It's time for another installment of my month-long look at the Samsung Chromebook, the newest in the line of all-in-one devices brought to us by Google. Everything has worked pretty well so far, but the light notebook does have its issues. I'm so used to using my Google Nexus 7 tablet for reading emails and now reading articles and magazines that I am having a hard time without the pinch-to-zoom. I love the instant zooming; it's much easier when I am reading or surfing the net. (Wait, do we still say "surfing the net"?) In fact, the main issue with the Samsung Chromebook is its size. I have to hit ctrl-+ to zoom in pages often.
Other than the smaller fonts, few other issues have cropped up -- I've found gaming has been really fun on this little guy. I've noticed that everyone who reads of gaming on the device is sort of perplexed. Why would I want to game on such a non-gaming machine? It's simple, really. As the title says, this is another attempt of mine to find the perfect device for doing all that I do using only the browser: writing, gaming, gaming, writing, watching videos, writing, and playing games.
This week, I have 10 "standard" MMOs for you. These are games that act more like a common, client-based MMOs than the MMORTS titles I covered last week, but with some exceptions. The desktop browser can handle amazing, 3-D graphics, but a Chromebook does not allow downloads like Unity or Java. Keep that in mind.
I've enjoyed Parallel Kingdom, a location-based MMO, for quite a while, and the updates keep coming. Don't let its simple graphics fool you; there's a lot of adventure to be found in this game. It's a pretty tough sandbox for those who love an open world, city-building, and competing and working with other players.
Travian is an MMORTS by Travian Games, and Travians is set within the world of Travian. Clear? You play as a single member of the greater Travian society and spend your time socializing, doing jobs, and exploring other players' creations. It's sort of a weird game but is quite a bit of fun once you figure out how to live.
Sagramore is an HTML5-based MMO that offers charming graphics, a tiny development team, and the chance to get in on the ground floor as an indie MMO hopefully grows into something great. The game is an open-world adventure with charming music as well. This one will be well worth the wait. There are a few performance issues in some areas of the world, but I've noticed the development team has been working on that. Make an account now, but keep in mind that it is in development.
I'm not so sure that a child should ever be left alone with the internet, but I'd feel better about it if the child were playing Club Penguin. This long-running MMO offers a lot of different activities and possibly the most adorable dance emotes in gaming today. It's based in Flash, but I've had no issues playing it on the Chromebook even when surrounded by many other players.
I recently coveredHabbo Hotel and was surprised at how much fun I had while playing it. Sure, the fonts are a bit too small, and there are a few graphical glitches while playing the game, but overall, I liked the fact that the social nature of the game left plenty of things to do. Building your own place is really fun, and although prices in the cash-shop can be a little high, the items go far.
The Pride of Taern is a very interesting title with some cool combat. I really like the graphics and much of the sound design. The only issue I have with this title is that there is not much information coming into the community. Hopefully the world will continue to gain players because the old-school graphics and interesting combat make it worth creating an account.
Sure, you can auto-move and attack your way through Serenia Fantasy, an adorable isometric MMO, but I find myself exploring and enjoying the details without being prompted. There seems to be plenty of players and activity going on, so you'll find plenty to do while relaxing on the couch. Be aware that signing up allows you to try out almost all of the titles offered by the publisher, but this one is the best by far.
I went through a phase when I was convinced that the design behind Dragon Eternity was possibly the best out there. While the mechanics involved in the game are wonderful, their implementation is a bit... off. This game can become a bit boring unless joining up with friends or grinding toward maximum glory. Still, it's a great chance to try out gameplay that is a lot like a MUD and an old-fashioned RPG, all wrapped up in some beautiful art.
War of Dragons (also known as Legend: Legacy of the Dragons; don't ask me why) is much like Dragon Eternity in the way it plays and feels. I have to say that, in a competition, I would prefer to play this one. It's just a bit more loose and offers more ways to play. The cash shop is crazy with a capital $, but it does show just how creative a developer can be when needing to make cash. You can even purchase animated art of your avatar, and it's beautiful stuff.
If you like socializing, virtual and magical gardens, and dragons, you might like Miramagia. I like the fact that if I miss several days and forget to log in, nothing bad happens to my character or my garden. It is beneficial to log in frequently to get the most of of crops, but don't worry if you aren't at the top of the player charts.
Keep in mind that these selections are based on my opinion and on the way they play on my Samsung Chromebook, the series 3 Arm-based model. Standard MMOs that also perform well on this particular Chromebook are much harder to find than other styles of game, obviously. I also tried to show off a few MUDs that run in the browser, but so few of them offer a decent experience in the browser that it hasn't been worth it. There are a lot of other browser-based MMOs, MMORTS titles, and other games, so feel free to list any of your favorites in the comments!
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.