- Have you ever played one of those generic Flash-based arena fighters on the internet? Then you’ve played Deathmatch Village, except you have not had the chance to experience the glory of micro transactions. The freemium gaming model has been the subject of much debate and one of the problems developers have had is figuring out how to make a game that is proper fun and makes the player want to pay for the game.
I can tell you that the Deathmatch Village developers have not solved this issue yet.
While this game is definitely free to download, it does cost time to play and your experience will be incredibly limited if you don’t pay somehow. It is one of those games entirely built around micro-transactions. This means you can’t ‘unlock’ every pay wall in the game by shelling out a bit more money because that is not how the game was constructed. I am a more traditional consumer who likes to be able to purchase the whole package in one go, but the since the transactions are meant to be repeated over time and are not just simple unlocks this game does not allow for that.
Deathmatch Village is set up around the theme of a village of redneck farmers who hunt ‘fatty, juicy piggies’. The village hub, which is nothing more than a glorified menu, allows access to several shops and the arena in which you fight.The cartoony and colourful graphic design fits well with this theme but it is not exactly pleasing to the eyes seeing as it looks very similar to 95% of time-wasters found on mobile platforms. The soundtrack is also terrible, with only one or two forgettable jingly tracks that coincide with the visual theme in that they are supposed to be a parody of southern country life-style and that they sound like every other shameless mobile flash port.
There are two modes to be found in Deathmatch Village. The developers offer you free-for-all and team deathmatch, which task the player with killing opponents and gathering pigs that, back home, can be converted into cash. I’ve had no trouble finding a chock-full match and the game is bereft of any lag, but the lack of any feedback whatsoever does not do it any good. It is rare for a video games to not make you feel good for killing a person, but I had hoped the developers would have brought this talent to show in a game that is not having you kill others all the time.
There are not many maps that you can play on, and they’re similar enough that I forgot to exactly count how many there were. They’re simple, but they don’t work all that well since there are too many platforms which obstruct your shooting line and the pigs always spawn in the same position, which concentrates the fighting in a small portion of the map and results in melee-fests. In this manner, you barely use the power-ups that are scatter around the map and from which you can gain temporary advantages or health refills.
Why is the game not fun when you don’t pay? You have to wait considerable amounts of time before you are able to convert your pigs into currency if you don’t want to pay, making it much less fun to play because gaining new weapons takes too long (it takes 40 minutes to convert one pig into a respectable pile of green bills). You are also limited in how many pigs you can convert to wads of cash at a time. Oh, and if you have finally converted these pigs to money and purchased a shiny new rifle, be prepared to wait some more in order for your item to ‘deliver’.
Why wouldn’t it be fun if you were insane enough to pay, either? The controls are absolute rubbish. They are simple (see screenshots) but do not work well. Targeting your opponent can be tricky business because the left stick does not only control the movement of your character but also the movement of your reticle. This was probably designed on the grounds that game involves a lot of jumping (controlled by the X button pressed by your right thumb) and therefore it would be uncomfortable for aiming to be only mapped to the right stick (which is also controlled by your right thumb). It’s fair, though, since everyone is struggling with this vital issue and thus the game ends up being a giant melee fest around the spawn area of the pigs. This is why these games are probably better played with a keyboard.
In conclusion, don’t waste your time with this game. If you really want to play a death match arena game, there are enough free games to find on the internet that are better and do not come with poorly implemented micro-transactions.