In this new recurring column at MMORPG.com, our goal is to take turns giving you brief glimpses at some of the games which just don’t get enough coverage for any number of reasons. Look at our Game List. Many aren’t MMORPGs, but almost all are MMOs of one form or another. Then count the number of reviews we have for them. We’re addressing this, as quickly and as efficiently as we can, but the simple truth is that a lot of games fly under the radar. So, with The Game Hopper, we plan on bringing you a new game every week that you might not know much about. We’ll do some brief impressions and an overview on the game and then let you guys chime in with your own thoughts.
What is Roblox?
Let's let the Roblox team describe their game:
ROBLOX is a leading user-generated gaming site that allows players to be the architects of their own 3D worlds, and ranked #1 by Comscore in the US for total engagement time within the 8-14 year old segment (ahead of Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and Disney). This massively multi-player game environment gives players the ability to build, publish and play with integrated tools, infrastructure, and destination site. Users have created millions of games that use physics to simulate the real world, utilizing core building components to create and customize their own elaborate online games, social hangouts, and custom virtual items.
Since 2006, our vision is to become the leader in user-generated gaming. ROBLOX has been drawing over one billion page views and 21 million in-game hours each month. In 2011, ROBLOX players created 5.4 million games.
Each player gets an avatar and a place to build in 3D with infinite blocks and scripting capabilities. There are also a large collection of 3D user assets such as vehicles and buildings. ROBLOX provides the multiplayer online infrastructure, which hosts the games, social network and economy. A distinguishing feature of the ROBLOX platform is the extent to which our physics simulation allows game objects to behave in an intuitive way. Knock the supports out from under a building that you’ve constructed; down it goes! For player safety, the site is fully moderated.
GAME HOPPER THOUGHTS
Roblox is a fun way to stretch tween minds with the ability to build and create their own gaming environments using “blox”. In some ways, it’s a junior version of games like Minecraft and any of the Lego building games. Allowing kids free rein on their creativity is always a good thing.
Roblox keeps kids safe in a number of tried and true ways including a parental oversight account, FAQs directed specifically at parents, general resources for keeping kids safe online. Parents can also learn exactly what it is that their kids are doing and how to join them in the fun.
All of these things are important, particularly for parents of younger children as some of the games created can be on the violent side. It’s important for parents to keep an eye on what their kids are playing if they have concerns about what they are being exposed to in other player’s created environments. The Roblox team is on hand as well to ensure that things stay well in hand.
After creating an account at Roblox, players should head to the tutorial games that others have made in order to get their feet wet. But don’t expect just a dry and tired recitation of “do this and go there to do that”. In Roblox, players can choose from a huge array of genres in which to learn about how the game works. In many, players can go in and practice building 3D environments, play in a ball pit, create a train and drive it and much more.
Once a game has been picked, players can choose a server with space available. Most servers accommodate about 10 players at a time. As one fills, another is created. One game my daughter and I wanted to try out had about five pages of servers, all full. Needless to say, we found another game.
Once players have an idea of what Roblox is, they can choose to sort the massive number of games any number of ways. If sorting by genre, players can choose from Town & City, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Ninja, Wild West and a ton of other types. Games can also be sorted by ratings, favorites and more. Players can create their own favorites list as well which is a nice touch.
There is no shortage of wonder to be found in Roblox. Thousands of young imaginations have created a staggering array of content that would take years to explore fully. Of course, knowing that amateurs are creating these games, it can be annoying at times with bad visuals or game play difficulties. But even finding some that frustrate the dickens out of you is easy to correct by finding another, similar type game to play.
The Game Hopper recommends Roblox highly. As a game site that allows kids to do what no other kids’ game on the planet does, Roblox has captured a unique niche. Giving kids the freedom to explore their own creativity is nothing short of miraculous. The only caveat we have is for parents to make sure that kids are supervised and viewing/building content that they feel is appropriate for their particular familial needs.
Oh and for the record, kids LOVE this game as witnessed by the comments of my daughter and her buddy from school: "ROBLOX is awesome!"