After a long break, I am back with another review. Today I will have a closer look at Realm of the Mad God, a MMO hack and slash with retro style audiovisuals.
Realm of the Mad God was developed by indie studio – Wild Shadows and it was released as a browser game in flash. However, since about one month, it is available on Steam as well. The Steam version provides access to Steam achievements if you care about such things—some of the trophies are very easy to get (like for example unlocking a new class), but there is plenty of accomplishments that require dedication or simply luck. The Steam port is not, however, bug free as you can sometimes encounter input lag that doesn’t occur in the browser version. The developers have promised to fix it, but they haven’t thus far.
I’m writing about achievements and input lag, but you still have no idea what this game is all about. Basically it is a 2D hack and slash game. In this randomly generated world danger lurks around every corner. And I mean literately. At higher levels, the game gets frustratingly hard—you have to be really quick and agile to dodge all incoming attacks. And if you fail at it, you die and resurrection in Realm of the Mad God is nonexistent. Think about it like Diablo on permanent hardcore mode. I find this aspect fun and really appealing. In a time where every major game developer is lowering the skill cap in their products, punishing players for every single mistake is refreshing and brings about a pleasing nostalgic feeling. But even if you die, you should not be worried as it’s a perfect opportunity to create another character.
Thus far there are 13 classes in Realm of the Mad God and every one of them has a single ability that distinguishes them from the others. Though you do start your adventure with just the wizard class unlocked. In order to unlock some of the others you need to get your wizard to at least level 5. However more advanced classes aren’t that easy to obtain. For example to unlock the necromancer you have to advance both the priest and wizard to level 20, which is the level cap in this game. Now, you might be thinking that unlocking new characters is everything you can do, but it is not.
Through the game you earn Fame Points, which you can collect by defeating bosses, exploring the world and helping low level players rank up. There is even a weekly, monthly and all-time rating for competitive players—tracking characters that managed to obtain the highest fame point scores. This is the only form of competition as you can’t PvP in Realm of the Mad God. But since the game mechanism promotes cooperating with others there is no reason not to do it. Besides getting fame for helping others, you also obtain the same amount experience as you would killing mobs your own, or with 84 other people (85 is maximum number of players per realm). The fastest way to level is just to travel together in so called “trains” and steamroll through mobs, getting all the fat and juicy experience. A feature called teleport allows you to… hmm… teleport instantly to any other player within a world, so it is yet another element allowing you to enjoy playing with others.
Graphic and music are truly old school. If I had to compare it to some other game it would be Space Invaders. Is it a deliberate action to give Realm of the Mad God extremely retro stylization or plain laziness by developers? It’s not for me to judge, but while I don’t mind the graphics at all, during longer game sessions the music can get annoyingly repetitive (just as it did in old games). Fear not, as you can always turn it off and enjoy the songs from your favourite music player.
Realm of the Mad God is free to play game using a microtransaction system. You cannot buy power, only little things like additional character slots (as you start with just one) and bank slots.
I’ve had enormous fun playing this game for first time, and I am still getting some enjoyment out of it. Realm of the Mad God takes no space on your hard drive, cost nothing, gives you something to do while you are waiting for some of your friends to come online, or can be a good standalone product. I enjoyed the high skill cap when it comes to dodging the attacks of higher level bosses and the punishing difficulty level. What are you still doing here? Go ahead play it on http://www.realmofthemadgod.com/ or download it via your steam account. Just remember to visit Hydramist again, once you finish and share your thoughts in the comments below.
Here is a video review and a little bit of gameplay: