The Lance


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Rating: 3.5/5 (89 votes)
| Comments (27) | Views (84)

DoraThe LanceJousting gets adorable in the new action game from Armor Games and Antony Lavelle, The Lance. Chronicling one family's quest to be the best like no one ever was, you begin the game as the first generation in a line of knights who want to take top place in the king's bi-decadely Joustournament and win the coveted... "The Lance". Standing in your way are more knights with equally lofty aspirations, and the king's own Champion. Will you rise through the ranks to taste the sweet fruit of victory?! Well... probably eventually... but first you'll have to get knocked around a whole bunch.

Gameplay consists of doing your best to pulverise each opponent in a series of matches; victory comes when you manage to knock another knight off his erstwhile steed. At the start of each match, you'll have to click as fast as you can on the big "click" icon to build of speed. When you get close enough, however, you'll have a few seconds to aim your attack; a diagram of your opponent's body appears on the left side of the screen, and you use the cursor to point where you want to try to hit. Do enough damage and you'll send your foe flying, but if nobody is de-horsed, you'll go another round. Win, and you'll net experience points to help level up, and the almighty dollar you can spend between matches and rounds on new, more powerful equipment. Even if a match ends poorly for you, don't worry; you can still continue the game as a descendant of your knightly loins until you ultimately take the prize.

Chances are if you own an iOS device and you've played Infinity Blade, you're going to notice some conceptual similarities, mostly relating to the whole bloodline thing. The Lance actually has a lot going for it; it's beautifully designed with great art by the wonderful Jimp, a snap to play, and moves along at a fast clip. The problem is that at its core, The Lance needs what may feel like an unfair amount of grinding to succeed at the ultimate goal of defeating the Champion who is far too powerful to defeat the first time you encounter him. It's disappointing because it winds up feeling like it comes down to numbers rather than any skill on your part, and players who aren't upgrade fiends might be put off by having to replay relatively easy matches over and over until your equipment is up to par... at which point you might need to upgrade your fingers from all the clicking. Still, if you don't mind the grind, The Lance is an adorable, quick bite of action that's just the ticket for a lazy afternoon... Alan Tudyk, Paul Bettany, Laura Fraser and Mark Addy not included.

Play The Lance

27 Comments

Actually, I found I didn't have to grind enough, only making my way a little over halfway up the equipment ladder before beating it.

But that was probably for the best, given that accruing enough Gold to keep up with buying new equipment for level advancement was just starting to become tedious.

The only thing I really found annoying was the clickfest to make the horse run. Pressing a key would have been better, and better still would have been a simple simon-says-arrow-key-minigame with the ending speed based off the Mount and how well you did.

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Aerineth Author Profile Page July 24, 2011 1:04 AM

While grinding up to ensure your victory seems like the guaranteed way to win, I ended up defeating the champion in only one generation advance. I avenged my knight's father at lvl 10 with 8&9s for equipment.

You just need to be able to take a couple hits and know how to hit the same mark every round to wear the champion down.

This is really the cutest little jousting game. And I do so love my jousting. It is, after all, our state sport!

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Jonny_s Author Profile Page July 24, 2011 1:58 AM

Very cute game, and like you said, it has a lot going for it. The biggest thing that it does not have going for it though, is any amount of difficulty. I suppose it is a casual game, but still, after playing for less than ten minutes and beating the champion on my second generation at level 9, it felt a bit too easy. I was expecting to have to get to at least level 18-20 before being able to beat the level 25 champion. Like Aerineth, I only needed a few equipment upgrades (lvls 8&9) to win.

Fun, but left me wanting more!

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Katherine July 24, 2011 2:06 AM

Like the others, I was able to win when I had reached around level 10 and only had upgrades from the first screen of the upgrade shop. I wasn't able to avoid their shield every time, but that is the main trick to winning the game. I liked the XP mechanic!

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I think there's a glitch. For some reason, halfway through generation two, everything in the store became sold out. Now I can't gain any experience or buy better equipment, so I pretty much can't progress.

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Cute, but buggy. My store permanently sold out of all items by my 4th generation, and stayed sold out by my 5th as well.

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Umm, is the store supposed to run out of stuff and never get restocked? Because I'm in that situation.

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I just have a few questions.

Whats the point of mastering items? does it give you some bonus or anything?

I kinda gave up on mastering things, and when i had like 2500 G, i went and bought the best horse I could... figuring, as they said, better horse, better speed.... and yet i still was only stuck at like, 18 Mph...

also, i'm kinda curious what the stars mean...

i know its a simple game but it leaves a fair chunk to you saying 'what does this mean'?

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Painorama Author Profile Page July 24, 2011 1:16 PM

Is it just me or is there a small yorkie yapping occasionally in the background crowd? With all of the crowd yelling and screaming, its kind of funny to hear the occasional "yap" in the crowd.

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I could be miles off, but I have a theory about the shop being sold out.

You have limited inventory space for your armour and weapons, and I think once you fill them up, because you have no more room to buy anything, the shop says "sold out".

You can go into your inventory from the shop screen and sell stuff. It's not worth holding on to the lower level, items so you might as well make a bit of money from them.

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Hm, if I click too fast my speed doesn't go over 4. If I slow it down, I can easily get to 16 or 17. Is there a sweet spot or something?

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Brian Lutz July 24, 2011 4:53 PM

Finished the game in four generations with roughly level 9-10 gear. To me, the whole thing just doesn't seem very well balanced. Once you've mastered your gear (with some exceptions, but I'm not sure if they're intentional or a bug) you stop gaining any XP for it, but then you eventually reach a point where you have to spend roughly the 10 rounds trying to raise enough money for the next tier of gear, at which point you've probably maxed out your other gear as well and need to replace it as well to keep gaining XP. Even with selling your unused gear (there's really no point in keeping anything once you've mastered it and replaced it with something better) you still spend a lot of time grinding up for money and not really advancing. You'll probably beat the champion long before you get to some of the higher-end gear anyway, so it's not as big a deal as it sounds.

Oh, and there seem to be some UI bugs in the shop as well that make it stop responding unless you exit and go back in. Not a game-breaker, but somewhat annoying. Even so, I think the game's still good for a 3.5 overall.

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The Cakemeister July 24, 2011 5:08 PM

Interestingly, I found something odd about the gold distribution. When I charge head-on at ~17 MPH, I got ~150 gold, when I choose to remain at 0, I got ~350 gold. Of course, I did less damage, netting me less exp, but allowing me to do it much more times, earning me even more gold.

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I don't understand the big bickering. I beat it on my second generation, after having bought at most 2 items in each category. The secret is to time your strike and fool the AI -

if you lower your lance to strike the body, the shield will lower as well.

This means that all you have to do is lower your lance until the last possible moment and aim at the head or as much as you can of it.

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I found that going by the name "Sir Ulrich" (after "Sir" was alread added) starts you automatically at level 5 ;-)

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@Peter: Your knight starts at level 5 by default, Ulrich or not.

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OK, the clicking too fast thing isn't an issue on a computer that can actually handle the game, it appears.

Also, did anyone else notice that the contenders get tougher every generation? My first-gen guy beat everyone handily until the champion, where he promptly got whooped. Later I made another character and focussed on getting as much money as I could on each tier rather than winning, and lost many times in the process. The lower-tier guys got tougher gear as the generations went on, going from all-5s in first-gen to about 8s in ninth.

PS. Is it just me, or is not really possible to be "the first in [your] line"?

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Iconian Author Profile Page July 25, 2011 8:09 PM

Beat it on the second generation, level 7 or 8. I had only played for 15 minutes or so, hadn't read anything on here. Sorry, not very impressive. I even went back and loaded the game and played from there to get a few more items, but it's not really worth it.

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lucid1651 Author Profile Page July 26, 2011 8:06 AM

Finished it in my second generation (Level 8) total of 10 bouts.

Had level 11 helmet, level 9 armor, level 8 shield, level 8 lance & level 8 steed

I think that it's also got luck with the champion bout, charge 1&2 he hit my helmet but then went after my body (1 hit, 1 miss & 1 shield block) whereas I kept on the body only, eventually giving me the win in the second gen.

In the first gen the AI was less stupid and hit me only body every charge.

Nice little time waster though, but nothing to aspire to get the higher items.

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Iconian Author Profile Page July 26, 2011 8:13 PM

Almost forgot: Dangeresque for the win! One of the mounts is named Dangeresque, proving that Strongbad may be gone, but has not been forgotten. Also, you didn't mention Heath Ledger Dora? Wasn't he integral to the movie?

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hmm silly game just bought a better lance and the best helmet with ++gold.. Beat the champ at 2nd try... didnt know why there is so much equipment

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Beat it in the 2nd generation basically dont buy anything until you lose to the champion then buy the Best Helmet with the most experience. All you have to do is aim really far away like not even close to the guy when the riders get close just go straight for the head you deal massive damage to the had always since the shield doesnt have enough time to protect the head from following ur lance so far out. It kinda ruined the game cause i dont have the best sword, horse, shield, or body armour!

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This game is very weird, it's really unbalanced. When you first start playing you think that the game is really difficult, mainly because the game does not tell you how you are supposed to play it. Thus you think, like the reviewer seems to, that the way to beat the game is by grinding until you have unlocked high enough weaponry and armour to beat the champion. The truth is this is wrong, in fact all you need to beat the champion is to know the strategy to playing the game. It took me 3 deaths to work it out, but once I had I won every match with ease. Even the champion, who I beat at level 9.

The strategy is simple; click as fast as you can as normal, but when you get to the targeting bit, observe the levels of your opponents armour. Aim for either his head or his body depending on which has the lowest level. On the champion all I did was aim for his head, though it's all the same level. Even though his armour was all at least 6 levels higher than mine I still trounced him.

generally disappointed with this game, wasn't challenging or satisfying

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If you're having trouble with a sold out store, check your inventory, because it may be full. I had no space left in my inventory, so I sold all my lower level equipment, and on the next round I was able to buy stuff again.

Also, if you're interested to keep leveling but don't have the money to keep buy new armor, there's an interesting bug I got with my Armor where it says "Mastered" on the main screen, but in the Inventory screen, it's stuck at 365/365 exp, and I keep getting Exp. Just thought I'd throw that out there

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champgamer Author Profile Page June 10, 2012 12:57 PM

i have these equipped:
Helm: Grimbeard/ Iron Blacksmith
Armor:gloomy indigo/ Poseidon core
Shield: The MEdallion/ Heavy cover
Lance: Spike Attack/ Power length
MOunt:Jolly Joey/ Odd mule
Ex.V
Mount: Equipped/ Picture on the mastery menu
is it glitched? idk

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champgamer Author Profile Page June 10, 2012 1:00 PM

and also Vahe i have that problem with my poseidon core armor

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