Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Jul 012020

(But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.)

When I learned we were getting a Kingdom Hearts prequel about Xehanort, I was excited. When I saw it was a mobile game, I was much less excited. Nevertheless, I decided to give Kingdom Hearts Dark Road a try once it came out.

I hoped it would be more like a traditional game than KHUX, despite being a standalone game within the same app, preferably without the filler that eventually drove me away. I was prepared for it to be the same sort of gacha experience dragged down by all the mobile trappings.

But Kingdom Hearts Dark Road isn’t quite what I expected at all.

It’s largely an idle game, because although you can manually fight using the card-based combat system (and should, for tougher battles), Dark Road is really designed for you to set it on auto-battle and just leave it run while you do other things. You’ll need to grind a lot to earn enough BP to level up, and you get missions in between story quests that ask you to defeat a large number of Heartless before you can move on.

Everything else is fairly streamlined, as well. There is a gacha system to get more cards, and any duplicate cards you get automatically fuse with your current copy to boost its power. In addition to earning BP to level up, you also get automatic stat boosts from fighting new enemies and getting new cards, and the game rewards you with jewels, gacha tickets, and other prizes for completing certain goals (which usually means defeating a set number of enemies).

Dark Road has an episodic story, and currently only Episode 1 is available. I enjoyed the handful of cutscenes presented here, but the new characters didn’t add much to the story so far (especially since who you add to your party doesn’t seem to affect much).

However, the episode ends with quite a gut punch, so I’m curious to see where the story goes next.

Right now, Kingdom Hearts Dark Road doesn’t have a lot going for it. However, as someone who does not enjoy playing mobile games, I kinda appreciate that this one doesn’t require much playing.

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