Created and developed by Dreaming Door Studios, Golden Treasure: The Great Green is an RPG where you play as a baby dragon. In this game, you control the outcomes, getting a variety of choices for multiple situations. This game is great for audiences who enjoy literature, art, and philosophy more than they enjoy interactive action. The scenes in this game are hand-painted, and the storytelling and dialogue both sound like something from a fantasy novel. If you enjoy watching a story unfold right before your eyes rather than participating in active combat, this game may be for you.
Golden Treasure: The Great Green was released on June 17th, 2019, and is currently on Steam for $19.99.
Before I dive into it, I’d like to point out that RPG’s are not typically my style of gaming. So, with that in mind, I intend on doing my best to present this review in an unbiased manner. Aspects of this game that are flaws to me may very well be positive aspects to RPG gamers.
Golden Treasure: The Great Green is 90% story, scenes, and choices, with very little gameplay. Explaining the entire story here would simply spoil and potentially ruin the entire game. So, I’m going to keep it simple. As the player, you start the game not really knowing who or what you are. As time passes, you discover that you are a baby dragon, freshly born into a new world. You speak with higher powers and find out that you need to master four different elements: fire, water, earth, and air. Not only must you master these if you want to survive, but you must also accept a moral grey area; you are both creation and destruction.
The story in this game essentially points out the battle between good and bad, really making you question your own character. You choose what happens in this game, but even when your choices feel right, their outcomes may take a drastic turn for the worst. Additionally, you have very little time to complete each day. Some shorter, simpler tasks end up taking an entire day in game-time.
The RPG Aspects
What makes it so emotional is that you genuinely do feel like you are making these decisions. The game isn’t implementing simple choices, like choosing PB&J or a ham sandwich. Instead, the decisions fall in a grey area. There are no clearly correct answers. There could and will be pros and cons to almost every choice. So, it is up to you to decide what you’d rather gain, and what you’d rather sacrifice. As the game states, you are both a creator and a destroyer.
For me, these choices made me realize a lot about myself and those around me. The story really elaborates on how things are not always black and white, and that no one can truly be solely good or solely evil. Like I said before, people who enjoy philosophy could really get into this game, as the story definitely reflects ethical dilemmas. I can honestly say that it really got inside my head. Since playing The Great Green, I find myself questioning my own motives just a little more than usual. So, for critical thinkers, this game is about far more than just mythical creatures and magic. It can be a learning experience for spiritual and intellectual growth.
This is where things get complicated, as there really isn’t much gameplay per se. Although there are a few point and click sections of gameplay, it’s largely just you making choices for your character. The outcome and story dialogue may change based on those choices. Furthermore, you have three chances to die. If you surpass the third chance, you must start all over again.
What you’re most focused on in this game is leveling up your elements, and making sure your dragon has energy. This is why you explore and hunt during the day. You can choose to rest instead of going out into the Great Green, but time is precious. On the other hand, if you let your dragon get too exhausted, it may experience death.
You explore the map by clicking on new areas. Oddly enough, you must wait until the next day if you want to actually explore the new section. So, simply unlocking information about each part of the map takes up a whole day. From my perspective, this is a flaw. It takes up time without giving you the opportunity to gain any items or experience.
All in all, the gameplay in Golden Treasure: The Great Green is pretty minimal, but to an RPG fan, this may not be a negative thing. This is the type of game I would want to play when I’m anxious or sick and want something to distract me. In other words, it’s something I’d play when my ability to focus is minimal, but not something I’d want to play when I want to properly interact with a fictional universe. This game is definitely more about the story than it is about action.
Graphics and Sound
The graphics in this game are absolutely beautiful. This doesn’t come as a surprise seeing as the pictures in this game are watercolor artworks. Each painted scene looks like something straight from a modern cartoon movie. The colors are pretty, but not overwhelmingly vibrant. When you first start the game and aren’t really sure what’s going on, there are bright lights and flashes. However, once the game starts, you see the softer, more pastel appearance of watercolors.
The animated cutscenes are very cinematic. The intro, for example, uses a black background with vibrant colors and flashing lights which really creates a mystery. This, in combination with the story, may make you feel like you’re somewhere lost out in the galaxies. They want you to be unsure of who you are and where you’re at, and by implementing these details, they successfully do so.
As far as sounds go, the background music emits mystical vibes, and the sound effects feel appropriate and never feel startling or overpowering. The music builds up along with the story, which really makes you feel more engaged in the dialogue. The developers do a wonderful job of using both colors and music to match the mood of what’s going on in the story. It doesn’t sound much different than something you’d hear in a fantasy movie, but it’s fitting. You can certainly tell they’ve spent a great deal of time on the soundtrack.