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Tuesday, May 3, 2016


It has been quite some time since I played a game in order to review it for this blog.  I still play free online games now and then, but much of my life has changed in the last few years.  So has the focus of my writing.

I now have two published books that can be found here and here.  I am also on Twitter and have a public page on Facebook.  As far as blogging, I post story ideas and thoughts to this blog every other Wednesday.

Thank you for reading what I have to say and I hope you enjoy my words for many years to come.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Pox Nora

Game: Pox Nora

Publisher: Sony Online Entertainment

Download or web based: Both, but download offers more graphic options. However management and arranging of runes is only done on the website.

What you get if you pay: Station Cash is bought and used to purchase expanded Rune packs, campaigns, tokens for upgrading Runes, and tickets into draft tournaments.

Review: Pox Nora is a war between factions over territory. Individual turn-based battles are fought over fields containing Nora Fonts that emit energies allowing the controller to summon larger champions and cast more spells. Campaigns can be waged in a single player mode or battles fought against other players.

“Runes” are collected and assembled into stacks of 30 to be used in combat. Beginner sets are acquired after completing a tutorial and series of battles to familiarize a player with each faction and their Champions, abilities, and play style. When assembling custom stacks all 30 runes can be from the same faction or a 15/15 split of two factions can be used.

On each turn runes are revealed from the players collection. These runes contain Heroes, spells, or equipment. With enough Nora it is possible to summon the Champions to the field, cast spells, or place equipment on a player's Champions.

Each Champion has its own amount of AP gained each turn. AP is used to move around the field, use abilities, and perform basic attacks. Most abilities and attacks increase in AP cost if used more than once in the same turn. Any AP left at the end of the turn are rolled over and added to any gained the start of the next turn, up to a maximum that varies from Champion to Champion.

Spells vary from simply damaging an opponent's Champions to changing the terrain itself. Most spells can only be cast within a player's “area of influence.” This area can include targets within a certain distance of owned Champions. Some factions also have helpful spells, from resurrecting a Champion after he falls to teleporting a Champion out of a troublesome spot.

Victory in battle is accomplished by gaining control over all the Nora Fonts and defeating all the enemy's Champions or destroying the opposing Shrine.

Multi-player formats include one-on-one combat or tournaments. Some formats effect the overall influence one faction has over the others.

Rating: 8/10 The variety of Runes allows for a variety of play styles. While the animations of Champions are limited the visuals of spell effects are varied. Ten minute time limit per turn allows for considering and action while still having a deadline to get things done. Between solo campaigns and player tournaments the play options are nearly endless.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Dungeons & Dragons Online

Game: Dungeons & Dragons Online

Publisher: Turbine, Wizards of The Coast

Download or web based: Download

What you get if you pay: Turbine points used to buy various potions, access to special quests and areas, or extremely rare weapons and armor. A monthly fee can also be paid for VIP status that allows access to the special quests and areas as well.

Review: Based on the mechanics and world of the classic “paper and dice” game this virtual version keeps the heart of the original while expanding into a broader media and player base.

Utilizing the Eberron world of play there are many towns and fields to explore. Additional towns and fields are added with expansions. While some are free others need to be purchased or accessed with VIP status.

Using the varied species, abilities, and weapons contained in Edition 3.5 of the Dungeons & Dragons world there are many customizing options available. Having equipment sets on hot keys also allows a player to adjust their armor or weapons on the fly for various combat situations. Whether fighting zombie elves in a lightning trap filled sewer or kobolds in the deepest catacombs a player can switch with the press of a button.

Many quests and dungeons require a party to complete. If enough other players can't be easily found mercenaries can be hired and summoned inside the dungeon for backup. They can be used to fill out and assist a small party as well.

A considerable encyclopedia is on hand for players not familiar with the D&D world. Joining a guild is also helpful to those confused by the mechanics of damage dealt by weapons or effectiveness of armor.

Rating: 8/10 Great game play with open fields as an option for those wanting to take a break from running simple quests. Being able to repeat quests with increasing difficulty is a plus for those that like the dungeons.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wizard 101

Game: Wizard 101

Publisher: Kings Isle

Download or web based: Download

What you get if you pay: Crowns are used to purchase enhanced items and pets and unlock additional areas and cities.

Review: In Wizard 101 a student wizard is embarking their first trip to school while undertaking the quest of stopping an evil wizard from taking over the worlds. Many worlds make up the Spiral universe than houses Wizard 101. They are accessed via the Wisdom Tree, .

Each basic element has it's own class and with it spells that can be learned. Equipment worn is also dependent on which element a character is.

After taking a short quiz or manually selecting an elemental class to join a player is introduced to and sent on a few introductory quests to meet the other professors and find out how the school runs. As quests are completed experienced is gained and levels are increased, allowing for more powerful “spells” to be learned from the chosen school. Spells utilizing other elements can be learned from the other schools by spending Training Points awarded for completing specific quests.

Combat can be loosely described as “card-based.” A player's collection of spells can be equipped into a deck whose size is limited by the exact deck equipped. Deck customization can be done at any time not in battle. Early on decks are limited to a small number of spells and only 3 copies of each spell are allowed. Later decks allow for larger numbers of spells and more copies to be placed in them.

During a battle a player is given 7 of their equipped spells to choose from. After selecting a spell and target each participant in the battle takes their own turn casting. Damage done to foes is dependent on the strength of the spell, its element, and the element of the targeted enemy. More powerful spells require Points that are gained once per round. These spells have longer animations and do more damage.

Damage from battles is healed by walking into red “sprites” that float around the various combat areas or automatically regenerated in the central areas of cities. Used Mana Points are recharged by walking into the blue “sprites” that also float in the combat areas. Mana Points do not automatically recharge but can be refilled by playing one of 8 mini-games themed in the Wizard 101 world. Potion bottles can be obtained from certain quests. These bottles instantly recharge Hit and Mana Points and can also be refilled from playing mini-games.

Each character is assigned a dorm room that can be used to store unused equipment and decorated with items won in battles or rewarded in quests. After reaching a certain level a house can be purchased and used to store more decorations. Houses come with a yard area that can be improved with trees, statues, and mock-ups of other buildings.

Rating: 3/10 Game play is great and combat varies from battle to battle enough to keep from getting monotonous. Animations from spell casting vary from exciting to funny. Areas and cities are beautiful (or spooky) enough to swallow a player into the environment. Low rating is based strictly on free aspect. Teasing players with the experience then requiring one to purchase Crowns to unlock additional areas to complete quests and advance the storyline is very frustrating. Without taking in to consideration the quick need to unlock areas this game is a definite 9/10.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Bite Fight

Game: Bite Fight

Publisher: Gameforge

Download or web based: Web

What you get if you pay: Hellstones can be purchased and redeemed for higher class weapons, “Shadow-Lord” status (extra gold, increase in allowed hunting time, and other benefits), and a chance to switch sides.

Review: Bite Fight is an age old battle between vampires and werewolves. However nobody sparkles in this text based game. One can enter the game as a newly bitten vampire or werewolf. It is possible to be “bitten” by an existing player, gaining a small bonus for the older player.

Quests are obtained by visiting the tavern. While quests do require exploration the areas available are around the small village the game is based in. After taking 10 minutes to “explore the area,” during which a battle may or may not occur, the quest goal is reached and a small conversation is read.

Gold is rewarded for going on manhunts, attacking members of the other “side” or working in the graveyard. Manhunts cost 10 gold, but can be done at 10 minute intervals for up to 2 hours a day. Rewards vary greatly and a battle can sometimes occur giving a small additional reward or an end to the day's activities. Attacking werewolves (or vampires) can also garner gold as well as experience points. Just beware of revenge attacks from offended players. Graveyard work is done in 1 hour intervals and earns a set amount of gold per hour depending on level.

A personal hideout is available for limited customization. Various aspects are upgradeable for a price, each upgrade being a larger or gloomier visual image of the entire hideout. Upgrading also gives extra protection from foes and an increase in inventory space.

Rating: 4/10 Okay as a distraction but a lack of content and the constant wait to get anything done detracts from any possible story.

Side Note This is one of many games available at, all accessible with one account.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Earth Eternal

Game: Earth Eternal

Publisher: Sparkplayer

Download or web based: Web based but a small download is required.

What you get if you pay: Credits which can be used for various items including potions for faster running speed, experience boosts and other features.

Review: Earth Eternal isn't your average RPG. While all the characters are humanoid, there are no humans. Or dwarfs, or elves, or aliens for that matter. Characters from Earth Eternal come from the wide palate of the animal kingdom. Lizards and felines and bears (oh my!) are available for players' characters alongside mechanical Clockworks and mythic Cyclops and Daemons. While options to modify each species is very limited the variety of starting animals allows for a degree of personalization.

Quests start off with a couple basic seek-and-destroy or find-the-NPC types in the starting village. Wandering further is easy on the main roads with many foes close enough to the paths to make for easy attacks without many worries about random attacks.

Battle is a simple click-to-attack system. Special attacks and abilities are accessed with programmable hot keys. Enemies vary from walking plants to over sized butterflies. Even a few wandering crabs are sprinkled in for variety.

Rating: 5/10 With the exception of the anthropomorphic animalistic characters there is nothing unique about EE.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Shot Online

Game: Shot Online International

Publisher: Games Campus

Download or web based: Download

What you get if you pay: Campus credits are bought and used for items to boost strength, shot accuracy, and other skills as well as increasing experience gain. Clothes that have more than cosmetic effects are purchasable as well.

Review: Shot Online is a golf game. After a brief tutorial a beginner course can be played. Quests can be accepted to finish the course or completing single holes under given scores. As rounds are played and quests completed experience is gained that opens other courses.

As experience is gained character levels are increased. With each level up points are given that can be used to raise the various skills needed for a successful round of golf. Skills such as strength, which hits the ball further, and impact, which allows for more accurate hitting of the ball.

Courses can be played solo or against other players. When starting a round the number of players can be limited and passwords set to block out unwanted intruders. This allows for friendly games between known players or a wide open match anyone can join.

Rating: 5/10 A decent game visually with simple user interface. Character customization is easy with various outfits available at shops on the main street. Great play for golf enthusiasts, not so much for football fans.