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MMObility: The Chromebook 'All-In-One' project: More games


This will be my last week using the new Chromebook Pixel, at least here on Massively. I will continue to look at its techier side of things on my personal blog, just as I did with the original Chromebook All-In-One project. The shorter time frame for this series can be explained by the fact that Chromebooks do admittedly cut out a lot of the browser-based MMOs out there by not allowing the usage of Unity or other plugins. Flash is allowed, but Adobe and other companies' recent disapproval of the use of Flash for mobile platforms came with a reason: It's often hard to run. Once HTML5 becomes more standard thanks to publishers like Jagex, I'll be able to comment more on that. It's also important to note that the Pixel is really just a nicer Samsung model, so you can refer to the older posts as well.

I want to encourage everyone who is interested in Chromebooks to check out the Samsung ARM-based Chromebook I talked about last time. It's very inexpensive and quite literally does everything that the Pixel does, albeit on a much smaller screen that is attached to a weaker device that has a much lower build quality. Still, my time with the Pixel has amazed me with a wonderful, touchable screen, but the Pixel has also convinced me that the Samsung should be the flagship device for Chromebook, hopefully kept at the same price range while slowly improving in quality.

Now, let's talk about the games. I found a few that run much better on the Pixel's beefier stats, but please refer to my Samsung coverage for 30 MMOs that run on both machines. The following list is especially good for touchscreens.

Doctor Who: Worlds in Time screenshot
Doctor Who: Worlds in Time is a unique twist on the puzzle-MMO genre. Made by Three Rings, the same studio that brought us Spiral Knights and Puzzle Pirates, it's a fun romp through many different worlds. Last time I looked at it I found it to be repeatable because you literally play through many of the same puzzles, but it appears that more puzzles and adventures have been added since then. Also, the touchscreen is fun with the game and works well. The game runs on the smaller Samsung but lags much more. The much, much sharper Pixel screen makes the game look much better than it does on the Samsung. Then again, the Pixel's amazing screen makes the entire web look much nicer.

Dungeon Overlord screenshot
Dungeon Overlord is just a fun take on the MMORTS genre. I love the art style and the surprising gameplay. At first it might seem a bit shallow, but once you realize that you can attack others and invade dungeons as well as have an effect on a persistent world, the game really opens up. It's fun to interact with the game through touch, and everything runs smoothly. And of course, it looks amazing on the Pixel screen. Gameplay is pretty intense; you are in control of your own dungeon and must outfit it with traps and worker-monsters, so much of my time is filled by keeping everybody happy and ready for fighting.

Game of Thrones Ascent screenshot
Game of Thrones Ascent is perfectly touchable and is a fantastic pseudo-MMO. I've enjoyed its casual nature that also allows for marathon sessions. It's the perfect game to keep open in a second tab while working, but the writing and character development are top-notch and will pull your attention. I'm so glad to see the game become such an overnight sensation because of its connection to the popular TV show and books, but the gameplay is responsible for keeping players around. You build up your own town and can play as a sneaky cutthroat or political genius. Be careful because your neighbor might just want to marry his daughter to your son, and we all know what happens when you refuse!

Habbo Hotel screenshot
Habbo Hotel is a silly game. We all know this. It's had its share of controversy, as well, but I find the game -- er, world -- fascinating. I absolutely adore the graphics and design. You literally exist inside a giant hotel and can decorate your own rooms, invite people over, and explore your way through the hotel. You can play games or spend time shopping. It's not nearly as open as a world like Second Life, but I like the fact that it's not trying to be. It's a contained experience -- it's supposed to be inside a hotel, after all -- and that gives the whole thing a sort of connectivity and neighborly feel. It's definitely what many would consider a "game for kids," but I see it as a weird work of art and an experiment with the new gamer youth.

Warmage Battlegrounds screenshot
Warmage Battlegrounds is a pseudo-MMO that is perfect for the Chromebook. Both models work well with the turn-based game, but being able to touch the screen to move units around the play area is a singular joy. If you're a fan of tabletop gaming and unit-based strategy, you will probably like this one. You'll control only five units at a time, but the battlegrounds are left small enough to make immediate combat strategy a necessity. You can buy units, spells, and other items of "power" in the cash shop, but you can also earn them through gameplay. There's even a loaner system that hands out free units for day-long trials, and the devs switch out the units often. It's a great indie game that does not get enough attention.

Grepolis screenshot
Grepolis has been receiving a ton of updates lately, both to tools for community involvement and to the game itself. The newly added sounds and quests give the game a much more epic feeling, and now the game is not just about defeating other players. I especially like the unique setting and the fact that every player starts off on an island with other players. You have to make friends or fight, but I have found the community to be friendly and inviting. I go slower than most but check in every day and still seem to survive. Grepolis is massively popular and you can see why; it's a unique take on the MMORTS genre and is backed by a company that wants to push the game further and further.

Overall, the Pixel is an amazing Chromebook. It's a wonderful device, period, but at its price range there is plenty of room to buy all sorts of devices. Either you understand the appeal of an internet-only device (consider your phone) or you think it is useless. The truth is that the Chromebook represents exactly what this series is about: an all-in-one device that requires almost literally no upkeep and concentrates on "computing, not computers."

Still, the Pixel is really just a very, very nice version of the Samsung, and the Samsung is a fraction of the cost. The Pixel is the sports car of the Chromebook world, but the Samsung is the workhorse and the well-made everyday vehicle. Now that I have had access to Google devices over 3G and 4G, I really want a 3G version of the Samsung Chromebook. Both machines are fantastic, and both, as I have shown, are capable gaming machines of a certain type. Don't worry, bulky PC fanatics; I do not mean to somehow insult your belief in hardware. Instead, I am asking what these interesting new devices and operating systems are able to do.

It turns out they can do a lot, including play MMOs. Be sure to bookmark my All-In-One-project series for a reference to games to play. I've given you over 30 different titles that will work on any Chromebook!

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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