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Underlooked Games: Party RPG Dokapon Kingdom

A thief prepares to take out a town's boss.

Dokapon Kingdom: Party-RPG-Board game all in one

An awesome game you never knew you needed.

The Dokapon Kingdom box says of itself “the friendship destroying game,” a “party game,” and “Win: this game is full of it.” It’s a multiplayer-board game-RPG for the Wii and PlayStation 2 where you roll a dice to move your character around the board, fighting monsters, leveling up, collecting treasure, freeing cities, and battling your friends in the race to win a kingdom. You can play with up to four people using only one controller.

There are 3 initial character classes: mage, warrior, and thief, but as you level and get proficient in your class, you can class change into some neat hybrid classes like cleric (my personal favorite). Your character fights monsters and gains experience to level up and items to recover, pump up stats, or play nasty tricks on opponents, like curse them and steal money/items. You can even fight each other.

Battle is kind of like rock paper scissors. You have to figure out what your enemy will do and react accordingly. You take turns on offense and defense, so it’s definitely turn-based. On the offense, you can Attack, Strike, Give Up, or use a special attack, like Fireball, Steal, or Heal. Each choice on offense and defense will show you the result; if you Attack and your opponent Counters, you usually do a good deal of damage, but if you Strike and he Counters, he may defeat you in one hit.

On the defense, if you think a beast will Attack, you choose Defend. If you think a mage will use a magic attack, you choose your magic defense. Or you can Counter to deal 200% damage back against a powerful Strike. If you choose wrong, you risk leaving yourself open to an attack you can’t defend against. If you choose right, you can finish off your enemy in one round. If your character dies, you have to wait a few turns, then you start back at the castle.

Around the board, you have several kinds of squares. Shops where you can buy items, weapons, and spells, monster spaces, loot spaces, and the most important, towns and castles. At these, boss monsters (whose stats you can see) have taken over the towns, so you have to defeat them to claim your town. They are spots to rest and heal at, plus you can invest in them and collect taxes and items, or even take over someone else’s town.

It’s really addictive, and there aren’t many games like this (Itadaki Street is the closest thing I know of, and that wasn’t released in the U.S., which is a grand oversight in my book). It’s cutesy and fun, with boatloads of replay value and tons of ways to play. It’s as deep as an RPG and as fun as a party game, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a different gaming experience.

Penny Arcade

Penny Arcade