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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Secret Society Wars

Game: Secret Society Wars beta

Publisher: Secret Society Wars website

Download or web based: Web-based

What you get if you pay: Donations net you E-Peen that can be redeemed for unique items with various effects.

Review: The basic storyline if the game is a war between various “secret” societies in the far future. Completing various missions allows you to rise in the ranks of your own society. Items picked up after battle can be consumed or mixed to make other items. Mixing a bottle of rum, a can of coke, and a swizzle stick nets a rum and coke that can be drank at any time.

Drinking, sex, and other adult pleasures seem to be the main attraction of this game. However this is one game that can't be judged by its homepage. Enemies are largely hand drawn images or small pictures that aren't much better than the crude doodles. Battles are text based with little action. While attack options are interesting (attack, converse, sex0r, retreat), the results fall far short of anything worth the load time of the next page.

The major downside is the result of a group gaining supremacy and “winning” the war. Everyone is reset to zero. All items lost, all recipes forgotten, all equipment costume sets erased. Having spent a few weeks progressing through the storyline before the first reset I didn't find it worth my time to do it over again.

Rating: 2/10 Barely playable for users of any age.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Game: Atlantica

Publisher: NDOORS

Download or web based: Download required

What you get if you pay: You can purchase Gcoins which are redeemed for premium items and various licenses.

Review: Taking place in 14th Century Europe and Asia, Atlantica is a very good game. Well worth the 2.1 GB required download.

The battle system is turn based with a time limit for each turn. This means a player must pay attention during play but allows for other tasks to be completed at the same time. A player's main character is assisted in battle by a number of hired mercenaries that increases every 10 levels until the group totals 9 combatants. The variety of available mercenary types allows for many playing styles. Whether using two columns of marksmen firing their rifle or three rows of melee fighters swinging axes, swords, and spears any strategy can be tried and satisfied.

While some games merely discuss cooperation and assisting other players Atlantica actually rewards it. Sharing enemy information between players is rewarded with extra Stamina needed to fight more and more battles. Sending gifts to beginners nets experience points based on the value of the gift sent. Perhaps the best example of rewarding assistance is the Mentoring system. A player with a high enough crafting skill level can become a Mentor and share their knowledge with an Apprentice and get rewards of gold when the Apprentice reaches certain levels of their own.

The only downside is the NPC quest based tutorial system. The battle system is well explained when a player first logs on. However there are many other aspects of the game that are learned later. In some cases much, much later. Being level 28 it can annoying to come across a required storyline quest to learn a crafting skill that has nearly been mastered thanks to a Mentor. It seems to me that explaining Guilds, crafting and other social aspects of the game can be done in the first tutorial area before embarking on the quest to rediscover Atlantis.

Rating: 8/10 Enchanting gameplay, great help, with only a small amount of annoying back and forth running for quests.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Here's a sample of the format used for game reviews.

Game: The name of the game.

Publisher: Game publisher and/or site where game is hosted.

Download or Web Based: Wether the game requires a download or can be played from a browser.

What you get if you pay: While the games can be accessed and played for free there is usually some missions, bonus items, or extra content than can be bought.

Review: Notes and comments about the game. Sometimes good, sometimes bad.

Rating: A simple 1-10 number rating.

A Note about the blog

There is quite a variety of online games out there. Some require a download, others are browser based. I have recently been sorting through these games playing and sampling them. I intend to post a review of the games I have encountered to help those that might be looking for a certain way to lose themselves in the digital ether.

I'm not going to try games that have a short sample period but require payment to play afterwards. That's not a free game, just one that teases the new player with a free sample. I also won't review games from sites like MSN Zone and Funny-Games as these are simple games that are little more than a distraction for a short time.

If you have a suggestion for a game for review, feel free to let me know.