Lord of the Dumbs – Rise of Cretisium, An In-Depth Review

7.2 TCG RATING
Gameplay: 7/10
Sounds: 8/10
Graphics: 7/10

Incredibly easy to play making it accessible to anybody. | Fun and engaging gameplay will keep you hooked.

Lacks a deeper strategy that may turn people away. | Acquisition of Gems is incredibly slow if you don't buy them.

iOS

Free to play with in-app purchases.

June 17,2015

English, French

Lord of the Dumbs is a family friendly, casual card battle game where you are on a quest to find the lost intelligence of your people. Yes, you read that correctly… to find the lost intelligence. I feel like that some days too, like my brain has escaped me… but for the Dumbs, it has been a long time. Simple math problems such as 2+2, or even using the right words cause the biggest of problems for our cute, little Dumbs.

With a blend of the casual card battle system and a well written story for our dumb Dumb (this is never going to get old) hero to embark upon, Lord of the Dumbs makes for an entertaining game. Our quest is to collect the nine artifacts from the aptly-named Council of Nine. We can’t simply ask for them, as they are magically bound to the Council. So we must fight for them by recruiting more Dumbs to our cause. You are the ‘Chosen One’ and must complete this task… or stay a dumb Dumb forever!

Does Lord of the Dumbs have enough intelligence to be a great game, or is it just… dumb? Read on to find out…

Our-quest-and-mission

Austarog is our guide in the world of Cretisium, but he isn’t too intelligent, either. Perhaps we’re better off continuing alone, just in case…

GAMEPLAY

Lord of the Dumbs is a very simple game to play. I can tell that the game is heavily marketed toward the younger player from its looks and ease of play. Yet the game can be, and is, entertaining for the more ‘young at heart’ adult, too, as the theme is hilarious as well as original. It plays like a social, casual card battle game and has many of the similar mechanics and game modes of the genre, so expect a similar style of gameplay.

A Dumb is a creature that inhabits the world of Cretisium — a world plagued by an abundance of stupidity since the intelligence was stolen by Drack Garnomor. Each Dumb in your collection is represented as a card and has statistics that represent an Attack, a Vitality (i.e. Health), and Leadership value in addition to their rarity value. Obviously the stronger Dumbs are rarer and will have higher values. The rarity of a Dumb is determined by how many stars it has, 1 being the lowest and 6 as the highest.

You can create a Team comprising of 1 to 5 Dumbs who will fight against Critters, and during online battles against real people with their Team of Dumbs. When creating your Team of Dumbs, their overall Leadership cannot surpass your current Leadership level, so you’ll need to be clever when creating you Team and won’t always be able to fill the Team with super strong Dumbs. I really liked this sort of restriction, as it meant that other players of a similar level online would be more evenly matched and less likely to be overpowered because they happened to spend more on the in-game purchases.

Lord of the Dumbs‘ main gameplay is focused towards the campaign mode, in this case the quest to find the lost intelligence. You are the ‘Chosen One’ and must unite the Dumbs by obtaining nine artifacts from the Council of Nine. In order to do this, you have a guide and a not-so-clever mentor, Austarog. So dumb is Austarog that 2+2 apparently equals 22! I think the hero lucked out badly having Austarog as a mentor…

Each-stage-shows-you-how-many-Dumbs-youve-found

10,000 steps is a lot… are there no shortcuts? Progressing through the stages will use Endurance (END).

You have to fight your way through various stages by slapping (yes, slapping) Critters that block your path. In order to slap a Critter, you just tap the screen on the Critter to defeat it. When a Critter is slapped, it’ll drop Kopeks (the in-game currency), experience points, and an occasional treasure chest. Once all Critters have been thoroughly slapped, you can claim these rewards. Some treasure chests will contain more Dumb cards not yet discovered, or perhaps more Endurance, which is the game’s energy system. Run out of Endurance and you’ll need to top it up, lest you leave the quest incomplete.

Progressing through the stages will eventually lead to a boss. This is where your Team of Dumbs will battle it out instead. They still do a lot of slapping and it is up to you to try and slap the boss as hard as you can. In order for your Dumbs to slap their hardest, there is a slider that moves from left to right with the optimum slappage being in the middle. Hit that just right and you’ll score the perfect slap, empowering your Dumbs to slap their hardest against the boss.

Once you defeat a boss you will earn a new Dumb card and some experience points, to boot. You will continue this gameplay style over and over until you get to one of the Council of Nine. Defeat them in the same way you would defeat any boss — by slapping them! Grab the Artifact and continue on the quest for more Artifacts and to restore the stolen intelligence.

This gameplay style does seem to get rather repetitive and doesn’t involve much skill, other than the dexterity mini-game when you slap your opponents. Therefore, if you’re looking for more of a traditional TCG/CCG-style game then this one is probably not going to satisfy you, but I did find it humorous and entertaining nevertheless.

All-that-treasure-I-wonder-whats-inside

I wonder what’s inside all these treasure chests? Clearing a stage will grant you experience, Kopeks, or perhaps more Dumb cards (I love getting all these Dumb cards — I’ll never tire of typing that!). Too many Dumb cards in this game…

GAME MODES & FEATURES

Lord of the Dumbs has few game modes outside of the main quest, but backs these up with additional features. Of course we have already covered the main bulk of the game by talking about questing above. The only other game mode that uses your Team of Dumbs is the Arena, which is the online Versus mode. Here, as with many other games like it, your Team faces off against another person’s Team of Dumbs. You don’t have much control over what happens when they fight, except in which order they fight by rearranging your Team.

The Dumbs take turns in (what I assume to be) slapping one another. When a Dumb loses its health (Vitality) it is tossed to the side and another will take its place. This will continue until all the Dumbs on one Team have been defeated. The player who still has a Dumb surviving will win the match — and that’s all there is to it. You will improve your ranking as you do this often, and if you top the leaderboards, at the end of the week you’ll get a nifty reward. Even if you don’t make number 1, you’ll still earn some Gems, which are the game’s premium currency.

Lastly is The Shoppe, where you can buy new packs of Dumbs, or just a single Dumb at a time. You do have an option to spend Kopeks to obtain some Dumbs, but you’ll only get Dumbs of levels 1 – 3. If you want higher-level Dumbs, you’ll need to buy packs using Gems and these can be a little costly. To stock up on Gems isn’t cheap, and there aren’t many ways of obtaining them outside of the purchasing them in-game, unfortunately.

You-can-evolve-with-different-evolutions

Evolution is the best way to make your Dumbs stronger. Before you make them stronger, you will want to make them smarter. To do that you’ll want to Enhance them by sacrificing other Dumbs. (Squeezing what little intelligence they have out of them, I guess! They are such dumb Dumbs…)

The game tends to keep a balance of power by allowing you to enhance your current Team of Dumbs beyond their original values. There are a couple of ways to do this and each one is very easy to do due to the supply of duplicate Dumbs you’ll collect during your quests.

Perhaps the strongest method of increasing a Dumb’s overall strength is via Evolution. Using this feature will allow you to combine two Dumbs of the same name. This will create a new Dumb that looks different and will have increased Attack and Vitality, as well as being one step closer to a higher rarity, which happens once you evolve a Dumb a set number of times. Clever people will work out that if a Dumb has maxed out its IQ, more of its base statistics will be given to the newly-evolved Dumb.

“How do I max out the IQ of a Dumb?” was probably your next question. No? Well let me share my knowledge with you and help you become less of a dumb Dumb. In order to max out a Dumb’s IQ, you have to sacrifice other Dumbs to it. To do this you use the feature called Enhancement. Here you can select up to 10 Dumbs to sacrifice to another, and that’ll grant the Dumb an increase in not only Attack and Vitality but IQ, too. To get the most out of Enhancement, you will need to sacrifice Dumbs of a higher IQ, rarity level, and Dumbs of the same faction. Not such a dumb way to level up after all, don’t you think?

Swapping-out-the-Dumbs-is-easy

Dumbs are interesting at least as individual units with their own stats, and the art for each one is so personalized that they really make you feel like each one is unique. I just love my dumb Dumbs. Do you?

DECKBUILDING & STRATEGY

Lord of the Dumbs has a very simple deckbuilding system. You simply select a Dumb to be included in your Team and put it in. Once you have 5 Dumbs in your Team, you will see the difference in Attack, Vitality, and Leadership that a new Dumb will have against the current Dumb in the Team. Remember that your Team’s Leadership value cannot exceed your current Leadership level.

You’ll need to Evolve or Enhance your Dumbs if you cannot afford to have a stronger Dumb take their place in the Team. I found that sometimes this would often make them stronger than the base level of a stronger Dumb with a higher Leadership Value. So it’s wise to not discount a weaker Dumb straight away. It also means that it’ll free up Leadership as you level up, and that can be used to replace weaker Dumbs later on.

Overall there isn’t any deep strategy that can be employed. The only real way you can influence the outcome of boss battles is to ensure you slap at the right time. As for online play, it’s all about the order your Team is in. This determines the order in which they fight, but I can’t see this doing much as they’ll all fight soon enough anyway, so it seems most players front-load their Team order, as strongest to weakest. I didn’t find the lack of strategy to be a problem though, as the game was enjoyable enough without it and I accepted the game for what it was, a bit of simple, childish fun.

The-Dumbs-will-fight-it-out-for-you

There is so much fun to be had playing Lord of the Dumbs, if you’re willing to let go of TCG/CCG expectations. I only wish there was a little more strategy to the online mode.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Lord of the Dumbs is actually quite a clever little game. It has game modes that are easily accessible to players of all abilities and it’s also fun to play, in the collection and evolution aspect if not so much the battling aspect. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and adds copious amounts of self-deprecating humor that induces a few smiles along the way. It is clearly a smart choice for gamers who want to be entertained by something a little less brainless than Candy Crush, or looking to keep their kids occupied with some fun, kid-friendly entertainment.

I found Lord of the Dumbs to be a more charming version of a similar card battle game I recently reviewed: Mario Italiano Four Families. The art is far more appealing and the gameplay feels less cluttered, even if the mechanics are kind of similar.

I really enjoyed playing Lord of the Dumbs and would recommend it to anyone who wants a quick and enjoyable game to play on the go. It will definitely help pass those boring moments on the train, at work, or even during a lunch break. I’m sure our readers are clever and intelligent enough to know this game will be a whole lot of fun! Just don’t expect the next Magic: The Gathering, because it’s obviously not.

My last burning question, which I am sure is yours also… what the heck is a Dumb, actually? I have no idea. I guess we are just dumb Dumbs, after all.

For more screenshots, click here.

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Zac Phoenix
Author: Zac Phoenix View all posts by
Zac Phoenix graduated with First Class Honors in Philosophy, Religion and Ethics and has been playing strategy card games since childhood. He has a keen interest in the underlying mechanics and player interactions of trading card games, as well as tabletop game design in the digital space. He also designs card games in his spare time.

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