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Free Realms: First Impressions

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member

MMORPG.com contributor Sanya Weathers has been playing SOE's newest F2P title, Free Realms. Today, she shares her first impressions of the game.

During a recent family gathering, I was explaining MMOs to my dad, the guy who still doesn't believe that adults can earn their livings making and playing these things. In trying to explain the success of World of Warcraft, I hypothesized that WoW was a gazillion seller because they understand that the rats in the skinner box want a pellet every...single...time they whack a bar.

Free Realms gives you a pellet for thinking about whacking the bar, reaching for the bar, almost hitting the bar, hitting yourself in the face instead, hitting the bar, and raising your hand to whack the bar again.

Read Free Realms First Impressions.

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

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Comments

  • IsturiIsturi Phoenix, AZPosts: 1,509Member

    Simply put Free Realms will keep the KIDS occupied for hours. But if you as a ADULT get bored over mini games and incredibly easy quest then maybe just a good hour or two for enjoyment.

    image

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Isturi


    Simply put Free Realms will keep the KIDS occupied for hours. But if you as a ADULT get bored over mini games and incredibly easy quest then maybe just a good hour or two for enjoyment.

     

    A good hr or two of enjoyment for free? I will take it.

  • adamch29adamch29 St. Louis, MOPosts: 71Member

    You will definately get more then an hour or two out of this game.  I've been playing for several weeks now.  Although I don't log in as much as I once did, when I do it's so distracting and fun that I forget how long I have been sitting there...

    Remember in the old days when you were playing EQ and you knew you needed to stop playing but you were like, "Let me kill one more bear!"  Well this is like that.  Instead, "let me do one more quest, or one more mini game then I'll stop". 

    This first impression didn't even mention the TCG which is so much fun that I leveled to 20 in just a couple days.  That doesn't mean I can't keep playing it, because it's a collectable game you can play against other players.  

    If you want to group with people, you have to be a little obnoxious.  Random invites seems to be the only way.  But if you are able to get a group of 3 or so together, and then go after one of the bigger dungeons, it's a total blast.  The instances scale to the size of the group, so the bigger the group the tougher the fight.  It's very simple and fun and there are some neat rewards.

    I suggest the reviewer not get stuck on one profession and play them all to get a true sense of how many hours she could put into this game to "Finish it' and even then it has major replayablity. 

     

     

  • MurashuMurashu Ft Rucker, ALPosts: 1,394Member

    SOE has finally done something right after many years of screw ups. I tried Free Realms for a few days and although the game wasn't for me, I see this one as a big cash cow for SOE. They are already over 1 million accounts and freinds of mine that do enjoy playing the game with thier kids are all saying the same thing..."it's only $5 a month so I don't mind paying it."

    www.agonysend.org

  • baLaNc3baLaNc3 InfinityPosts: 11Member

    The point is that in that game, they same the main goal is to do what you like, but i think its kinda like a game which you dont do any special think that pass little time there and have a bit of good time.

     

    Also the extra features that you get only if you pay... In every free concept this blow it up. I mean you give something cool lets say for free use you put the most COOLEST on pay, but etc this is the main idea..  to attract member to do this and make some money but my personal opinion is that i dont like it... (not the game that style of make money for free games)

     

    Lets get back to the point. As i said is good for 1-2 hours of relax but i dont think that will get you any further than playing more or be excited for something :)

  • adamch29adamch29 St. Louis, MOPosts: 71Member
    Originally posted by baLaNc3


    The point is that in that game, they same the main goal is to do what you like, but i think its kinda like a game which you dont do any special think that pass little time there and have a bit of good time.
     
    Also the extra features that you get only if you pay... In every free concept this blow it up. I mean you give something cool lets say for free use you put the most COOLEST on pay, but etc this is the main idea..  to attract member to do this and make some money but my personal opinion is that i dont like it... (not the game that style of make money for free games)
     
    Lets get back to the point. As i said is good for 1-2 hours of relax but i dont think that will get you any further than playing more or be excited for something :)

     

    My brain kind of hurts after reading this....:) I kid! I kid!

  • NormireXNormireX Martinsville, ILPosts: 12Member
    Originally posted by Stradden


    MMORPG.com contributor Sanya Weathers has been playing SOE's newest F2P title, Free Realms. Today, she shares her first impressions of the game.

    During a recent family gathering, I was explaining MMOs to my dad, the guy who still doesn't believe that adults can earn their livings making and playing these things. In trying to explain the success of World of Warcraft, I hypothesized that WoW was a gazillion seller because they understand that the rats in the skinner box want a pellet every...single...time they whack a bar.
    Free Realms gives you a pellet for thinking about whacking the bar, reaching for the bar, almost hitting the bar, hitting yourself in the face instead, hitting the bar, and raising your hand to whack the bar again.

    Read Free Realms First Impressions.

    Sorry but you are very ignorant in saying FR has an RTS. There are no RTS mini-games what so ever. The Penguin mini-game you speak of is a Tower Defense game which is in no way an RTS in the sense of Command and Conquer as you suggested.  Call it what it is. It's a Tower Defense game.  Sorry this just really got to me.  If you can't tell a Tower Defense game from a RTS then I think it's time for you to hang up your reviewer clothes.

    FR is highly addictive. It's not just for kids. There are tons of adults who are enjoying Free Realms. Head over to the official forums if you think I'm lying.

    If you are a gamer of any kind there is something in FR for you.  If you are worried about this game being just for kids.....don't worry about it. Give it a shot I think you will enjoy it.

    FR still has some bugs it's working through. But all in all it's a solid game.  They just added several new quest lines the other night which is good.  I'm still not even halfway through the original content yet.

    Anyway don't pass FR off as a Kids game until you give it try first. I think you will find FR has potential to add more conent that will appeal to gamers of all ages.  Also it's worth noting that FR is full of  pop-culture refrences that only adults would get.  There are refrences from PeeWee all the way up to Fight Club and beyond.

    FR is simply the most fun and addictive MMO I have ever played.  Give it a try and see what you think.

  • NormireXNormireX Martinsville, ILPosts: 12Member
    Originally posted by Murashu


    SOE has finally done something right after many years of screw ups. I tried Free Realms for a few days and although the game wasn't for me, I see this one as a big cash cow for SOE. They are already over 1 million accounts and freinds of mine that do enjoy playing the game with thier kids are all saying the same thing..."it's only $5.99 a month so I don't mind paying it."

     

    Sorry just have to correct you ........the membership is actually only 4.99 a month.  And if you get the starter set for the card game you get 1 month free plus several in-game items including a black lab pet.

    I find the membership to be worth it.  And as they continue to add member content I will feel even better about my investment.  I just wish they had an option to pay for a whole year rather then paying monthly. 

  • MurashuMurashu Ft Rucker, ALPosts: 1,394Member
    Originally posted by NormireX


    Sorry just have to correct you ........the membership is actually only 4.99 a month.  And if you get the starter set for the card game you get 1 month free plus several in-game items including a black lab pet.
    I find the membership to be worth it.  And as they continue to add member content I will feel even better about my investment.  I just wish they had an option to pay for a whole year rather then paying monthly. 



     

    Thanks, I was thinking $5 and mixed it up.

    www.agonysend.org

  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,181Member Uncommon

    How can anyone who is not a kid play this game for more than and hour or two?  Seriously, this game is so simple and boring it I would be embarrassed to say that I have played it beyond doing something with my kids.  Now I can see sitting down and playing it as a family with kids, but if you are an adult playing this game alone, you must have an avoid all challenges at all costs type personality.

  • kartanakartana Pirna, COPosts: 148Member
    Originally posted by Ozmodan


    How can anyone who is not a kid play this game for more than and hour or two?  Seriously, this game is so simple and boring it I would be embarrassed to say that I have played it beyond doing something with my kids.  Now I can see sitting down and playing it as a family with kids, but if you are an adult playing this game alone, you must have an avoid all challenges at all costs type personality.

    Or in other words: YOU didn't try it...

  • MurashuMurashu Ft Rucker, ALPosts: 1,394Member
    Originally posted by Ozmodan


    How can anyone who is not a kid play this game for more than and hour or two?  Seriously, this game is so simple and boring it I would be embarrassed to say that I have played it beyond doing something with my kids.  Now I can see sitting down and playing it as a family with kids, but if you are an adult playing this game alone, you must have an avoid all challenges at all costs type personality.

    There are a lot of casual gamers who like that kind of gameplay. Several of my guildmates who are long time raiders love this game. I gave it a few hours and decided I really dislike it but to each his own.

    www.agonysend.org

  • qbangy32qbangy32 GT YarmouthPosts: 681Member
    Originally posted by Ozmodan


    How can anyone who is not a kid play this game for more than and hour or two?  Seriously, this game is so simple and boring it I would be embarrassed to say that I have played it beyond doing something with my kids.  Now I can see sitting down and playing it as a family with kids, but if you are an adult playing this game alone, you must have an avoid all challenges at all costs type personality.



     

    You should tell that to the multitude of children also playing Wizard 101, it's the same principle yet is extremely popular as is Free Realms.

    You think it's boring, a million registered accounts disagree with you.

     

  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,181Member Uncommon

    Oh yeah, I played it, played it in beta and after release, asked some friends with younger children what they thought of it when it came out.  The kids liked it, if they were under 12, none of the adults did, neither did the teenagers.  So yeah, I stand completely by my comments.  My niece who is 16 thought is was dumb.

    I don't know anyone over the age of 12 that like it.  Even a friend of mine thought it was fun playing with the kids, but she soon got very bored and let the kids do their thing.

    Maybe you are all regressing to a childlike state?

  • RedwoodSapRedwoodSap Fenwick Island, DEPosts: 1,235Member

    SOE continues with their corruption of the MMOG genre by releasing a game with item shop.

    The game is not challenging or interesting for an experienced MMOG player.

    I'd rather play spades or hearts online.

    image

  • qbangy32qbangy32 GT YarmouthPosts: 681Member
    Originally posted by Ozmodan


    Oh yeah, I played it, played it in beta and after release, asked some friends with younger children what they thought of it when it came out.  The kids liked it, if they were under 12, none of the adults did, neither did the teenagers.  So yeah, I stand completely by my comments.  My niece who is 16 thought is was dumb.
    I don't know anyone over the age of 12 that like it.  Even a friend of mine thought it was fun playing with the kids, but she soon got very bored and let the kids do their thing.
    Maybe you are all regressing to a childlike state?



     

    But isn't that the target age of the game? 12 and under.

    I know this may sound a little dumb but you seem to be arguing that the game is boring for you as an adult and your adult/teen friends, yet the game is clearly for a very young audience, surely your judging this game against your past gaming experiences, perhaps games such as WoW or other mainstream MMO's.

    My 7yr old daughter plays both Free Realms and Wizard 101, she enjoys them both immensly, I however expect her to progress from those to a more adult themed MMO when she gets older and has understood the basics of MMO gaming, I can quite clearly see that neither game would keep me engrossed for more than 20 minutes, and yes I have given both a try alongside my daughter.

    I think once you understand that this MMO is not trying to be a WoW or an EQ1 but something very different then the easier it is to accept that this is a game that is really just for children, hence the lack of entertainment value for most adults, we already have enough MMO's to cater to our needs, let the kids have a little fun of their own for a change without the need for us to label a game crap/boring by our own lofty expectations.

     

  • tharkthark FalunPosts: 1,147Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by Ozmodan
    Oh yeah, I played it, played it in beta and after release, asked some friends with younger children what they thought of it when it came out.  The kids liked it, if they were under 12, none of the adults did, neither did the teenagers.  So yeah, I stand completely by my comments.  My niece who is 16 thought is was dumb.
    I don't know anyone over the age of 12 that like it.  Even a friend of mine thought it was fun playing with the kids, but she soon got very bored and let the kids do their thing.
    Maybe you are all regressing to a childlike state?

    It's a game for kids..!!

    That said there are many facets of this game that can be enjoyed by grown ups, some of the minigames like bejeweled and others has no age stamp to be fun.

    Also, I would like to stretch it a bit further and say that the adding of these minigames is something I must certainly would like in other MMO titles aswell. The crafting part aspecially(even thou it's very unrealistic) Is a far better way to craft this way, than clicking a stone once for each ore piece...

    Other than that , Free Realms will become boring aftar a couple of sessions for grown up's..But for a familly to have some fun together it's great..

    /junker


  • qbangy32qbangy32 GT YarmouthPosts: 681Member
    Originally posted by thark


     

    Originally posted by Ozmodan

    Oh yeah, I played it, played it in beta and after release, asked some friends with younger children what they thought of it when it came out.  The kids liked it, if they were under 12, none of the adults did, neither did the teenagers.  So yeah, I stand completely by my comments.  My niece who is 16 thought is was dumb.

    I don't know anyone over the age of 12 that like it.  Even a friend of mine thought it was fun playing with the kids, but she soon got very bored and let the kids do their thing.

    Maybe you are all regressing to a childlike state?

     

    It's a game for kids..!!

    That said there are many facets of this game that can be enjoyed by grown ups, some of the minigames like bejeweled and others has no age stamp to be fun.

    Also, I would like to stretch it a bit further and say that the adding of these minigames is something I must certainly would like in other MMO titles aswell. The crafting part aspecially(even thou it's very unrealistic) Is a far better way to craft this way, than clicking a stone once for each ore piece...

    Other than that , Free Realms will become boring aftar a couple of sessions for grown up's..But for a familly to have some fun together it's great..

    /junker



     



     

    Unfotunately some threads are being created by ppl who are trying to portray Free Realms as an MMO that is meant for the adult market, and making ludicrous comparisions to the main stream MMO's we are all used to, once ppl get this notion out of their heads and accept this game is for children, as it is advertised, with the added bonus that Mum or Dad can participate wih their children, then the sooner the game can be judge on what it delivers to a younger audience, not to us geriatrics.

    It's like judging Minesweeper against Streetfighter, and telling everyone Minesweeper is crap becuase there is no option for combo moves and the graphics suck.

     

  • IAmMMOIAmMMO LondonPosts: 1,332Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Isturi


    Simply put Free Realms will keep the KIDS occupied for hours. But if you as a ADULT get bored over mini games and incredibly easy quest then maybe just a good hour or two for enjoyment.

     

    Wii for the kids, loads more fun for you money, and keeps the kids active too.

  • drkldrkl PitestiPosts: 38Member


    Originally posted by NormireX
    Sorry but you are very ignorant in saying FR has an RTS. There are no RTS mini-games what so ever. The Penguin mini-game you speak of is a Tower Defense game which is in no way an RTS in the sense of Command and Conquer as you suggested.  Call it what it is. It's a Tower Defense game.  Sorry this just really got to me.  If you can't tell a Tower Defense game from a RTS then I think it's time for you to hang up your reviewer clothes.

    *Ahem* Sorry to burst you bubble but a Tower Defense game or gameplay is still a subclass of the RTS and TBS genre(although not like the gameplay in Command and Conqueror it is a strategy game), then again, I do agree with you that the difference between C&C RTS and a TD is notable(he should have mentioned it).

    P.S. Didn't play the game( and I have no intention of touching it as I'm enjoying Puzzle Pirates atm) but I was about to download it just to see how they implemented the C&C mini-game(which thanks to you I know it doesn't exist).

    On another note do they have some servers that are just subscription based and not mixed? And if you pay the first month and chose a membership career for instance do you get to keep that career if you stop paying the subscription? Say you stop playing for a month or a year and then you return what happens with your character?

  • MargulisMargulis Glendale, AZPosts: 1,614Member
    Originally posted by Ozmodan


    How can anyone who is not a kid play this game for more than and hour or two?  Seriously, this game is so simple and boring it I would be embarrassed to say that I have played it beyond doing something with my kids.  Now I can see sitting down and playing it as a family with kids, but if you are an adult playing this game alone, you must have an avoid all challenges at all costs type personality.

     

    Because, believe it  not, people have different tastes and interests.  What you find boring someone else may find fun.  I know it's hard to believe and you probably live life believing that any opinion of yours is the way it should be for everyone.  I'm telling you though, as truly unbelievable as it sounds, if someone has a different opinion of yours, it doesn't mean it's wrong.

  • qbangy32qbangy32 GT YarmouthPosts: 681Member
    Originally posted by drkl


     

    Originally posted by NormireX

    Sorry but you are very ignorant in saying FR has an RTS. There are no RTS mini-games what so ever. The Penguin mini-game you speak of is a Tower Defense game which is in no way an RTS in the sense of Command and Conquer as you suggested.  Call it what it is. It's a Tower Defense game.  Sorry this just really got to me.  If you can't tell a Tower Defense game from a RTS then I think it's time for you to hang up your reviewer clothes.

     

    *Ahem* Sorry to burst you bubble but a Tower Defense game or gameplay is still a subclass of the RTS and TBS genre(although not like the gameplay in Command and Conqueror it is a strategy game), then again, I do agree with you that the difference between C&C RTS and a TD is notable(he should have mentioned it).

    P.S. Didn't play the game( and I have no intention of touching it as I'm enjoying Puzzle Pirates atm) but I was about to download it just to see how they implemented the C&C mini-game(which thanks to you I know it doesn't exist).

    On another note do they have some servers that are just subscription based and not mixed? And if you pay the first month and chose a membership career for instance do you get to keep that career if you stop paying the subscription? Say you stop playing for a month or a year and then you return what happens with your character?



     

    I would imagine that you will not gain access to those proffessions while your out of a subscription cycle, just as in Wizard 101 when you are allowed access to subscription areas you would then be barred once you have stopped paying.

     

  • RalsarRalsar Thornton, COPosts: 304Member

    I'm 36 and have put in well over 100 hours through beta and release.  There is a great adult community in the game with everyone from stay-at-home casual game loving mothers to TCG fanatics to hardcore raiders. 

  • fiontarfiontar Dana, MAPosts: 3,719Member

    Adult. Jaded long time MMORPG vet. I actually enjoy this game a lot.

    No, it doesn't have any of the hardcore elements of an adult MMORPG. However, I find the game design refreshing and fun.

    BTW, I want to dispel one myth that seems to be perpetuated by some people who haven't delved far into this game. Some of the higher level instances actually are incredibly challenging. I've actually found some of them more challenging than what I encounter in a typical session of WAR.

    The "death penalty" (knock out penalty) design actually allows SOE to add some high levels of challenge with out it becoming as frustrating as it would be in most MMORPGs. You have a limited number of knockouts in an instance to successfully complete it. You also get bonus points for any unused knockouts you have when you finish. Since death is not instant failure or sending you back to a spawn point, they can actually add a level of challenge in some instances where avoiding knock outs is very difficult. You have to be careful what you pull and sometimes you can't avoid pulling more than you can safely handle.

    I "die" in this game a lot more than in the adult MMORPGs I play. I end way more battles with less than 20% HP than I do in my adult MMORPGs. Those saying the game is all easy mode and presents no challange are not correct.

    Want to know more about GW2 and why there is so much buzz? Start here: Guild Wars 2 Mass Info for the Uninitiated
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  • maxstonemaxstone Bulverde, TXPosts: 151Member

    It's quietly addictive and fun enough...isn't that all you need to be a sucess? It's MMO-lite for the people who are closer to Second Life than they are to WoW. There's also a more adult version of this concept coming out called Gatheryn with a very steam-punk theme. I support anyone trying to do something different from the hardcore "you must spend 20 hours a week raiding or get nothing" games out there.

     

    If you don't like it, fine...there are games out there for you, just as there are for me (GhostX, FR, Gathryn, Champions Online, etc.). Don't harsh something just because it didn't tickle your tonsils :)

     

     

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