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A look at some of the best MMORPGs for Android devices

by Larry Sullivan

MMO (massive multiplayer online) games have been very popular for the PC and other gaming consoles for years. Recently, I began a search for MMOs to play on my Android phone so I could get some action away from the computer.

There are many types of MMO such as RPG (role-playing game) and RTS (real-time strategy). For this list, I will cover RPGs. In most of these games you play as a character you create. You choose the character’s class (fighter, burglar, magician and so on) and then you go explore the a massive and expansive world.  As you move through the world, you need to complete quests for experience and items and team up with other players as needed. The more you play, the more your character grows. To my surprise, there are a lot of MMORPGs for Android devices. Some have done an excellent job of cramming those huge, beautiful, massive worlds into a tiny device! If you like playing MMO games on your computer, consider these Android games.

Order & Chaos ($6.99)

Order and & Chaos from Gameloft is a beautifully done game. The graphics are nicely done; the game interface does not take up too much room, and makes it easy to find the menus. If you have experience playing MMORPGs on the computer, this game should be easy to pick up. Recent updates have added more dungeons and maps to the game and cross-platform capabilities.

Navigating your character is done via the virtual joystick and the game has pinch to zoom capabilities. I had no troubles moving my character, finding where I had to go, locating items in my bags, fighting creatures and interacting with the other players. Overall, it’s a very smooth and pleasant gaming experience.

There are two key things to know about Order & Chaos. Firstly, this game is the most expensive. After your initial purchase, you get three months free access, after that it will cost you as little as $0.50 per month. The game also has in app purchases. Secondly, this game is not playable on tablets. Hopefully this will change in the near future.

Earth And Legend ($6.99)

This was one of the more intriguing games. From the previews and reviews it looked fantastic and a game to try. Earth And Legend is not a bad game, but it is one that will take some time to figure out. The graphics and the virtual world are excellent. It always seemed to be raining when I played, though!

I did not find the tutorial very helpful and the game interface seemed not to exist at all. I eventually did find the buttons. To move your character you need to use the virtual joystick and there is no pinch to zoom. You can switch from first to third person. The game did not have any visible map or way to show you where to go. There is a map button you can gain access to see where you are in the world, but I had a hard time figuring out where to go.

As you move through the world, characters with exclamation marks have quests and the green dialog box indicate you can talk with them. You definitely do a lot of exploring here and there are a great number of quests. I found the game a bit choppy and difficult to move my character around. The game is broken up into two parts, a single player game and a multiple player game. The multiple player game is via Bluetooth, but I had to go to their website to figure that out. So this title is probably more of an RPG game.

Star Legends (Free) / Pocket Legends (Free)

Both of these excellent games are from Spacetime Studios. Star Legends is a space-themed MMO, while Pocket Legends is more fantasy-based. Both games are free and contain in app purchases that can be used for items, maps/quests and so on. When you first join, you can log-in as an unregistered player or create an account.  A really, really cool feature is that you can now play the same game on your computer (via the Chrome browser) or on your Android device!

The graphics are excellent and gameplay is very smooth. There is a lot going on in the game but the interface is done in a way that does not take up too much real estate. The pinch to zoom feature works well. Both the website and game have very helpful tutorials. A nice little arrow appears under your character to show you the way to go. To interact with others (characters or objects) simply tap on them and a new window will open up. To attack, simply select the target and fire (auto fire is also available).  Star Legends is a great game to try if you are new to MMOs. After a few minutes, you should get the hang of it.

The World of Magic (Free)

This is another free MMO, with in app purchases available. As with the other games, you can select your character class and enter a tutorial section before hitting the “real” game. The graphics in this game are much more cartoon-like and ‘cute’. A recent update has improved the graphics and layout, but for me the screen is very busy and you can easily get lost. To move you have to use a virtual game pad and there is no pinch to zoom. The interface, though faded out some, cannot be hidden and takes up too much real estate. To interact with someone, simply tap on the character and a dialog window will open.

In The World of Magic, there is a lot to explore and do. Every time I was playing, there always seemed to be a lot of other players online. I did like their menu section where you can pull up a map to see where you are and where you needed to go. Unfortunately for me, with the very busy screen and tiny fonts, I had a very hard time getting into the game.

Each of these MMOs provides the player with a vast virtual world to explore and conquer, providing for many hours of gameplay. In every game you can create a unique character and level them up by battling creatures and completing quests. Each game is very different in its game interfaces and cost. So if you are new and want to explore MMOs, try Star Legends. If you love MMORPGs and want that traditional type gameplay on Android, try Order & Chaos.