Golden Rush is an "unusual" MOBA from the creators of My Lands: Black Gem Hunting. The game features four teams facing off in an attempt to be the first to obtain either 30,000 gold or twelve chests.
|Publisher: Elyland Investment Company
Release Date: September 23, 2015
Shut Down Date: September 27, 2018
Pros: +Good aesthetic. +Simple, intuitive interface. +Stands out within the MOBA genre.
Cons: -Gear grind. -Persistent character leveling. -Skins give stat bonuses. -Class unlocks take an absurd amount of time. -Small community, long waits for certain modes. -Pay-to-win elements.
Golden Rush Overview
Golden Rush is an “unusual” MOBA from the creators of My Lands: Black Gem Hunting, Forbes Consult and Elyland Investment Company. The game features four teams facing off in one of two modes in an attempt to be the first to obtain either 30,000 gold or twelve chests. These conflicts all take place on a single map known as the “Garden of Heroes.” Here, players can take on the Golden Dragon to earn a powerful ally or hunt down the Golden Frog for great rewards. As players play, they will level their heroes—known as classes in Golden Rush—and obtain bigger and better gear. Obtaining a set of “artifacts” will even unlock a coveted fourth skill.
Golden Rush Key Features:
- A different kind of MOBA - Golden Rush features four teams of three and puts an emphasis on collecting gold from camps rather than destroying anything.
- Two modes - Be the first to 30,000 gold or twelve chests, depending on the mode.
- Earn a powerful ally - Kill the Golden Dragon to get a Bone Dragon on your side.
- Six classes - Players choose from six diverse classes, three of which are given to players for free.
- Persistent progression - Level your hero and earn new gear with the game’s persistent progression system, akin to MMORPGs.
Golden Rush Screenshots
Golden Rush Featured Video
Golden Rush Review
By, Matt Chelen
Golden Rush is a “rather unusual” MOBA from the Russian developer Forbes Consult and publisher Elyland Investment Company. These companies, along with Gravvit, are the ones responsible for My Lands: Black Gem Hunting and it is fairly apparent when you first load the game up, as one of Golden Rush’s currencies is that of Black Gems. The MOBA is considered to be “unusual” due to the fact that it features battles with four teams of three rather than the traditional two teams of five.
As stated previously, Golden Rush is a bit different. The game features four teams of three duking it out on a map called “Garden of Heroes” that looks a bit like a four-tower version of League of Legends’ Dominion map. Each team starts in a corner and works their way in from outside the otherwise circular map. Directly between each of the teams’ spawns and the center of the map is a tower that will generate gold for the team that holds it in increments of 30 every five seconds or so. The path to the center is completely unobstructed other than that tower, but a dragon will eventually spawn, providing a sort of “world boss” that gives major rewards.
The paths quarter off the map as they create an “X” shape. A spawn akin to the traditional MOBA camp is within each quarter of the map. Two more camps can be found to the left and right of the exit to each spawn. These camps have a variety of weak enemies, along with a stronger boss monster that provides either a chest with 1000 gold or regenerative items when defeated—depending on the type of camp that has spawned. Throughout the game each of these bosses will be wiped out multiple times by players and subsequently respawn as a different camp.
Players familiar with the MOBA genre will immediately feel at home with Golden Rush. It plays nearly identically to any other MOBA with a set of skills across the QWERTY keys, right click to move, "B" to recall, and a set of items set to the numeric keys. In fact, they may adapt too easily as Golden Rush’s characters have only three skills. Unless you obtain specific gear that is, but we will get to that later.
The goal of the Garden of Heroes map is to be the first team to reach 30,000 gold. For most of the game you will be relying on captured towers, hard-won chests, and the occasional drop from a monster. Larger amounts of gold can be taken from the “Golden Frog,” that spawns and hops around, running whenever it takes too much damage. And the “Golden Dragon” that spawns in the center of the map and functions as a world boss. The Golden Frog will drop gold every time it is hit, which will be quite a lot thanks to its large health bar, and a chest containing 1000 gold when it dies. The Golden Dragon will drop a large chest that contains 3000 gold when its defeated. It also provides you with a powerful ally in the form of a bone dragon that captures and guards a tower for you by circling it.
There’s another mode, erroneously called a map, named Dragon’s Lair. In this mode players hunt down chests rather than gold. Each team must collect 12 chests and keep them from being stolen from their team’s tower. Monsters have significantly more health and do significantly more damage. The Golden Frog is changed to drop one chest per notch on his health bar. Map items drop in camps to give you an idea of where another chest might be, but they do not appear to do so reliably. I would also not bet on being able to play this mode regularly, as wait times will be upwards of ten minutes during good times of the day. At other times of the day the queue counter will fail, never making it past three or four queued players .
While this setup may sound like it provides a number of tactical options, I can assure you that it does not. The only tactics I saw employed in the entire time I played, if any, were to make a mad dash for each chest and only detour from that plan if the Golden Frog spawned, if a straggler from a team decided to take your tower, or if your entire team made it to a level in which you could reliably take on the Golden Dragon.
There is no reason to go for the other teams’ towers. As a three person team you cannot hope to reliably hold two towers at once, much less all four. The towers are set up so that at any one point a single player at full health can stand within the capture circle and barely survive being hit by the tower’s attacks that occur over the course of the capture. If even a single player from another team were to come up, they would simply have to step inside the circle to completely reset your capture and doom you to death by the tower. And that’s if they even bother. One or two hits will complement the tower’s damage enough to kill you. All of this is still exempting the fact that the team whose spawn is closest to that tower is only a short walk away. Even if you were to dispatch them their death penalty would be much shorter than the time it would take you to recover.
Gold camps spawn sporadically. Sometimes, there are two or three camps at once. Other times, there are none for several minutes at a time. At the beginning of one game, both camps that spawned were on opposite sides of my team’s spawn. The uneven nature of camp spawning leaves the game in a constant cycle of taking down less helpful camps in order to level while waiting on gold camps to spawn, taking out the gold camps, and repeating ad nauseum until your entire team has gained enough experience from the camps to take on the Golden Dragon. Then it becomes a series of all out PvPvE fights for ownership of the Golden Dragon until someone finally gets control. Deviating from this cycle will likely end in a loss.
Grievances about tactical issues aren’t the only problems. Repeated tests may prove differently, but in my time with Golden Rush the bone dragon only ever went for the blue team’s tower. This generally resulted in another team temporarily having an extra tower until repeated attacks from the blue team took it down and they reclaimed their tower. Out of the small percentage of times that the blue team slayed the Golden Dragon it amounted to more than five minutes of extra tower protection. It ultimately felt fairly pointless. Even if it were working in a way different than the one I experienced, there’s still the issue that players will not reliably be able to defend the tower that the dragon takes for them.
I also feel that the skills each class is given lacks coherence. For example, the Mage's starting skill is an AoE/DPS combo attack that will repeatedly attack a given area until the caster runs out of mana, while requiring the caster to stay still. His supporting skill silences enemies within a specific area for three seconds.The Mage’s final skill—his ultimate—is another AoE that drops a giant chunk of ice on a location. Any player caught directly in the center will take a massive amount of damage. Those outside of the center will take less damage based on the distance from the center.
The Archer's’ skills are similarly incongruous. Her basic skill is to shoot a powerful shot in a straight line that will hit any enemies in its path without being stopped. Her supporting skill is to blind a single enemy for three seconds. I haven’t been on the receiving end of the blinding skill, so I couldn’t say how effective it is, but it appears to not do much to players—if anything at all. Her ultimate is to set an invisible bear trap that does massive damage to enemies that step on it and slows them for three seconds.
How exactly do these all fit together? What good is blinding your opponent if you’re the archer? Don’t you want to be able to lead them over your bear traps? What good is silencing your opponent as an AoE-focused DPS class? Are we going for the “mages are squishy” stereotype and giving them a way to keep enemies from using their heavy-damage skills and increase chances of survival? Is it really that simple? Whatever the case, the skill sets are quite odd. It almost feels like they wanted to give each class a support skill and were unsure of what to give, instead drawing each out of a hat randomly.
I can’t be certain as I don’t have experience with them, but it seems that the classes that must be either paid for with real cash (or an intense grinding process) are designed better. The Witch's primary skill, for example, sends out waves of dark energy that hit enemies within a certain radius for high amounts of damage. Each wave does damage independently. She has a supporting skill that charms a target to walk towards her for several seconds. You can see how this might be unbalanced compared to the skill sets that I described previously.
There’s also the issue that Golden Rush is, at its core, gear-based and level-based. You level each class independently. Higher levels unlock higher level store items with better stats, and each set of store items is presented randomly. And you can pay to reroll the store items presented. Some gear drops during matches—yes, as it would in an MMORPG—but the best gear will ultimately be bought with your hard earned Gold Bars or Black Gems.
The community of a MOBA is always a concern. Many are filled with people that yell at their teammates and scream obscenities when anything goes wrong. Some are wrought with leavers. By comparison, Golden Rush’s community is fairly complacent right now. I only experienced one leaver, who was promptly replaced by a bot. Similarly, only one player shouted obscenities and only one other player insulted me.
No, the real problem with Golden Rush’s community is that they simply don’t communicate. There is a Ctrl-click function to place an objective marker of sorts, with an accompanying ping, and the majority of your teammates will use that alone, if anything at all. Most will play silently expecting you to have the same ideas that they do.
Pay To Win Concerns
Golden Rush is made by a company that previously made a social MMORTS and it shows. Monetization that removes the in-game grind is pervasive. Black Gems can be paid for with real cash, in addition to the paltry amount earned from games. And you can pay a subscription to earn experience, Black Gems, and Gold Bars faster.
But that’s not the biggest issue. The manner in which they have decided to monetize classes is discouraging. In order to unlock a new class you either pay $9.99 or earn 50 Friend Points while that class is activated as the class you are working towards. In order to earn friend points you must first add someone as a friend in-game—using their unusual number ID system, akin to 3DS friend codes—and invite them to your party. You must then play and win a match with that friend in your party. You must do this fifty times in order to unlock a single $9.99 class. With four teams instead of two, your odds are potentially halved. Unless you’re already paying so much that the $9.99 wouldn’t matter.
There is also an issue in that alternate skins for classes provide bonuses to their base stats. These skins can only be purchased by paying $9.99 and they very clearly put the players that buy them a cut above the players that don’t.
Furthermore, there is a very expensive set of high-level items for each class that, when you have collected the entire set, provides a fourth skill for that class. You can either go through the intense grind to level up, and then go through the intense grind to get the required amount of Black Gems—all other items cost Gold Bars—to pay for them, or you can just pay your way through the grind.
While almost everything can be earned by simply playing the game the grind feels insurmountable within several hours. As is inevitable, there are players dumping huge amounts of money into the game in order to be the best. And they may not always be the best simply because they paid, but they will surely make it more difficult for those that aren’t paying to get to the point where they can reliably compete. The alternate skins are also undoubtedly pay-to-win items.
Final Verdict - Fair
Golden Rush isn’t an objectively bad game. It runs perfectly fine. The graphics are good enough. The interface is simple and intuitive and the English translation is serviceable. But it feels like it’s an unusual MOBA not because it’s innovative or on the cusp of the next big thing, but rather because it’s tapping into a set of ideas that many MOBA developers know better than to use. The monetization and gear structure shows a clear lack of understanding of the larger MOBA audience, instead clearly drawing more on experience earned from working on My Lands: Black Gem Hunting. Class skill sets show even less understanding of the average MOBA. The team says they’re in Early Access to take customer concerns into account on their “already finished” game. There is little chance that major changes will occur, but perhaps there is still hope.
Golden Rush Videos
Golden Rush System Requirements
Operating System: Windows XP / Mac OS X 10.7 / Linux
CPU: Intel Celeron E3200 / Athlon X2 6550
Video Card: GeForce GT 6800 / ATI X1800 / Intel HD Graphics 3000
RAM: 2 GB
Hard Disk Space: 200 MB
Golden Rush is Linux and Mac OS X compatible.
Golden Rush Music & Soundtrack
Golden Rush Additional Information
Developer(s): Forbes Consult Ltd.
Publisher(s): Elyland Investment Company Ltd.
Steam Early Access: September 23rd, 2015
Shut Down Date: September 27, 2018
Development History / Background:
Golden Rush is developed in Unity by the Russian company Forbes Consult Ltd. It is funded and published by Elyland Investment Company Ltd. These companies both worked on My Lands: Black Gem Hunting, along with Gravvit Ltd. Golden Rush takes place in the same universe as My Lands, sharing the Black Gems currency. It was launched into Early Access on September 23, 2015 as a finished game looking for community input.
Golden Rush shut down on September 27, 2018. The game's shut down wasn't surprising as the game's playerbase has been extremely low ever since it launched.