Death, betrayal, backstabbing, and the destruction of every relationship you’ve ever held dear, that is Dokapon Kingdom. It is the bastard child of Monopoly and Dragon Quest developed by Sting Entertainment. A mixture of an RPG and a board game, in Dokapon Kingdom your goal is simple: become ludicrously rich while sacrificing all of your friendships. But why do you have to sacrifice your friends in order to play this? Well that’s because the game actively encourages you to pull every dirty trick in the book to win!
At first sight, most people would not pay attention to a game like Dokapon Kingdom. Originally released on the PS2 during 2007, it was later ported to the Wii on the 14th of October 2008. Without much marketing and released amidst the sleuth of shovelware, which plagued the Wii, Dokapon Kingdom was pretty much guaranteed to go by unnoticed. This was especially true since the game featured high-definition graphics such as these.
Little did we know that inside this cutely designed CD case was the most apocalyptic creation of mankind in the history of gaming, especially since New Super Mario Bros Wii would not be released until a year later. Never before had games tried so hard to ruin every single familial tie you’ve had since the Parker Brothers decided to create Monopoly. But boy, if it’s not one heck of a ride!
The story is simple: the king wants to become rich again, and he enlisted the help of potentially four heroes to do so. In exchange, he offers the Princess’s hand in marriage (and yes, girls, she is interested [wink]). But first, the kingdom’s towns are being besieged by monsters which you must destroy. You will then become the town leader and increase your net worth, which is how you win the game. After you clear all of the towns in a continent–a quest will happen and with its completion–you’ll move the chapters along. But wait, what if a rival player reaches the quest before I do? In that case, approach your enemy, kill him and steal his quest item. However, just remember that this could be you in the future, and you’re just as vulnerable as they were before you killed them. In Dokapon Kingdom, this is where strategy comes in.
Dokapon Kingdom works on a rock-paper-scissor based system. Almost all of your outcomes will be determined by choosing a move (or card) which trumps the opponents. What does this entail? Well if you wanted to rob a town or store you’d have to win at a game of Rock-Paper-Scissor. Want to destroy an enemy that is stronger than you? Then pick ‘Strike’ and hope they didn’t choose ‘counter’ (don’t do this to the computer; it will cheat!). The mechanics of combat in Dokapon Kingdom work as follows: you have one attacker and a defender. The attacker can attack, use magic, strike, or surrender. The defender can use defense, magic defense, or counter, and each of these counter the aforementioned attacks. Using a proper combination of these ensure that regardless of defender or attacker you’ll come out on top. However, luck is a big deciding factor as with any board game.
At times, it feels like luck is the only deciding factor on who wins, and this is where it becomes frustrating. You might be doing well for 40 straight weeks, but in comes a random event that throws you in for a loop. Suddenly monsters invaded your town and a different player took them. A mad doctor robbed you of all your money. Perhaps a monkey came by and infected you with the Z plague! All of this can happen in a mere moment’s notice, and it will. Suddenly, you’re no longer winning, and as my wife said “If you don’t turn this game off, I will throw my controller at the television” will be uttered.
But you can’t stop . . . the game already has you within its grasp. You’re hooked and you ask her to play just a few more turns . . . as you slowly descend into madness. You reach the last chapter with nothing left, but the remains of a broken family. Utilizing the last bit of strength you have left, you defeat the last boss and become the next king of Dokapon. But, as you stand atop your new castle, all that lies below are the ruins of everything you worked for until that point in your life. Was it worth it? You’ll ask yourself, and the answer is . . . yes. Yes, it was. Because Dokapon Kingdom is awesome and that is the reason why today the game ranges from $80 to $300 USD on eBay.
Perhaps it wasn’t given the love it deserved when it released, but it’s certainly a unique game concept that’s well executed and enjoyable to play. If you find a copy cheap, it’s definitely worth it. Don’t forget that the actual price of this game is much higher than its market value.
Grab a copy off of Ebay if you are not too scared to look at the prices this game goes for.