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style="font-weight: bold; color: rgb(255, 204, 51);">Top
Free-to-Play Games

of May 9 - May 15, 2010

1. Dungeons
and Dragons
Online: Eberron Unlimited

of Magic

href=""> style="text-decoration: underline;"> style="text-decoration: underline;"> href="" target="_blank"> style="text-decoration: underline;">3. href=""
target="_blank">Atlantica Online href="" target="_blank"> 

4.  href=""
target="_blank"> href="" target="_blank"> style="text-decoration: underline;"> href=""
target="_top"> href="" target="_blank"> style="text-decoration: underline;">FreeRealms

5.  target="_blank"> href=""
target="_blank">Aika href=""

6.  target="_blank"> href=""
target="_top"> href=""
target="_top"> href="" target="_blank"> style="text-decoration: underline;"> href=""> style="text-decoration: underline;">Mabinogi

 7.  href=""
target="_top"> href=""
target="_top"> href=""
target="_top"> href=""
target="_blank">Silkroad Online

8.  target="_top">Requiem: Bloodmayne

9. target="_top">Perfect
World International

10.  target="_blank">Sword of the New World href=""
target="_top"> href=""
target="_blank"> href="" target="_blank"> style="text-decoration: underline;"> href=""

style="text-decoration: underline;"> href="" target="_blank"> style="text-decoration: underline;"> href=""
target="_blank"> href="" target="_blank"> style="text-decoration: underline;"> href=""> style="text-decoration: underline;"> style="text-decoration: underline;"> href="" target="_blank"> style="text-decoration: underline;">

The news this week, at least for the
video game industry, was chock full of doom and gloom as sales for the
last quarter plummeted and left industry insiders scratching their
collective heads wondering what happened. Perhaps if they gave their
products away and charged for premium content on the back end they
would never be disappointed by initial sales figures. But hey, that’s
crazy talk, right?

Free-to-play games didn’t escape the week without a bit of controversy
as newly re-launched Alganon
again came under fire, this time for a href=""
target="_blank"> botched press release that
mirrored an earlier one from BioWare. It’s said there is no such thing
as bad press. I hope that proves true in this situation.

Our game review series returns to the column this week with a slightly
unorthodox game as its focal point. style="font-style: italic;">Pocket Legends
brings a MMOG to the App Store and takes multiplayer gaming portable,
and we are diving in head first in this week’s Microcosms – There’s an
App for That – A Pocket

I have to admit it folks, when the idea of reviewing an
iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch-based MMOG was pitched to me I was apprehensive
to say the least, but then the lightbulb went on and I quickly asked my
wonderful Editor-In-Chief if I could expense an iPad to play the game
on. I was given the counter offer of being able to keep my job if I
promised never to ask that question again. So, even though I couldn’t
score an iPad out of the deal, the game was definitely up my alley--it
was free on the App Store.

href=""> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 225px; height: 150px;"
alt="Pocket Legends"

Pocket Legends Main Menu

Installing Pocket
is an easy process and one that iDevice users
are bound to be familiar with. One touch of the screen brings up the
install button and with another press the game is en route to your
machine. As a new user you’ll need to set up an account, which is quick
and painless, and within a few minutes you should be logged in and
ready to create your character.

While the initial offering of the game is free-to-play, the game will
effectively end at level 12 if you chose not to purchase any of the
additional content packs, which run about $2.00 each to purchase with
four currently available. Also available for purchase are 
emote packs for a dollar, a talent re-spec for two dollars, various
amounts of in game gold or items for your character that are sold a la
carte or by bundles.



Oh, wait, one word reviews probably aren’t quite descriptive enough,
are they? Well, allow me to expand on it a bit further. What the game
lacks in traditional MMOG depth it more than makes up for in fun and
engaging dungeon play. More in the vein of style="font-style: italic;">Diablo than style="font-style: italic;">World of
Warcraft, to cite the most familiar games in the world, style="font-style: italic;">Pocket Legends
exists almost exclusively in the land of instanced dungeon runs which
you can choose to solo (via creating your own game and locking it with
a password) or by the more popular methods of joining a public game by
browsing through the queue system and choosing your favorite level or
by simply hitting the quick play button and being matched with an
existing group.

Now, while I just told you that you could play a single player game,
that by no means implies that you should play a single player game;
this is an MMOG, after all. And besides, you will die over and over and
over again if you try to solo; these games are meant to be played with
other people. In addition to increased survivability, there is another
advantage to party play – increased loot from the mobs. While the game
isn’t inherently friendly for the chatty-cathy types (more on that in
the UI section) the community itself is as friendly and sharing as I
have found anywhere.

href=""> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 225px; height: 150px;"
alt="Pocket Legends"

Leveling is quick and painless in Pocket Legends.

While the nature of MMOGs is generally one of repetition, it is even
more transparent here as Pocket
lacks most of the periphery
that distracts us in the form of crafting, gathering, guilds, pets or
player housing. With most games that would be a death knell, but here
it is hardly noticed as the speed and action of the game are more than
enough to keep you wrapped up in it for hours, and the real bonus here
is that every item I listed above, and a few others I didn’t, are
actually planned for future implementation in the game.

Leveling is paced nicely and a player can hit level 8 in about 30-45
minutes of continuous fighting with level 10 attainable at about double
that amount of time. Pocket
features three classes – Ranger,
Sorceress and Tank, each of which are linked to their animal avatar of
an Eagle, Cat and Bear respectively. There is a leveling curve but it
really peaks at around level 10 and stays relatively steady from there
on out. With each level gained your avatar will acquire attribute
points to increase their stats and at certain levels will gain new
skills to use in combat. Skills points are also awarded and can be used
to make your abilities more powerful, capping out at rank 5.

Pocket Legends
originally launched on the iPad, with the other device’s
versions coming after, and reports I have read about the iPad version
state that you can only load out 4 of your abilities at a time. This
wasn’t the case with the iPhone version I played, however, and I was
able to use all my available abilities provided they were off cooldown
and I had the mana to do so.


href=""> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 225px; height: 150px;"
alt="Pocket Legends"

The U.I is clean and intuitive.

It may seem odd to have a UI section for an iGame but the user
interface is perhaps the most critical piece of the overall experience
and what ultimately separates the wheat from the chaff. If you have
assumed from my overall praise for this title so far that the U.I. is
good, you would be correct. Well, technically you may be only mostly
correct because simply calling it good isn’t high enough praise; this
is a great interface for the type of game that it is. Character
movement is controlled via a virtual joystick in the bottom left of the
screen and the attack key is perfectly positioned on the opposing
bottom corner well within reach of the special abilities and the health
and mana potion “hotkeys.” Your character information is displayed in
the upper left hand corner in a familiar health and mana bar style with
your party frames attaching directly below them. Accessing character
and inventory screens is as easy as tapping your character readout, and
navigating through those screens is a breeze.

True to traditional iDevice functionality, players can spin the screen
by making a rotating motion on the open game space and can zoom in or
out by spreading or collapsing their fingers. The only clunky part of
the whole experience at this point is the chat feature. The keyboard is
small (at least on the non-iPad versions) and the gameplay so frantic
that by the time you type anything resembling a coherent sentence the
dungeon is either completed or the party you were attempting to
communicate with has left the game. There are some hotkeyed chat
buttons for the common greetings and whatnot that can be accessed
quickly, but for the most part any communication that takes place in
the game will happen in the small common area known as Towne.


href=""> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 225px; height: 150px;"
alt="Pocket Legends Item Shop"

Pocket Legends is one of the best values available

Pocket Legends
is only a month old, and like an old school MMOG it is
taking its time to work in new features and content, but even so the
overall value is excellent. For the most causal of players with no
desire to see their character advance past level 12 the included
dungeons are still infinitely replayable, and the ability to unlock the
level cap and see more content is only a couple dollars away. There are
more than enough item drops to keep a character viable through standard
killing progression that there is no true need to visit the item shop
to stay alive, but the gear inside the item shop adds flair and
respectable power to an avatar for a fairly small amount. In comparison
to a full fledged computer-based free-to-play, style="font-style: italic;">Pocket Legends is
absolute steal with a single investment of $15.00 being enough to
purchase all the current content, grab an emote pack, and throw in some
coin for good measure.

src=""> alt=""
src=""> alt=""
src=""> alt=""
src=""> alt=""

(4.5 / 5

Pocket Legends
comes in at a solid 4.5 Hammers in its overall rating
and that is saying a lot when you consider the fact that my 6’6” frame
and fairly large hands do not usually mix well with games for my
iPhone. Solid gameplay that will provide hours of good old fashioned
hack and slash fun, with the promise of more depth and added
functionality coming down the pipeline, makes style="font-style: italic;">Pocket Legends a
legend in its own time. Stay tuned to Ten Ton Hammer for all the latest
news and updates to this pioneer of portable potency, and until next
week, stay safe and keep it free. 

style="border: 0px solid ; width: 640px; height: 480px;"
alt="Pocket Legends">

style="font-style: italic; color: rgb(255, 204, 51);">Combat
is fast paced and fun in Pocket Legends

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016