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Summertime Gaming – Free-to-Play Games

Posted Fri, Jun 26, 2009 by Savanja

Just as I promised in the Summertime Gaming - Oldies but Goodies feature, I am back with more great gaming recommendations for those long summer days.  You may be one of the many gamers waiting for the release of Champions Online, Aion, or Star Wars: The Old Republic but don’t just resign yourself to staring longingly at screenshots, you can still find something to play!

Free-to-Play

This week we are covering my picks for free-to-play games.  These are the easiest to get into because they often have little or no out-of-pocket expense and no long term commitment.   You can quickly pick them up for the summer and drop them guilt free if they aren’t for you!

Requiem: Bloodymare

As one of the few horror MMOGs on the market, Requiem targets a market that is often overlooked.  Mature gamers who enjoy a darker ambiance and a more edgy feel to their gaming experience are well suited to this particular niche but because it does cater to a rather small audience, Requiem often gets passed over for gentler games.  Being only a year old and continuing to retain a small and loyal playerbase, Requiem still makes for great gaming when you are in the mood for something just a little bit different.

Why play it?

The visuals in this game are nothing short of stunning.  The world is dark and mysterious, the characters show a lot of skin and are graphically beautiful, and the monsters are gruesome.   Gameplay is pretty typical of the genre but they do have a fabulous DNA system that allows for nice character customization.  Another fun feature is the nightmare creatures.  During the night time and in certain areas, group nightmare mobs spawn to terrorize the lands.  It adds another dimension to game play and a feeling of danger if you are out exploring at night!

How do I check it out?

Requiem is available as a free download with free basic gameplay by visiting their website.  In addition, they have premium subscription options that give a variety of bonuses and an item mall that allows players to purchase helpful items.

Fiesta

Now admittedly I have not spent a huge amount of time in Fiesta.  I do however have a teen daughter that is more than just a little nutty over this game so I jump in game occasionally to see what the appeal is.  What I have found is that Fiesta is very cute and a lot of fun, even for the most casual of players.  People are friendly in this game and Outspark does an amazing job of connecting with the players and planning events that get the community together.  They run contests quite frequently and give away tons of in-game items as well as the occasional real world goodies.

Fiesta is done is an adorable anime style that is very popular with Asian games and is gaining in popularity with North American players now as well.  Even the terrible monsters that you run around slaying are cute, almost too cute to kill…almost.

Why play it?

If you are anything like me, you only have so much time to dedicate to recreation.  Fiesta is easy to get into and relaxing to play.  You can chatter with the community, casually grind, or easily find a group and run through content.   It is free to download and free to play with a huge item mall to take advantage of so even the most casual players can compete if they so choose to.

How do I check it out?

If you are interested, just go on over to their website and download the game!  It’s not a very big download and you can spend the time waiting browsing the item mall and adding things to your wish list.

Free Realms

This is currently my favorite free-to-play game.  Having just been launched a couple of months ago, Free Realms is already seeing staggering success amongst the tween and teen crowd, but this game still holds appeal as well for gamers who are just young at heart!

Free Realms is pure fun.  You can log in and do just about anything from adventuring to crafting.  Not in the mood to do either of those things?  Well then just kick back with the mini-games!

Why play it?

There is nothing wrong with taking a break from more competitive gaming and stopping to smell the virtual roses every now and again.  The summer is the perfect time for a change of pace and Free Realms gives players that gaming fun without the demand of mainstream gaming.  Plus, if you happen to have kids that are out of school for the summer, then Free Realms is a great forum to get some time in together.  It’s our duty to train the next generation to be gamers!  It ends up being multi-tasking of the best kind.

How do I check it out?

You may visit the Free Realms website to get the download and to see your options.  You can either play the basic game for free or for a small monthly amount you can access premium content.  The free version of the game is plenty to get you started so if you don’t want to pay, then you don’t need to!

Dungeons and Dragons Online

While currently still in pay-to-play mode, Dungeons and Dragons Online will soon be releasing a new content patch, Eberron Unlimited, very soon which will mark the beginning of their free-to-play era for North American gamers.  DDO has had limited success as a pay-to-play game but to keep it alive and available to players, Turbine will allow for gamers to experience the basics of DDO without the burden of monthly costs.

Why play it?

Dude, it is Dungeons and Dragons!  The D&D IP holds nostalgic memories for many of us, whether you are a tabletop gamer or just a fan of the sword and sorcery genre, the name simply inspires us to take up sword and fight against monstrous creatures.

Aside from that, DDO itself has wonderful graphics, excellent lore, and engaging combat that adds an edge to gaming that you don’t often see these days.  Strategy is key in DDO so expect to find challenge and a call to do more and be more when you log in to play.

How do I check it out?

We will let you know the moment it goes free-to-play.  In the mean time, you can sign up for the DDO Unlimited beta which could get you an early peek at what they are doing with the game before the update goes live.

 

I hope we have inspired you to play something new this summer.  You never know if the game is for you until you try it!

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