Top Ten Free-to-Play Games Week 5

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,
and Shaiya.
DOMO
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.



DOMO
impressed me enough to crack the list in the #5 slot. The hundreds of
people href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=27227">who
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.



Shaiya
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.



The List

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
and Fiesta.
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!


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style="text-align: center; width: 75px; background-color: rgb(114, 105, 62); font-weight: bold; color: white;">Rank style="text-align: center; width: 75px; background-color: rgb(114, 105, 62); font-weight: bold; color: white;">Previous style="text-align: center; width: 105px; background-color: rgb(114, 105, 62); font-weight: bold; color: white;"> style="width: 334px; background-color: rgb(114, 105, 62); font-weight: bold; color: white;">Game style="text-align: center; width: 75px; color: rgb(188, 188, 188);">

1

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2

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3

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4

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N/A

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6

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5

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8

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N/A

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N/A

colspan="4" rowspan="1"> style="color: white; font-weight: bold;">Top Ten
Free-to-Play Games

May 22, 2008

1

href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/30839"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 100px; height: 100px;" alt=""
src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/30839/preview">
style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;">Mythos
- ( href="http://www.mythos.com/">www.mythos.com style="font-weight: bold;">) Flagship Studios,
Inc.

  • href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/329">Mythos
    Portal

Mythos
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.

2

href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/30840"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 100px; height: 100px;" alt=""
src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/30840/preview">
style="font-weight: bold;">2. style="font-weight: bold;">Wakfu - ( style="font-weight: bold;" href="http://www.wakfu.com/"
target="_blank">www.wakfu.com style="font-weight: bold;">)
Ankama

  • href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/1017">Wakfu
    Portal

I need Wakfu
to be
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
is there.

3

href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/32065"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 100px; height: 100px;" alt=""
src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/32065/preview">
style="font-weight: bold;">Fiesta -
( href="http://fiesta.outspark.com/" target="_blank">http://fiesta.outspark.com style="font-weight: bold;">)
Outspark

  • href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/720">Fiesta
    Portal

Fiesta
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
far.

4

href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/31567"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 100px; height: 100px;" alt=""
src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/31567/preview">
style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;">Mabinogi - ( href="http://mabinogi.nexon.net/">http://mabinogi.nexon.net)
NEXON

  • href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/856">Mabonogi
    Portal

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.

5

href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/32333"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 100px; height: 100px;" alt=""
src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/32333/preview">
style="font-weight: bold;">Dream of Mirror Online - ( style="font-weight: bold;" target="_blank"
href="http://domo.aeriagames.com/">http://domo.aeriagames.com style="font-weight: bold;">) Aeria Games &
Entertainment

  • href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/997">DOMO
    Portal

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.

6

href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/30838"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 100px; height: 100px;" alt=""
src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/30838/preview">
style="font-weight: bold;">Magic World
Online
- ( href="http://mwo.enjoymmo.com/" target="_blank">http://mwo.enjoymmo.com style="font-weight: bold;">)
Goldcool Games

  • href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/983">Magic
    World Online Portal

I am big fan of stories and lore. That is exactly style="font-style: italic;">Magic World Online
delivers.

7

href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/30841"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 100px; height: 100px;" alt=""
src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/30841/preview">
style="font-weight: bold;">Warrior Epic -
( href="http://warriorepic.com/">http://warriorepic.com style="font-weight: bold;">)
Possibility Space

  • href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/691">Warrior
    Epic Portal

Warrior Epic
remains somewhat
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
it.

8

href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/30847"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 100px; height: 100px;" alt=""
src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/30847/preview">
style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;">NeoSteam -
( href="http://www.neosteam.com/">www.neosteam.com style="font-weight: bold;">)
Hanbitsoft

  • href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/963">NeoSteam
    Portal

Open Beta for NeoSteam
began on 5/20/08. My Closed Beta Test experience was positive enough to
make me want to come back.

9

href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/33602"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 100px; height: 100px;" alt=""
src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/33602/preview">
style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;">Dungeon Runners -
( target="_blank">http://www.dungeonrunners.com style="font-weight: bold;">) NCSoft

  • href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/110">Dungeon
    Runners Portal

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.

10

href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/33603"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 100px; height: 100px;" alt=""
src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/33603/preview">
style="font-weight: bold;">Shaiya - ( style="font-weight: bold;" target="_blank"
href="http://shaiya.aeriagames.com/">http://shaiya.aeriagames.com style="font-weight: bold;">) Aeria Games &
Entertainment

  • href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/1138">Shaiya
    Portal

Shaiya
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
action.



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    Free-to-Play Games Portal
  • Talk about this week's Top 10 href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=27806">in
    our forums

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