gameplay (which don't get me wrong, I love that sort of thing. GDS is one of my favorite games), why is it 20 times larger than GDS, and almost the size of oceanhorn? Am I missing something? If I am, let me know. I haven't seen gameplay videos yet, but it doesn't seem to be a game that should take up that much real-estate.

    I hate to always bring up download file size, but with apples premium price for space upgrades, it is very relevant to my decisions.

    Until I get my 32 GB iPad Air or 64 GB Mini-Retina (haven't decided which one yet), I can't justify a game like this taking up ~200 MB's.

    Am I missing something?

    • renatpl

      64GB Mini with retina :) that's what i'm going for

    • Boony Tuesday

      It's the art. 2D art assets take up more space than low poly 3d models. When making a 2D game, it's often a balancing act between space and style. Now that the game is out, I'm willing to bet they will address bugs and optimization next.

    • Xandrak

      The strategy is in how you prioritize using your resources, the main of which is time. As you have to do this real time, it's actually pretty fun. Also, the d/l size is less than 200 MB, but the installed size is a lot larger (560 MB).

      • Lazer Kat

        Wait. So the installed size is almost double Oceanhorn?
        The resources I need to manage us what apps to delete to make this fit.

      • http://rekzkarz.com/ REkzkaRZ

        Yeah, shows how flawed this is --> pay $2 for this freemium-seeming game which is bloated?!?
        Hard sell as GOTW, dudes.
        Not buying it either.

  • Hoggy110

    I...uh...I...what?

  • Vestid

    How is this Game of the Week?? There are so many other higher review scores, games with better graphics, or many other quantifiable "best" things. It's more like you just picked out the single game out of the week's releases that you think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one. Wtf Eli, wtf??

    • mikeg1234

      Did you read the actual article? The first paragraph is basically a HUGE disclaimer starting with this sentence:

      "The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to."

      There is more that follows, but yeah, a special "nod". They really should just change the heading from GoTW to something like "Gem of the week", as lots of people get so riled up when they don't agree.

      • Vestid

        It would appear I am more aware of the contents of the first paragraph than yourself kind sir.

      • mikeg1234

        I wouldn't say that. Given your rant you obviously didn't read past the name of the game picked. But hey, whatever you want to think.

      • Holcman

        Did you realize that he quoted the lots of the first paragraphs? Also, I'm pretty sure he was being sarcastic.

      • mikeg1234

        Obviously missed that, edited out my last post.

      • Vestid

        One day we'll have a sarcasm font ... One day.

  • heresandypandy

    You guys may as well quit doing these articles, it's either the only obvious pick for the week (which makes it predictable and boring), or a semi-controversial selection which just sees the entire comments section up in arms. Lose/lose situation.

  • sivad

    It's an opinion article guys... It's not set in stone that this has to be your game of the week. It's the editors choice... In this situation they decided to shed light on a gem not named ocean horn. If you haven't played, this really is a solid game and well deserving...unless you live under a rock, the hype behind ocean horn didn't disappoint they just decided to help out the little guys. My hats off to the editors article, and both devs... Excellent games and a massive week of releases

  • shoi

    you should stop the game of the week.period.
    I liked the "what TA users are looking for" as it maid me discover a lot of games.
    The game of the week is always such a pick, you wonder if you do this in purpose to get activity on the forums

    • shoi

      maid/made lol

  • ANIMALCHOPPINGS

    Unfortunately I won't be purchasing this game. Not that it does look interesting, it does, but because it is by the same developer that cloned Vlambeer's Ridiculous Fishing, with Ninja Fishing. I can't support the developer because of this. In my opinion, if you support the problem, you're part of the problem.

    • tamast

      Do you think the same of Oceanhorn then, since it pretty much clones Zelda?

      • Gfish

        I'd say because Zelda isn't on iOS, that makes a key difference.

      • Nick

        It takes the framework and makes a brilliant, similar but unique game akin to Zelda. Oceanhorn won't challenge Zelda in any real way.

        Ninja fishing, however, was a cut copy of RF and the developers were arrogant asses about it.

        And no, not the same thing.

      • Ziekke

        Similar, sorta (but barely) unique with very rough production value. Assets are pretty but animations and controls are pretty sketchy.

        I got it because of nobuo uematsu but really disappointed with gameplay.

        If it were Play store I would have returned it for sure.

      • Nick

        Let me guess, you're under the age of 25?

        If not, well...

        But that said, listen. The game was $9. NINE. For that price, you're insane to somehow expect AAA polish or depth. This can't be like Zelda, because the programming, design and production team is massive. Their craft services attendants are likely larger than the team who created Oceanhorn.

        Is it perfect? No. Are there issues with clipping and some strange hit detection problems? Sure. Does it detract from the game in any way? Not for the majority of us who went in realizing what would be feasible for the price point, the platform and for a team to not only design but support
        Now if we are being honest, I wouldn't be as forgiving if it was a Zelda game, but I'd also be spending at least 4 times the price.

        This, however, is a new IP on a platform that was built on a casual market. It has a scope and depth that no other original game can even remotely match. It supports iOS 7 controllers and while you have issues with the controls, they're some of the most solid on the platform. Sure, they could be a bit better - but by no means are they bad.

        And to say you'd ask for a refund on Android... Because it doesn't match your insanely unrealistic expectations? That's pretty silly, don't you think?

        But most of all, I feel sorry for you. This game may be imperfect, but it's a shining example of what CAN be done on the platform, and it marks a new age on iOS.

  • SherlockEB

    And toucharcade keeps disappointing with gotw choices.

  • http://www.gahe.co/ Gahe

    Its charm and joy brought to us, it is the conquest.

  • Moisty82

    Well I really enjoy GotW section, I am even more glad you don't just pick the obvious, if this was about Oceanhorn, I wouldn't even bother opening the article, but its not, it's an interesting looking game that TA backs. If GotW was the obvious choice every week then I wouldn't look forward to it. Thanks TA for having a trustworthy opinion each week, and for opening my eyes to games I would have never seen otherwise, you guys rock.

    -Moisty

  • ste86uk

    I don't agree I think the games too short to even be considered for me. If I'm spending cash I like a game with a lot of game time or replayability or online modes.

    Oceanhorn everyone already talks about a lot but one game that was last lower down than even this pick on the hot topics that I enjoy more is Lone Wolf.

    • Moisty82

      For the price of a Big Mac you could buy this game and another the same price. A Big Mac has a game time of about 5min and no replay value. I think for 2 bucks any game that hold your interest for a couple hours is worth it. Some games at the arcade you pay 2$ per life, there's not much in this life you can buy with 2$.

  • TheRybka

    "I'm looking forward to this dominating my weekend."

    It won't, unless your weekend is two hours long.

  • ste86uk

    That's why I generally play online games. I miss playing WoW £8 a month and I was set with something to do for every free minute of every day for years! I saved a fortune

  • Pivi

    Heh, awesome choice. I mentioned in the forums that I have never heard of this game, but it's so well presented that I've bought this before Oceanhorn and Lone Wolf.

    Also, if anyone's upset with the game of the week choice, then they already HAVE their game of the week on their device, so why's the flame? Play Oceanhorn instead crying here. I will too.

  • Xandrak

    My problem with this being GotW isn't that it isn't Oceanhorn, but rather that the author has apparently spent less than 2-3 hours on a game he couldn't put down. He hasn't beaten the campaign (which took me about 2 hours and many others 2-3 hours). That doesn't sound like he couldn't put it down but rather that he was told to make this the GotW.

    That aside, the game is a lot of fun although I'm not sure how many times I'll end up playing it. Working on insane now, which is at least a lot harder.

    • Xandrak

      Eli - just read your review again and it really doesn't seem like you spent all that much time playing the game as it is a pretty superficial review ("timers", 46 classes, forums say it takes most 3-4 hours to beat normal, there are harder difficulties, there's Battlethon!). If you don't want to create "conspiracy theories" as you state in an above comment, it's probably best to come across as having really enjoyed and therefore having spent a lot of time on your GotW.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        Maybe it seems that way to you because this isn't a review.

      • Xandrak

        Understood. I shouldn't have called it a review; the opening paragraph clearly states that you're calling out the game that you suggest we buy (even if your subsequent description of the game makes it hard to understand why you're recommending it given that you've barely played it). I was trying to explain the questions that your article raised for me: I know why I like it - why do you? And if you like it so much, why haven't you played it more?

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      I think you should re-read the article so you understand what something being game of the week means.

      • Xandrak

        Perhaps. Guess that I was under the impression that you actually played something a bit before calling it game of the week. I think the disclaimer should make it clear that you have barely played some games that you're calling Game of the Week as most prior assume that it's an endorsement of the game. It may simply be that it's a (paid?) endorsement.

        As I said above, I happen to like this game and happily paid $2 for it.

      • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

        He did play it. There is video proof if you need it. I did not realize that there was some prerequisite amount of time somebody should have to play a game before they are allowed to like it.

        What the hell is wrong with the world anymore? Why can't somebody just like a video game? This game was much more fun and unique than we originally thought it would be, and amongst all the amazing releases this week, this particular game stood out. We felt it deserved a special nod for that. Nothing more, nothing less.

        As for the paid endorsement accusation… god, I don't know why I'm surprised when people trot out this tired conspiracy theory, but I am. Yes, the people who made this game bought advertising on our site, just like hundreds of others over the years. We would have no idea that the ad would be running this week as that stuff is handled by an entirely separate entity from TA. But, a company wanting to advertise their game the week that it releases isn't exactly a surprise.

        So, what's the alternative? Purposefully NOT choosing the game we feel we want to choose simply because they have an ad? That's the exact opposite of fair and balanced. It's not fair to us, not fair to the game, and not fair to the reader who wants to know what our genuine feelings are. Yet, OF COURSE because there's an ad for a game we post about, somebody just HAS to assume there's some sort of shady back alley business deal going on. How incredibly stupid. We are damned if we do and damned if we don't.

        In the simplest way I can put it: this is a two dollar video game for your telephone that's both fun and unique. By your own admission you like it too. So what exactly is the problem?

      • Xandrak

        I like the game - but I know that because I have played it a decent amount. I am also not paid (not in the sense of by the publisher, but rather by Toucharcade) to promote any games as a definite buy. My issue wasn't with the selection of the game. I believe that it's a lot of fun and could easily have been passed over by consumers in a week where there were several good games and one long awaited release. I applaud choosing such a game rather than taking the easy route and naming the game most people already have anyway.

        My question is how does Eli know that this game is worthy of being named GotW when he has barely played it? This site covers games well and as a result people associated with it are paid to do so. When you then highly recommend as the special call-out a game that you've only played a little during a week with many worthy candidates, it makes it hard to understand your criteria or know why you chose that specific game. It speaks to credibility - you are speaking from a position of responsibility. I completely understand your negative reaction to questions regarding whether things are paid endorsements; if they were paid they would lose all credibility (and game review sites have been caught following that model). I do not think that this is the case. However, I am honestly at a loss as to what was the motivating force behind this game, which was sampled but not played in any depth, standing out to Eli as the game of the week. To be very clear, this is not "why is the game worthy" but rather "what made it worthy to Eli" and if he liked it so much and recommends it to everyone, why didn't he like it enough to play it more?

        Quotes on book covers may come from people who haven't really read the book but are rather doing a favor to the author/publisher. Perhaps you should make it more obvious that game of the week selections may be made without having really played much of the game. I was under the misimpression that the GotW was the one that you couldn't stop playing. That's now quite obviously not the case.

      • pinpoint007

        So what's the "minimum" amount of time that you feel is necessary for a GOTW? dang...

      • Jake7905

        I think he's just babbling on for attention, especially because he got both Eli & Jared's attention.

      • Xandrak

        Nah, just thought it was weird that Eli had barely played a game that he then tabbed as the Game of the Week. Spent too long trying to explain why I thought it was weird. Actually had no idea who Jared was.

      • pinpoint007

        Exactly!

  • pausiopao

    There's nothing to do after beating insane besides battleathon, I wish I didn't have to click next battle every 5 seconds

    • Xandrak

      Totally agree. I played in Endless mode on normal for a bit and it just takes a long time to work your way through the battlethons to see how far you'll get (and lots of first clicking on the result and then to start the next round). They should just make it automatic as it's not like eventually losing has a negative impact.

  • valkuryn

    I like the GotW posts.
    Because it make me take a second or maybe a first look at a game I might have passed over. Like this weeks I looked at the pics saw the multiple currency's and skipped it thinking it was another timer game I like them sometimes but ehhh. I have to say the I beat every thing I could I the normal mode and then lvled up all 5 to 10th lvl before the last battle I would say 3 to 4 hours of play. I had a lot of fun and In the next lvl there are at least 2 more areas that are not in normal mode.

    Oh I do have one major complaint to go along with everyone above.... I total disagree with the media you posted he GotW on. You used the internet HOW dare you.... Lead ink and parchment would have been better.... LoL thanks for a great site and all the work ya all do.

  • theundertow

    Short game on normal difficulty - fun while it lasted but can go quick. Here's hoping for updates and mo' content!

    Would be nice to get weapons and/or be able to customize gear.

  • Amenbrother

    Game of the week should be game of the week not special nods or whatever. Dunno that's just me though.

  • scottbailey

    This game is good and easily worth $1.99. No gimmicks, or adds of any kind, and the only IAP are completely optional characters.

    Here's the big BUT.

    It is, on Normal, exceedingly light. There is zero strategy. It does not matter what your team composition is. Get five characters, level them as fast as possible. That's it.

    In fact it seems decisions were made to squash strategy. For example, unless I'm doing it wrong, you have to specialize characters of the same class the same way. Your magic users, cleric, wizard, etc., will have the same spec when you make your specialization choice. If you have a Hunter and a Javalineer in your group, they will have the same spec. And so on.

    Also the game is over fast. 2-3 hours. And really, while you can keep going with Endless Mode, it really doesn't feel substantial. Maybe a future update will add some content to this mode.

  • jarland

    Thank you for this! This is a game I would have walked past, but I couldn't ignore the highlight you gave it here. I'm sorry to all the oceanhorn fans who are upset, and I love that game, but this game is taking up more of my time. I can pick it up and drop it more without committing time to it. In my mind, the game that takes more of my time is the better game for me. Everyone is different. I would have reached the same conclusion.

    What this game really needs though is a way to initiate a save. If I swap out of the game and back in, sometimes it reloads from the main menu and rolls back my recent changes. I can't find a way to exit and be sure that it'll be where I left it.

  • GameTaco

    I've been on the fence about this one. I have to be honest, if I hadn't read this article, I probably wouldn't have considered it.

    I now understand after a little research that rather than releasing this as free, the price automatically covers the premium content present in the Flash version. This means you're already getting the highest difficulty, access to Legendary units, improved resource gain, and Endless Mode. With that in mind, there's a solid chance I'll pick it up.

    I suppose the question I have now is what's with the mobile version's in-app purchases. According to one review, while these paid units are certainly not required or even recommended to win at all, they are also supposedly file-specific rather than unlocked account-wide. Does anyone have any feedback regarding any of them, even the ones priced at $1.99?

    • ktern

      Well... they're good in the sense that they're pretty powerful, but I wouldn't call it a good value unless you really, really want that extra edge on a single save file.

      If you do, though, I can tell you that Tezlar and Roqen seem to be way more effective than the others.

  • tpianca

    Intersting, I have played it (or a previous version, I don't have such a great memory) months ago on Kongregate. For free, of course, and no iap. Seemed very good indeed, the timers were fast and didn't really bother me. Good pick, I guess.

  • http://www.jugarjugar.net/ Jugar Jugar

    The color of this great game. I really like the purple color schemes look very beautiful. It really is my favorite color. The game is really cute and I like it

  • garlok

    In this game you not play, but, ... awesome GUI