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Microcosms: SOE Strikes Gold - A Free Realms Review

Posted Tue, Jun 22, 2010 by Medawky

A huge paradigm shift occurred in the middle of the 2000’s that saw SOE go from crown prince of MMO gaming to the prince of darkness faster than you can say “new game experience. “ While the company’s reputation slowly dwindled and it became known as a repository for failed game titles a curious thing happened – the stoic behemoth took a risk on developing a browser based free-to-play game. Free Realms, a microtransaction game aimed at the young and the young at heart, has matured into a thriving hit for the company and has become a role model for introducing western gamers to ala carte gaming. But can a browser game for kids make the cut for grown up gamers? Join Ten Ton Hammers Jason “Medawky” Bolton this week as he reviews Free Realms to see how it holds up under the Microcosms microscope.

The heart of any game, and the question most often asked when I describe a game to my friends is “so what’s the game play like?” In Free Realms the answer is a little more complicated than it is in most traditional MMOGs, because here you can truly be whatever you want to be. Crafting, cooking, pet collecting and fishing aren’t add-on skills in Free Realms, they can define how you play the game as much as adventuring can. Players are never locked into one class or role; the world is wide open and you are free to explore any of the multitudes of jobs to your heart’s content. Most of the non-combat aspects of Free Realms are mini-game driven (think Bejeweled and other super addicting flash games instead of something droll and boring) which make the process of skilling up fun and entertaining instead of a chore.
On to this weeks Microcosms!

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