As you can see, this game has a lot separating it from the average MMO, not to mention the average browser MMO. You play as one of 13 different classes, and jump into the game dodging enemy bullets while spamming your own. Don't be afraid though. If you saw "bullet hell" and immediately thought of games such as Ikaruga, Touhou, or maybe even Gradius, you should know that Realm of the Mad God is actually very forgiving. To an extent.
As mentioned before, there are 13 different classes to choose from, however you only start off with 1. When you first play the game, you may only play the Wizard which is something of a "glass cannon" class, doing very high damage but having low defense. To unlock the rest of the classes, you must unlock them by reaching the max level (20) with a given class. Reaching 20 doesn't take too long (I'd estimate around 45 minutes), so a good play session should be easy to fit into your schedule.
|Now if I could just get more than a single star before dying...|
To keep you killing things for a purpose besides just unlocking classes, the game has an in-depth "Fame" system. After reaching level 20, you exp/level bar changes to orange and becomes a Fame bar. Fame is gained mostly by just killing things, but is gained faster by killing bosses. Fame is also gained after you die, in the form of bonuses gained from things you did while alive.
|You will... usually get more than one bonus...|
Fame can be exchanged for a few small trinkets, including a nice pendant, and also to start a guild. The main reason to acquire fame is to complete "Class Quests", in which you earn a certain amount of fame with a given class before dying, earning you stars. Gaining stars lets other players know how experienced you are.
Ease of Use: Great
Your inventory and equipment is composed of 12 slots at the bottom right corner of your screen, and everything in the inventory can be activated using keys 1-8. There aren't multiple menus to concern yourself with, just the battle field and, occasionally, the options screen. Stat points are given automatically when you level up, and there are no skill trees. Quests are given on the fly, in the form of a red box telling you to kill a specific monster on the field. Even dungeons are randomly dropped (yes, I said dropped) by monsters. Another nice feature is that the game let's you teleport to any player on the field instantly and freely. The game doesn't require much thinking to play. However, the game has a bit more depth than meets the eye.
The World: Fragile
When you begin the game, you're dropped in the Nexus. A place where you can buy cash items, store things in a vault, look around your guild hall, or just sit around and do nothing.
|Don't worry, you'll have company. The yellow dots are players.|
It's a safe zone that you can instantaneously teleport back to whenever you want. To begin playing the game, you must enter a world gate, in the northern area of the Nexus. All worlds are randomized in terms of layout, but gameplay is the same in all of them.
What's cool is that once enough gods have been killed in a given world, that world is destroyed and everyone who was in it is teleported to a large room to fight Oryx the Mad God. Oryx is the strongest boss in the game, meaning that unless you are sporting some very nice equipment and are good at the game, it's best to just go back to the Nexus instead of fighting him. After Oryx has destroyed that world, a new world is created and the cycle continues.
Partying: Encouraged but Not Required
This is the best way to have partying in a video game in my opinion. Some of the greater bosses and gods (such as the Pentaract and Sphinx) are very difficult, but not impossible, to kill your own. Multiple classes have abilities that buff or heal allies as well as themselves, and a lot of monsters tend to target certain players at a time instead of attacking everyone at once. To party up, you "lock" a player so that you can always see their name at the bottom right of the screen. The point of this is so you can always teleport to them. Other than that, there are no benefits to partying other than general combat advantages.
Money Begging: Annoying
Monsters don't drop gold, and gold is not exchanged in trades. Gold is actually the cash currency in Realm of the Mad God. You are given only a single character slot to start with, meaning every time you want to try out a new class, you have to kill off your current character. To get more character slots, you have to buy them with gold (Note: It says you're saving 40%, and that's it usually 1000 gold. That's a lie. It's always 600 gold for the first character slot, then 800 for the second. It's not 1000 until you are buying your 3rd+ character slot). You are also given only one storage chest in the vault, giving only 8 slots of storage.
|Why even put all these chests in my vault if I can't open them?|
When you die in Realm of the Mad God, you lose absolutely everything except what you had in the vault. The entire character is erased and you must create a new one, starting back at level 1.
|R.I.P. Blacenrat. Your futile efforts were just no match.|
Though this is usually a "feature", what makes this a bad thing is that it also erases any cash items you bought that weren't in the vault. A lot of the cash items are aesthetic stuff, generally paints, that bind onto the look of your character, so you can't put them away. When you die, these paints disappear along with you, which can be more than a little frustrating if you buy them and then immediately die a few seconds later.
Final Score: 3.9 out of 5
The game is very fun, and when I first played it I actually went out and told everyone I knew about it's existence. I'd give it a higher score were it not for the immense amount of ragequits it caused, and the annoyance of knowing that if I want to try out the new class I unlocked, I have to either pay up or kill off the character I used to unlock the new one.
Basically, it's fun, just not for very long. You play it until the novelty wears off, then you make the decision of either farming for fame, or doing something else. It does a lot of things I wish games would do more often, but it doesn't do them well enough for me to give the game a higher score.
Extra Things to Know
- There no level requirements on any equipment.
- Doing the quests results in more exp and fame than what you would've gotten killing the monster normally.
- All maps, including the Nexus, are completely covered in black fog on the map until you reach the area yourself. Why it does this for the Nexus, I have no idea.
- All equipment must be found or traded. There are no shops or auction house.
- When you see the dungeon marked "Pirate Cave", skip it. It's a beginner dungeon and offers no good rewards.
- Creating a guild costs 1000 fame.
- As this is a browser game, and given the genre, don't expect amazing graphics.