If you are a lover of online role-playing games, you have a wealth of options to choose from. The majority of these games come in three forms: Purchase-by-month games such as World of Warcraft, free-to-play downloadable games like Maple Story which allow you to pay for special items, and free-to-play browser-based games like RuneScape that do not require you to download any software but still allow you to purchase premium items/membership.
As anybody who has downloaded any significant amount of material knows, there is always a risk. From spyware to adware, to malicious viruses, downloads should be approached with extreme caution. For this reason, a browser-based game can hold a certain appeal for those who have been burned by a download that put their computer out of service, or for those who simply are looking to play a game and do not have much hard drive space.
5) Sherwood Dungeon: Excellent graphics are the hallmark of this fantasy-themed RPG. The combat is very simple and essentially involves only block and attack. You can chat with other players, as well as attack them. In fact, this game seems to lean toward those who are big into PvP. Trust me, you will get attacked and often without warning.
Most of your monster battles will take place in the dungeons, which become ever more dangerous with each level you descend. At the fifth level, you will begin to run into boss monsters who present a serious challenge. These dungeons are beautifully rendered, and you can enlist friends to help you with the more difficult enemies. You can even dance if you want to show off. This game does require Shockwave to run. You can find Sherwood Dungeon at maidmarian.com/SherwoodLanding.htm.
4) AdventureQuest: For those of you yearning for an old-school, turn-based, single-player RPG, look no further than AdventureQuest. This game is free to play, but you can become a Guardian by making a one-time $20 purchase. Guardians can use special weapons, special pets, and can unlock the most powerful levels of all the classes. For an extra $5 you can become a X-Guardian that adds a few more bonuses.
The three main character classes you start out with are fighter, mage, and rogue. The premium classes include Wizard, Assassin, Martial Artist, Pirate, Knight, Ninja, Dragonslayer, Necromancer, Scholar, and Vampireslayer. This game boasts an ever-changing array of quests, and the graphics are cartoonish but of good quality. Like most RPGs, you can upgrade armor, spells, weapons, and so forth. Somewhat unique to Adventure Quest, though, is the humor. Many of the enemies have funny descriptions and say hilarious things. When you run into an enemy that is a giant salt shaker, you know you are playing a game that doesn’t take itself to seriously.
3) Shadowtale: A medieval-themed RPG, Shadowtale is free to play but allows you to purchase “HyperCoins” that give you in-game money and access to special features. The basic game is very well rendered, with the action taking place in a sort of screen-by-screen system. Your character enters a screen and can move in four directions to a limited extent(there are always boundaries). The feel is very similar to the “brawler” style of arcade game(think Double Dragon). Upon moving to an adjacent screen there is a very brief load time.
You can purchase weapons and armor, go on quests, chat with other characters, learn special battle skills, and even train a pet to battle for you. You also can equip a house for your character to live in. As hardcore or casual as you wish to make it, Shadowtale has something for players of all types. You can register and play Shadowtale at shadowtale.com.
2) RuneScape: According to RuneScape’s site, runescape.com, it is the most popular MMO in the world. RuneScape has an enormous world, a wealth of possible skills to learn, a myriad of quests, and more players than any other browser-based game. While RuneScape is free to play, you can purchase a membership for $5.95 a month that triples the size of the game world, adds quests, mini-games, and more.
However, even without membership, the RuneScape world is bigger than almost every other game out there. The graphics are 3-D and very beautiful. The battles are not necessarily the most exciting I’ve ever played, but they are fun. The big reason to play to this game is the size of the world and the number of players of interact with.
1) Earth Eternal: Care to play as an anthropomorphized animal-person? Look no further than Earth Eternal, where you can play as one of 22 different “fursonas”. You can be a cyclops, a yeti, a raccoon person, and more. Aside from the kind of cutesy animal-person characters, this game boasts graphics that some downloadable games would be jealous of.
You view Earth Eternal from a full 3-D perspective and explore the enormous world alone or in a party(a feature many browser-based games do not support). Earth Eternal blends many different legends with its own unique story to provide a rich gaming experience. Combat is detailed and realistically rendered. In fact, this is easily the best-looking browser-based RPG I have ever seen.
Attacks include standard weapon attacks, magic attacks, and chargeable super attacks. Enemies are seemingly endless and include powerful bosses that you will need to form a party to defeat. Play this game if you interested in a more community-based RPG. Of note, while this is a browser-based game, you may need to actually download a plug-in for your DirectX. I have downloaded this myself and had no problems with it, but if you want to avoid any and all downloads this may be a deal breaker. You can find this game at eartheternal.com.
If you’re tired of downloading massive files to play free RPGs, try a browser-based game. The five I have listed here compare favorably to many of the downloadable games out there. Give one of these games a try, and you won’t regret it.