I thought it'd be fun to make a list of go-anywhere MMOs this week. It's not really hard to find portable MMOs that run on laptops or netbooks. The real issue is locating MMOs that can be played on your desktop while you're at work (while the boss isn't looking, of course!), then on your phone at lunch, and then on your laptop while you sit in bed later that night.
The technology to make constantly accessible MMOs is there, namely in the form of HTML5. Adobe recently announced that not only is it moving away from Flash for mobile devices, but it is also specifically targeting Android Jelly Bean
. There is a new wave of web technologies coming that will hopefully, once and for all, put an end to the need for special lists like this one. Not all of my choices are HTML5-based, but I tried to keep all of them open for all devices. If you notice any oddities while playing them on a certain device, let me know in the comments section so I can note it. I get a lot of requests for lists like this, so I want to keep things tight.
In the meanwhile, enjoy the list. There are others out there, but I wanted to pick out some that give pretty much the same result across whichever device you use.
This is the most advanced HTML5 game on this list. If you like MMORTS titles (and obviously I do!), then this one will provide a lot of fun. It's an open sandbox with FFA PvP, but don't let that scare you. The fact that anyone can attack anyone else makes the game quite peaceful if you want it to be (or continually bloody if you'd rather have that). Just be warned: Every action has a reaction in this MMO!
This browser-based game just recently launched a non-conquer server called Hyperborea
. The great thing about that is now players can concentrate on trade and building an empire based on profit without worrying that another player might literally take over their cities.
Browser Quest -
Really, this MMO is only a tech demo that was released from the fine folks at Mozilla
. Even then, it's very interesting to keep up with the project and to play through all of the stages of the game. The nice part about this one is that it shows just how well an MMO can work in HTML5. Well, it will have better graphics eventually, but it's still a cool game to check out.
Domain of Heroes -
This is a neat, semi-graphical MUD that plays right in your browser. While I have had to wait to really get into the game until there is an option to change the background and font colors, it features very cool "casually hardcore" gameplay. If you accept a quest, for example, you might get sent to hunt someone down. Once you do, combat can be conducted even while you're AFK, but don't let that fool you into thinking there is no challenge.
I told you I was fond of MMORTS titles! The truth is that the city-building genre might just be easier to develop within the confines of the browser, at least for now. Travian
is a classic, one that every MMORTS fan probably cut her teeth on. I love the art style, as well. Travian Games
also makes many other browser-based games, but not all run on every device because of their use of Flash.
This game claims to have a massive playerbase, but I haven't gotten to know them all yet. I do like the few animations and seemingly complex gameplay, though, and I love the fact that it's the same experience I get across every device. If you enjoy conquering space, try this classic.
Parallel Kingdom -
This location-based game has been a favorite of mine
for a long time. Be aware, however, that if you play from your mobile device, you will be on a different server than those playing from a browser. Luckily, most mobile devices offer either the app version or a good browser, so the choice is yours. I love going out to eat or to a movie, opening up this app, finding my location and conquering a new area. It works well, and the browser version features some cool music. Developers Perblue
also have Parallel Mafia
out now and a more action-based Parallel Zombies
coming out soon!
Remanum - I covered this
economy-based game a while back, and I really enjoyed the unique gameplay. At first I had no idea where I was in the game world, but then it slowly dawned on me that I was part of a larger group and we all were working together to conquer other areas of the world through financial means. It might sound boring, but it's actually quite clever, and the art keeps everything light. You can trade, barter and ship goods while growing your city. I barely touched on the complexity of the game when I first played it, so now's a good time for me to return.
Might and Magic: Heroes Kingdoms -
This MMORTS was one of the first games to really suck me into the genre. The art is nice, and the game is pretty tough to conquer in, but it's an enjoyable way to get destroyed. High-fantasy battles and a selection of cool races? Yep, it has all of that.
Truly, I could have named any number of MUDs in this slot. I wanted to point out this one for a number of reasons. First, it's a very interesting MUD that comes from a developer that seems to be a little more tech- and social-savvy then others, and second, it's one of the few MUDs I have found that actually offers an HTML5 client. That means it can load on any device with a browser, which is fantastic. Now, if they would only fix that broken "forgotten password" link...
This one might look like an adorable waste of time, but there's a lot of fun to be had in it. You can not only find your real-life location and build a house there but also travel around the world and level up as you fight zombies. Yes, zombies
Pocket, Star and Dark Legends -
Ah, the classics. Spacetime Studios
has, for a couple of years now, been producing some really fun and different MMOs for all the devices in our lives. I love the fact that I can jump into one in my browser and later pick it up on my phone and have the exact
same experience. In fact, I think these titles do a bit better on the phone than in a browser, but that's a personal choice. They also run on my lightweight netbook just fine, and the cash-shop offers plenty of cool items to blow money on.
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.