Ubisoft's The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot [official site] has marched into the nearest village, laden with plundered treasures, ancient relics and what looks suspiciously like a necklace of human ears. Did I say human? I meant horrible nasty goblin ears. Yes, they're definitely monster ears.
Now lend me your ears, readers, because I need to tell you that the free-to-play tower defense/offense has traded its pilfered wares for an official launch, finally leaving open beta.
The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot sees players building a castle and network of traps and defenders to ward off invading players, and also heading out to raid other people's castles for loot. A lighthearted version of The Castle Doctrine, perhaps.
The game's free-to-play monetisation strategies is a point of contention for some over its lengthy open beta. In 2013 Ubisoft rolled back some of the bigger, more game-affecting microtransactions, but eighteen months later its Steam user reviews are full of complaints about 'pay-to-win' balancing issues. Hmm. That's not too promising.
Still, the advantage of free-to-play games is that you can form your opinion by paying nothing but time. If you like what you see there's always the Infinite Pack DLC, which offers all past and future rare creatures along with what seems a decent amount of starter goodies. It doesn't exactly circumvent those pay-to-win accusations and it's pricey despite the current discount, but if it gives enthusiastic new players what they need to enjoy some Mighty Questing - at a cost equivalent to a new game - it might be a reasonable price to pay.