Who: Developed and Published by perBlue
What: MMO, RPG, RTS and an AR (augmented reality)
Where: Hmm.. that’s a bit hard. Let’s just say; fantasy world and OUR WORLD!
When: Available now, for FREE on the app Store, and Android
Why: Because it is a very cool concept.
I picked this game up for my iPhone a few weeks ago and I didn’t know what to expect. I don’t know where I heard about it, I likely just found it doing a random search, but it deserves a bit more recognition than what it gets.
What makes this game great? Quite a few things, but the main piece is that the world you live in, is well the world you live in! To clarify things, this game runs on Google maps, and uses your GPS location, to plot you on the map. Depending on where you are in the real world, you will have access to different resources, monsters, and people. So if I log in at home, I find different things than I would logging in at work. Traveling in the game is made fun by making you piggy back on other characters that have been there before you. Players in the world of Parallel Kingdom (PK) can build flags, which determine their territory. Other players can also give you permission to “visit” your flag, which allows you to travel across the world. Check out who owns some of these large cities here about a quarter of the page down.
I haven’t quite figured out what the ultimate goal is, so I basically just run around collecting or ‘gathering’ (did you see what I did there?) resources by mining, chopping, killing, or just walking around picking stuff up off the ground that trees have killed. Yeah… some of the trees are very dangerous. I guess one of the best ways to advance your character is by killing other players. This may be why the game’s acronym is PK…? Advancement of characters isn’t done in the traditional ‘levels’ method, but by upgrading your weapon and armor.
Besides this it’s kinda fun to be able to chat with people in your ‘real world’ geographical location. It’s a great concept, and I hope they push it even further, but I feel it will come at a price. A price to the player.
- Gameplay: 9.5 – Very simple concepts based around something that could only be done on a GPS enabled device. It’s a perfect use of a unique capability.
- Visuals: 7.5 – The terrain is taken directly from Google maps, so… that’s a given, but the overlaying graphics are well done and easily distinguishable. They could really benefit from more than 2 different avatar graphics. Hell they have several different colored flags.
- Sound: N/A – It does however vibrate when you are in the middle of a battle so depending on the surface you set you phone on it could make some pretty cool sounds! A boar once sounded like my dog.
- Presentation: 9.0 – Feedback while performing an action is clear, and the menus are easy to navigate. Things are where you would expect them.
- Augmented Reality: 9.0 – The integration of your real world GPS location into a MMORPG is a great concept. Someone just needs to find a way to make an easily mobile device that has an amazing graphics processor. I guess we just have to wait until cell phones get more powerful before we get complete immersion. Except this would even further enable the idiots on the freeway to stare at their phone while driving their one ton object at 80 mph.
- Overall: 8.75 – If you have an iPhone, iPod Touch, or Android device this game is definitely worth the look. It’s free, and it will truly intrigue you. If you don’t enjoy MMORPGs you will still enjoy logging on while running errands, or visiting family and friends just to see what they have in your area. You could even use this game to help you if you get lost!