By Danny "Ralsu" Gourley
style="font-weight: bold;">About This List
Please refer to the href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/Top10F2P">Top Ten
Free-to-Play Games Portal to find out how to get a game you
make or like on this list.
Week in Review
This week, I tested three free-to-play games for the first time: style="font-style: italic;">Dream of Mirror Online
(DOMO), Dungeon Runners,
sucked me in, and I played it the most. Because I tried so
many new games, I did not get to explore the online mall for style="font-style: italic;">Mabinogi or find
out if Fiesta
becomes too much of a grind in the mid-teens. I'll look into them both
more next week.
impressed me enough to crack the list in the #5 slot. The hundreds of
flooded our forums to get free DOMO gifts the last two weeks
were there for a reason. The game is fun. The graphics are a bit
cartoony--the enemies look like something a five year old might see on
Cartoon Network--but the game is pretty serious. It has some decent
depth, or so it seems. I have played around with adventuring to level
10 and taken alchemy to level 3. I have yet to explore the love system.
The classes seem interesting, and the game is designed to let you mix
and match the skills of different classes to suit your needs. I'll keep
playing this one.
I tried Dungeon Runners
at the behest of Crickette, the Community Manager for the game over at
NCSoft. Like a few of the top games on this list, it is immediately
playable. It feels like a finished game and runs smoothly (I was
getting roughly 40 FPS even with FRAPS running). style="font-style: italic;">Dungeon Runners
pokes fun at a few of the tired conventions of the genre, too. My
biggest concern with the game is the way it seems to try to force me to
stop playing for free and pay some money. Granted that the fee is only
$5 per month, this list is about free games. I will examine this one
more closely in the next week.
wasn't really on my radar, but I wanted to try a game with an edge
after logging so many hours in the cutesy world of DOMO. style="font-style: italic;">Shaiya is in beta
and feels like it. The translation is fairly weak in places as many
phrases are just fragments. The fragments there are enough to clearly
explain what is going on but absolutely crush any hope for immersion.
I hit level eight this week and will play more soon.
All three of the above games made their way onto the Top Ten list this
week because I believe I would rather play them than the three I
dropped off to make room for them: Age
of Armor, Pirates
of the Caribbean Online, and style="font-style: italic;">Wonderland Online.
Let's see if I still feel that way after another week of testing.
Coming up, I will be trying Exteel
and continuing my exploration of the three new games from this week.
I'll also take one more look at Mabinogi
Finally, Open Beta for NeoSteam
began this week. I'll be all over that.
Enough chatter. Here are my Top Ten Free-to-Play Games for this week!
May 22, 2008
- ( href="http://www.mythos.com/">www.mythos.com style="font-weight: bold;">) Flagship Studios,
lets me solo when
I have a small amount of time to play. That means a lot to me. And the
structure of the game feels episodic because each mission usually sends
me to a single dungeon. This helps players feel like they have
progressed if they can complete even just one quest.
target="_blank">www.wakfu.com style="font-weight: bold;">)
I need Wakfu
a great turn-based strategy game. This category of online game is very
thin, and Ankama has enough experience to get it right. The fundation
( href="http://fiesta.outspark.com/" target="_blank">http://fiesta.outspark.com style="font-weight: bold;">)
players have to
learn to ignore gold spammers in-game or mentally from an early level.
Man, they are aggressive in this game! The game itself is great fun so
I haven't quite mastered combat in Mabinogi.
I sometimes get caught in enemy combos and don't know if I can trust
auto-attack or not. It's weird to describe, but I'll work on it.
href="http://domo.aeriagames.com/">http://domo.aeriagames.com style="font-weight: bold;">) Aeria Games &
DOMO is typical of so many free-to-play games in that it has cutesy
graphics. It's different in that the translation is very good and the
quests attempt to weave in the lore of ancient China. The result is a
game that feels like it is complete and not just a bunch of marketable
parts thrown together.
- ( href="http://mwo.enjoymmo.com/" target="_blank">http://mwo.enjoymmo.com style="font-weight: bold;">)
I am big fan of stories and lore. That is exactly
style="font-style: italic;">Magic World Online
( href="http://warriorepic.com/">http://warriorepic.com style="font-weight: bold;">)
a mystery to the folks not in Closed Beta. It's time for Possibility
Space to ramp up the marketing on this one. If they think it is even
close to where they want it, they're gonna need people to have heard of
( href="http://www.neosteam.com/">www.neosteam.com style="font-weight: bold;">)
Open Beta for NeoSteam
began on 5/20/08. My Closed Beta Test experience was positive enough to
make me want to come back.
( target="_blank">http://www.dungeonrunners.com style="font-weight: bold;">) NCSoft
I only just started Dungeon
Runners, and I already love the quirky attitude the game
showcases. It seems solid and polished, but I found a major drawback in
my early play sessions: the game does everything in its power to remind
you that you are playing the free version and that you should really
upgrade to the paid version to fully enjoy the experience.
href="http://shaiya.aeriagames.com/">http://shaiya.aeriagames.com style="font-weight: bold;">) Aeria Games &
is an M-rated offering that needs some polish. The translation is not
quite right, and all the quests are kill quests. Through 8 character
levels, I have not seen anything really mature about the game--just
some splattering blood that doesn't look real. Still, the game uses
familiar elements and looks to have some engaging realm-vs.-realm
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