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MMObility: Legacy of a Thousand Suns goes mobile


Legacy of a Thousand Suns by developer 5th Planet Games is a relatively simple game that is very similar to Dawn of the Dragons, its sister title. I found Dawn of the Dragons to be strangely appealing even though it's not much more than an interactive story with very basic combat. It helped that I was given a massive pile of in-game currency and so was able to play at a non-stop rate, but even a small investment into either title buys a pretty good chunk of in-game cash and energy to spend on actions.

Legacy of a Thousand Suns is essentially a sci-fi themed Dawn of the Dragons. Gameplay is so similar that a player could jump between the two instantly and a new player could be gaining levels literally within minutes. I'm not sure how to describe the appeal of a game that consists mainly of pressing a button several times, taking a break, and coming back after the energy pool fills back up to do it again.

Let me attempt to describe its appeal anyway and to figure out whether the mobile version is really a good thing or not.

Legacy of a Thousand Suns screenshot
You'll start off by making a character, but you'll have only a few basic choices when doing so. The game does allow for a lot more customization later on as you find or purchase loot and gear. I don't see games that have such initial limited customization as a problem as long as they offer a lot more of it later on. Legacy of a Thousand Suns does. There are slots in your character to equip clothing, weapons, pets, and trinkets. Each of the items boosts stats and helps out in battle. In fact, most of what you will be doing in this game is battle or undertake adventures and quests, so your stats and the race to constantly raise those stats are the primary focus of the game.

Adventuring consists of opening a chapter of quests and joining one. Each time you take a turn (which can represent attacking the opponent or performing an action), you will lose a bit of energy. Yes, there is an energy pool, and it is a blatant one. When it goes empty after you've taken several turns, you will need to put the game down, pay to fill it back up, or find something else to do like join up with raids or socialize with others. Of course, it's really hard to socialize in the mobile version of this browser-based game because the developers have left the chat out of the mobile client (I'm not sure why) and by doing so have cut out a lot of the greatest shortcuts and systems in the title.

Legacy of a Thousand Suns screenshot
Players can call up raids, epic encounters with boss creatures that have hundreds of thousands of health points. If a player needs assistance (and she will), she can place the call into the browser-based game's chat. Other players can simply click on the link, join the raid, and spend stamina, a separate pool from energy that is used for attacks during a raid. After the fight is over, loot and experience are distributed. The fact that the mobile version of the game leaves out public chat seems just crazy to me. None of the 5th Planet Games is graphics-intensive, and all could run on a calculator... so why the decision to leave out the one thing that truly connects all players together? Players can still ask for assistance during raids, and there is a searchable list of raids to join, but I felt lonely while playing the mobile version because there was no one to talk to directly.

Legacy of a Thousand Suns screenshot
In many ways Legacy of a Thousand Suns is as appealing as any of the other 5th Planet Games. They are super simple to learn and can be enjoyed just minutes at a time. Spend a little cash and you can play for even longer and can even buy yourself powerful gear and items. I made the same point when I talked about Legacy of the Dragons: These titles are not attempting to be an immersive, realistic experience. They are essentially representative gameplay, meaning that they are casual jaunts into a story that you control.

Unfortunately, the mobile version of Legacy of a Thousand Suns is just not very attractive. It has the same wonderful hand-painted artwork, music, and super-simple gameplay, but it feels much more empty and hollow. For such a simple game to translate to mobile so poorly is a bit of a shame. The browser version is still superior.

Each week in MMObility, Beau Hindman dives into the murky waters of the most accessible and travel-friendly games around, including browser-based and smartphone MMOs. Join him as he investigates the best, worst, and most daring games to hit the smallest devices! Email him suggestions, or follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

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