Developer: Wild Shadow Studios, Spry Fox
Realm of the Mad God is a rogue-like MMO shooter developed by Spry Fox and Wild Shadow Studios and published by the latter. In this MMO adventure you will take on the role of whatever class you choose and you shoot your way through different realms filled with enemies and bosses. Realm of the Mad God was released to Windows and Mac OS platforms on June 20, 2011. You can even play it on your browser via flash plug-in.
The shooter elements of Realm of the Mad God are pretty unorthodox. No matter what type of character you pick, you will attack with a ranged attack. Warrior type classes throw swords that are stronger than arrows but don’t go as far. This makes each class feel very similar and takes away a lot of the uniqueness that traditionally comes with class choices. As you play you can enter through portals that will take you to the different realms filled with monsters and other players, and you will fire away at enemies firing back.
It also contains some RPG elements such as gear and loot pickups that will boost your stats. Realm of the Mad God commits one of my biggest pet peeves in terms of gaming tropes, and that is having the same enemy model, but recolored to denote a different monster. Even the premise of the game is not explained very well. When you start playing you are shown a ton of text bubbles describing what everything, its incredibly exhausting just to look at and see, let alone try to truly grasp what the hell is happening in the game. The poor way the game describes its objectives and controls make it uninteresting and makes the player less invested in figuring out what they should be doing. Then we have the games use of perma-death, in which the players character will die for good upon defeat. You will then have to start over. The issue with this game’s use is that there is nothing to gain from repeated playthroughs.
Realm of the Mad God is first and foremost an MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online) game and that comes with positives and negatives. The main problem with this aspect is that with the design choice that have decided to go with, the hubs and even the general combat maps are a abuzz with players and monsters and it makes the game a very defunct type or chaotic. One will constantly lose their character or get killed by something covered by a mob of players. With enough players the game can become almost unplayable.
I cannot stress enough how pointlessly repetitive Realm of the Mad God truly is. You start run around shooting arrows and fireballs (or swords), level up, get killed, do it all over again with out any rhyme or reason. The characters all play incredibly similar, not exactly the same but very close. With other games that use the perma-death feature each death brings new opportunities for the next playthrough. Thus making each playthrough feel unique and fresh, however with Realm of the Mad God, the player will play through essentially the same things and same realms over and over again should they choose to.
Realm of the Mad God, while not the lowest rating I have given out is one of the most uninteresting games I have played in a very long time. The gameplay and combat are repetitive and can’t be bandaged up by the loud and obnoxious colors. And as with most free-to-play games these days, it is wracked with micro-transactions. There are so many items that a free player will never be able to touch due to the inability to receive the premium currency. The game also features the highly-divisive mechanic known as perma-death. Perma-death in my opinion is a pretty fun mechanic. It’s mere existence pushes the player to try harder and play smarter. However with every game that I have personally played so far that boasts perma-death have a reason for it. It promotes repeat plays and the benefit that with each play you will get better and have better options and progress, but with Realm of the Mad God, it is pointless. When you die that is it, there is no greater goal you are working towards or any grand scheme that requires you to keep dying. You are dying just to die, and that takes away my drive to even try. The only slightly redeeming factor about this game is that it is free-to-play.