MMO on the Go

My wife gave me an iPod touch for Valentine’s Day.  I was so surprised I was speechless.  I don’t think I have ever received such a nice, unexpected gift.  She gave me an iPod case first, and my first idiotic thought was not that I would get an iPod touch next… it was “well this is weird, I guess it might work with my iPod shuffle.”  That’s how surprised I was.

After setting up TweetDeck and buying Wine Snob, my third thought was “how will this feed me my MMO hobby?”  I tried to look for an iPhone MMO through the App Store search, and I was bombarded with what appeared to be microtransactions for some Facebook game knockoff.  Searching through Google didn’t help much either. I was about to give up hope when KingsIsle posted a Facebook article on their new WizardBlox.

Before I get into the newly released WizardBlox, I want to discuss the other MMO mobile offerings. World of Warcraft has an Armory app and they have an Auction House app in the works.   Fallen Earth is taking their app a step beyond the Auction House and also allowing players to view surrounding areas, equip their characters, and set up crafting queues.  EVE Online also has an API which gives players the ability to develop a multitude of apps. Lord of the Rings Online also has an Armory-like app.  I’m sure there are more I missed, but WizardBlox takes the next step.

In WizardBlox players can play on their iPhones one of the minigames that can be played in the MMO to replenish potions and gain gold and items.  Unlike all the other supplemental apps to MMO playing, WizardBlox is the first that I am aware of that actually gives players the ability to do what we all do in MMOs: acquire things.  Let’s not kid ourselves on the core underlying mechanic of MMOs.  The bulk of all MMO gameplay is acquisition of things.

WizardBlox takes this next step of mobile MMO play because it lets players acquire things through gameplay (albeit not the core Wizard101 gameplay) while not playing Wizard101.  As a bonus the minigame, a familiar one whose generic name escapes me, is quite fun to play for a few minutes. And, it’s free!  The one downside, for me at least since I only have an iPod touch, is that I have to be connected to the internet when playing to receive goodies.

Playing an MMO is much closer to a hobby than the entertainment of other video games.  The hardcore (read: hobbyists) do a lot of MMO things when not playing the MMO.  Mobile MMO games which suppelement my favorite MMOs are an arena I hope developers have their eye on.  I hope WizardBlox does quite well for KingsIsle, and I hope they release more of their minigames.  As a priceless marketing tool, I know they’ve already won because I am itching to play Wizard101 some more.

–Ravious
trip away

16 thoughts on “MMO on the Go”

  1. As far as I know, there are no real MMOs in the app store. There are a good number of quality RPGs though. I just finished Undercroft, which was excellent.

  2. Thanks! I like Doodle Jump and Doodle Bomb, but yeah I need something more substantial. I will check it out. Any other app game suggestions are appreciated as well.

  3. Other app game suggestions…

    Zenonia is a pretty solid zelda-styled JRPG. Fairly interesting plot, feels well polished.

    Monkey Island. Not sure I need to justify that one.

    Hero of Sparta / Avatar / Assassins Creed are all basically the same hack and slash platformer game, but still very well made and good fun.

    Sandstorm is the best FPS I’ve come across. A CoD:MW style setting with all the usual gear and baddies. Controls work surprisingly well on a small touchscreen.

    MX Mayhem is a decent physics based dirt-bike game. There are only about 15 stages, but there’s a lot of replayability in trying to cut down your best times.

    I might add a few more later, when I get on my laptop and look through my full list of apps.

    1. Wine Snob is just a journal. It can help auto-enter things you have drunk… but it doesn’t help pick wines. But it has a lot of neat journal features.. almost like a database. Well it is a database… bah!

      If you have access to internet at the grocery store, I would suggest snooth.com rather than an app that finds wine ratings.

      1. (Looks like you caught my post as I edited it.)

        I picked up Wine Snob, definitely looks like it should be fun to play with. I’ll have a look at snooth too.

        Thanks!

  4. If you like Tycoon games, the company I work for released Kaloki Adventures on the iWhatever; it’s a port from the XBox/PC “Outpost Kaloki” game. (I worked on the art for it; shoehorning it into the iThingamajig was an interesting exercise; 3D is a resource hog.)

    I’ve heard Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor is really good.

    WizardBlox really is a great idea. It’s funny to me that W101 is pushing the boundaries more than the “big boys” in the field. To be sure, the game mechanics lend themselves well to this sort of miniapp, and Blizzard has the Armory on the thing, but this really is a great appendage to the “mother” MMO.

  5. Field Runners is a great game that I have spent countless hours with (tower defense), as is Defender Chronicles (interesting take on TD). Max Injury is a cute title, can’t go wrong with Paper Toss, and Chess Free is a great chess app.

  6. I woke up this morning thinking yet again about whther to buy an iPod touch. As I lay there pondering, as usual it was the lack of Flash on the iPod that made me decide against.

    I really want a device like the iTouch that will not just let me do all the useful stuff like book hotels and check weather conditins when I’m travelling, and show me videos and play me music, but on which I can play MMOs. If I could just play some of the excelent browser-based MMOs, like Earth Eternal or Faunasphere on a device like the iTouch, I’d never let it out of my hand.

    Apps to do stuff in games I then have to log on to a desktop or laptop to play, though, just isn’t attractive enough.

    If Apple are dead set against a true mobile device with Flash, isn’t there a huge gap in the market there for someone else to fill?

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