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MMObility: More mobile news and new titles


Another week, another batch of news for the mobile set. The mobile market, especially for tablets and smartphones, can be slow with the news. It's not that there isn't anything coming in; it just doesn't flow like a geyser like, say, browser-based MMOs do. When it does pop up, though, it tends to be some really good stuff. The mobile market is still so young, but it is growing up fast. The tech is becoming cheaper, faster and easier to come by. It's to the point that when I see a new piece of exciting mobile technology or read an announcement about a new game that pushes all of the mobile platform's boundaries, I can only think of the next wave. It's a sickness.

This time I have some unusual up-and-comers and some that have not been released yet. Whatever you prefer, some of them will make your jaw drop. Click past the cut and let's get to it!

Parallel Kingdom screenshot
Parallel Kingdom's new browser version

If you have tried Parallel Kingdom before but thought that it was a bit tiring to stare at your tiny screen for that long, don't worry! PerBlue, the developer of the game, have ported it to the browser, and it does improve on how you interact with the title. In case you are not familiar with it, Parallel Kingdom overlays a virtual world on your real-life location. It is a world of dragons, gold, and crafting. While it's nothing fancy to look at and the controls are hardly more than clicking to move from place to place, there is quite a bit of depth involved in the game. It can actually be a cutthroat PvP game. The last time I was in the game, however, I had more neighbors and enemies than I knew what to do with. This time it was hard to find anyone near me. The chat was plenty busy, though, so either the browser version is a separate or new server or I just lucked out with a brand-new, untouched neighborhood! Now might be a great time to check it out if you haven't already.

Kingdom Conquest screenshot
Kingdom Conquest is looking quite nice

OK, this game looks super duper cool (for lack of a better term). Essentially you have an MMORTS alongside a dungeon crawler, all running on your iPhone. Also, SEGA is involved, so the production quality is pretty high. You level up your city and try to defeat all of the Debris Towers during the limited-timed-server game. That means there will be a "winner" of this MMO, a mechanic that you might have seen before in other timed-server MMORTS titles. There is also a collectible card element to the game (as if you wouldn't have enough to do). The main "MMO" in this one comes from the RTS. You level up buildings to become stronger and interact with other players in a persistent world, but going into a dungeon only involves you and a handful of friends. Still, it looks cool, and it's free in the app store.

Vendetta Online screenshot
Vendetta Online for the Android

I finally got around to downloading the trial for this space-shooter MMO on my HTC Inspire phone. Honestly, I thought it would run like sludge and barely work (I thought it was made mainly for tablets), but in fact it worked very nicely. You take control of a spaceship in twitch-based combat and can upgrade your craft, fight NPCs, and of course participate in PvP. The controls are quite smooth, offering you the choice of using a joytick or literally tilting and twisting your phone or device to steer. I have not tried the joystick yet because I have been enjoying the tilt action so much. While the UI can become a little cramped because of the smaller screen, it works well and responds nicely. It's important to note that there are three player factions to choose from, offering more of a balance than you might find with a two-faction-only game. If you're not sure if you'd be able to control the ship or be of any use in battle, the game features very thorough guides and tutorials that do a great job of getting you used to how it plays. Why didn't I try this one a long time ago?

DaVinci Online screenshot
DaVinci Online: Crazy good-looking

Developer Bridea is working on the finishing touches of its Unreal Engine 3 MMOFPS DaVinci Online. So far it looks like something you would only find on a typical gaming PC. But the developer is hinting that it is working on bringing the game to those shiny, fancy Tegra 3 tablets. Now, just how massive this MMOFPS might be is still up in the air. It's possible that it is just a multiplayer game, but the graphics and tech behind it make it worthy of keeping an eye on. Games like this drive technology forward even if they aren't doing anything incredibly new or innovative with their gameplay. The worry seems to be that the device the game is being built for might be outclassed by the time the title is released. Unless you're in the market for a brand-new Tegra tablet, I wouldn't worry too much. If you like your shooters with a bit of steampunk, gothic art and massive guns, then keep an eye out for this one. While shooters are not my typical fancy, the tech behind this title looks to drive things forward. That means cheaper, faster devices for all of us in the long run. (Thanks to Droid Gamers for the story!)

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.

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