While games like WoW and LOTRO seem to be dominating most of the MMO world, there is still a decent-sized group of people who prefer text-based games like Threshold RPG. Often, these text-based games offer a little more in terms of flexibility and creativity. I find myself being naturally apprehensive towards all text based MMORPGS due to their tendancy to let me down time and time again. The lack of depth in some of the text based games I have encountered in my time has resulted in my grave disappointment and decreasing interest. I was beginning to lose faith in the personal touch given by the owners of these MMORPGs such as Crime Valley or Immortal Night, the owners and developers seem to be relying heavily on their user's competitive tendencies and hope to maintain their popularity through existing users competing against each other, rather than choosing to further develop the game to stimulate less powerful and relatively new players who have done all the challenges and explored the seemingly wide reaches of the game. Although Prison Struggle is far from the perfect game, following the acquiring of the MMORPG by Bronco Games, a new kid on the block as far as MMORPGs are concerned, the game has gone from strength to strength. One of Bronco's tag lines is that it is run 'by gamers, for gamers.' They, for me, have shown this with their intervention and improving of Prison Struggle through the fixing of certain problems within the game. An example of this is the limiting of hospital time to reduce the control of Strong players who have the ability to 'hit' someone and cripple them for a certain amount of time depending on level etc.
The main attraction, initially, to a text based MMORPG rather than the seemingly more exciting and fast paced MMOs such as WOW or Warhammer is the convenience of it. I want to be able to further develop my character, interact with others and explore aspects of the game without needing to be at my computer, regardless of me being at school, at work (don't tell my boss) or even in car, I want to be able to do all of these things. Prison Struggle enables me to do so and a really appealing aspect of this game is that I can take it anywhere with me and play it whenever. I would recommend Prison Struggle to skeptics of the game niché and people looking for a calm and engaging gaming experience.
The game's complexities and wide range of activities are made apparent to new players through a tutorial system that is optional at the top of the page, this gets any new player started with the injection of a decent amount of money into an account and placed into the bank which is opened by them (saving you $5000.) This allows you to come to grips with the game, as you will discover though, it doesn't take all the sting out of the game's content as some things need to be made clear to you through the experience. For me this was the attack of a player that was 2 levels lower than me..and losing. What I didn't know is that you can reset your character after you've reached level 210, so although I thought i was attacking a level 6 character, I essentially attacked a level 216 one. The resetting system is an interesting aspect of the game, with each reset comes new perks and advantages such as faster XP, a nice looking star next to your name and the ability to lull noobs into a false sense of security prior to their attacking of you before you crunch them with one fatal swing of your chainsaw.
The weapon's system is very intricate in that in order to acquire certain weapons that will give you a competitive edge, money isn't the only thing required. Security clearance at different levels needs to be obtained by your character in order to wield some of the more deadly weapons such as Gatling gun or Sniper rifle, which would certainty crush the optimistic and aggressive inmate threatening you with a sharpened piece of plastic. Furthermore the acquisition of the weapons is far from straight forward aswell. The depth of the game increases through your characters optional passing through of 10 prisons. You can buy weapons from armor shops but depending on what prison you are located in, your choice is limited. Unless you choose to go into other prisoners' personal shops where they sell you items form their own inventory (usually for much more than they're worth.) The personal shops can sell anything from a towel to an acre of land in Alcatraz prison, it is a system of extortion and demand; if you need it, they will sell you it. This aspect of the game adds a new dimension to the experience as a whole and further helps to bridge the relationships between other prisoners.
| Tutorial importance
Building of certain skills
Accessability of the game
| Use of small amounts of real money for game advantages
Ability to make enemies
HIGH risk of addiction
The small important role chance can plays in the game
Frustrating at times