Since we initially mentioned Haypi Kingdom, the first Massively Multi-player Online game for Windows Phone 7, the game has been updated twice. These updates come as no surprise - MMOs are huge, constantly evolving games. Let's look at what's been added or tweaked. Note that we've edited these a little for clarity and inserted our own comments.
Haypi Kingdom version 220.127.116.11 change log:
- Enhancement system added: You can improve your current equipment with enhancement stones, which can be attained via hunting, daily gift, competition or purchased from NPC. The enhancements can be made to create additional attribute points to your current equipment, enhancing your prowess on the battlefield.
- Two new chest types (Gold and Silver) added: These special chests can be gained from war or as daily gifts. They need to be unlocked by coins and there are many alluring surprises in them including coins or valuable treasure. You can also choose to sell the chest to get money.
Haypi Kingdom version 18.104.22.168 change log:
- Invites fixed: Haypi Kingdom rewards players when they invite a friend to play and the friend reaches a certain rank. Email invites started out broken in the WP7 version. This patch has fixed that problem and email invites now work as intended.
- Chat is now in high definition: Chat text ran in a lower resolution before. Unfortunately a new bug was introduced in v2.11; now network error messages pop up repeatedly during chat even though chat is working.
- Enhancement stones, gold chests, and silver chests can no longer be purchased from the player Marketplace. They can still be bought from the NPC vendor.
- Restart crash problem fixed.
- Enhancement stone number display problem after hunting has been fixed.
The game continues to improve (and I enjoy it quite a bit), though that chat bug needs to be fixed ASAP. Speaking of fixes, we have learned that a server switching feature will be added some time in the future. Right now there is no way to change servers, making it difficult or impossible to play with your friends. Thankfully that will be rectified soon.
Previously we reported that Haypi Kingdom is the first Windows Phone 7 game to feature microtransactions. Like Farmville, Haypi Kingdom is a freemium game: it's free to play, but gamers can purchase optional coins to speed up in-game processes and make game play easier in various ways. Before, the user would click on a buy Coins link in-game, which launched a web browser to a PayPal checkout screen. Unfortunately, Microsoft seems to have cracked down on this process. The Buy Coins link now just tells the user to visit PayPal and send payment for the desired quantity of coins. Payment instructions can also be found in the Haypi forums. It's a convoluted process. We hope that Microsoft eventually changes heart and allows optional purchases from directly within the app on the Windows Phone 7 platform, just as Xbox 360 and iOS titles do.
Don't be dissuaded; Haypi Kingdom can be plenty of fun even without buying any coins. Its combination of town-building, resource management, and player versus player combat is unlike anything else on Windows Phone 7. Get it for free here (opens a link to your Zune software) on the Marketplace. Our full review is still in the works.