Five MMOs that are still not Pocket Legends
Back in February, I talked about five different MMOs that were not Pocket Legends
. The intent was to point potential players to some new titles and to show that mobile titles had been around for a while and came from all over the world. Yslandia
looks to be still barely hanging in there but does now have a version for PC, Android, and iOS. World of Magic
, Empire Online
and Seven Swords
do not seem to have been updated much at all since that first news post. Graal Online
is still chugging along and adding content and is still worth a look!
Pocket Legends and Star Legends spread their wings
This was definitely Spacetime Studios
' year! Not only did it continue to see success with its flagship title, Pocket Legends
, but it launched a brand-new title called Star Legends
. While both games share many design elements, Star Legends
can definitely be seen as a step forward. Only a few weeks ago, both games were launched for the Chrome browser
, a move that showed just how serious Spacetime Studios is about pushing its games further into the world of "real MMOs." A recent patch
introduced a new campaign as well as a Winter Festival
Order and Chaos Online smashes expectations
, a publisher that is known for making mobile versions of more popular titles, decided this year to get into the mobile MMO market in a big way. It essentially cloned World of Warcraft
, included a cheap monthly subscription price, and made one million dollars on the title within 20 days
. Pretty impressive, even to those who might not enjoy the game. Later on, a Facebook version
of the game was added, and then an Android app appeared. Unfortunately, the different versions kept players separated on different servers. The game later suffered a hacking
but survived to continue to supply players with a mobile MMO that was very well made.
Shadow Cities sneaks its way in
Back in May, Shadow Cities finally launched
on the app store. The game asks players to walk around in the game world, literally, while drawing spell icons on the screens of their smartphones to move and fight. The game will warn you if you come across a player from the enemy faction, so it is up to you to "defend" your territory. I found the game confusing
but intriguing, and I silently wished that I lived in a major metropolis so that I could play with other players.
Fleck lands on the iPad
Real-world location-based gaming had quite a year in 2011. Not only did more devices become available, but built-in GPS and satellite technology has made a player's real-life location an integral part of many games. Fleck
, by Self Aware Games
, is a mix between Facebook, Google Maps, FarmVille,
and a zombie shooter.
NCsoft buys app studio
NCsoft, one of the worlds largest MMO studios, announced back in July
that it was purchasing the mobile developer Hotdog Studio
this was being done, no one seemed to know. It's possible that the developer is looking to expand functionality within its existing games (for example, Guild Wars 2 plans a mobile app
) or that it is developing a brand-new mobile MMO. Either way, players remain eager to find out.
HP TouchPad switcharoo
You might be familiar with HP, especially if you own a PC. The massive tech manufacturer launched its own tablet PC, the TouchPad
, but not long after decided to stop supporting and selling the devices. This led to a massive price drop and a quick grab effort on behalf of eBay sellers
everywhere. But what good is a device with no support? I looked into the issue
back in August.
A giant launch
popped into existence across browsers this year, prompting players to explore, craft and socialize within the imaginations of several giants. I fell in love with the game
and covered it extensively, so I was as shocked as anyone when the developer, Tiny Speck
, announced that it was going to be taking the game back to beta for an "unlaunching." I soon interviewed Stewart Butterfield
, head honcho over at Tiny Speck; he let me know that it was a situation that came about over concerns for quality, not because of lack of players or interest. Current players would see no real downtime and would even have any points or store credits they paid for doubled once a relaunch happened. The possibility of a character wipe was dismissed as "super unlikely" by the team.
OnLive turns on
OnLive, the seemingly magical service that streams video games directly to PCs and televisions, launched its app for mobile devices in early December. This meant that smartphone owners could watch saved clips from other players, access account information, and play games without having to worry about processing power. Does it work? It does, but I had to ask whether the service would be good for MMOs
Conquer Online comes to the iPad
is a pretty old MMO, but it is one of the few to actually make the leap from the PC to the iPad. How does it work? Well, I found it a bit boring and bland during a week of play
. Still, it played well enough and did shine some light on the iPad's ability to play a "real" MMO. Here's hoping more will make the leap!
What a year! I'm hoping that 2012 will be even bigger for mobile gaming. I'm even more curious as to how developers will tackle many of the design pitfalls that come with making games for tiny screens, and I'm eager to see whether game companies will take more chances than they might in the standard MMO world. Whatever happens, I'll be here to report on it.
Each week in MMObility, Beau Hindman dives into the murky waters of the most accessible and travel-friendly games around, including browser-based and smartphone MMOs. Join him as he investigates the best, worst, and most daring games to hit the smallest devices! Email him suggestions, or follow him on Twitter and Facebook.