| Kid Safe
Surprising depth in creature building
Win or lose XP gain
| Combat gameplay only
Lack of players guide or manual
The background story in the aforementioned comic book can also be found online as a web comic on the Freaky Creatures site. There are five diverse worlds in the Freaky Creature universe; Dura, Gluon, Magol, Verdura and Frez, each with its own theme music and unique landscape. This is where you can locate your creature's lair and also where you can choose to enter to find other players to challenge. After you've selected the creature with which to duel, you can choose to join a game, create a game, enter a lair or play now. The first choice takes you to a list of available lobbies, and each will describe the world it is in and the levels of players in it. Creating a game allows you to set the level range, the world and it can also be set to private for your friends only.
Freaky Creatures can also be played off-line or a practice battle with the Battletron 2000 may be entered into from the lobby for you to test creature builds before going into the big bad world and challenging other players.
GMs are often online and there is quite a bit of interaction in the lobbies as players run around, checking out each other's builds and making friends. It's a kid's game, remember... everyone wants to be your friend. Here is where you can also challenge another player or decline a challenge and watch a battle between other players. Portals will take you to other worlds if you want a change of scenery or want to find other players to challenge.
Battle is turn based and powers are applied at the end of each turn. You start by each choosing a part to strike with, and sometimes you get an idea of what your opponent has chosen before you select a Power to use. There is some strategy to selection of a part as in a Stone / Paper / Scissors manner; one part has an advantage over another. Especially if you manage to stun a part or two, you'll want to refer to the "Part vs. Part" chart - assessable in-game by pressing F2.
Currently, the level cap is 60. Win, lose or draw, you'll earn some experience. If you win, you may win some Creature Credits (the in-game coin) and you may also learn a common power from your opponent. I'll say "learn" instead of "win" the power, as your opponent does not lose anything. When you level, you gain a Creature Point which may be applied to any of your stats.
Trading of powers may be done securely on the Freaky Creatures website. Players post the powers they want to trade, buy or sell for Creature Credits. Credits are earned by winning battles and playing mini-games on the website. These credits buy miscellaneous lair objects, pets as well as some powers. Some common and some rare powers are also purchasable with Credits.
As this is a game targeted toward young boys, there is some potty humor involved. Animations include taunts, dance and fart - a favorite with my nephew, and poison powers are the most fun. Fearful Fart for example, requires a tail hit and can successfully stun your opponent's head for the next turn.
Graphics and Sound
Graphics are sharp and powers used have associated animations and colors. All fire attacks will involve flames. When you crit an ice attack, huge icicles can come hurtling down. Energy attacks are characterized by lightning and poison attacks by a green miasma clinging to your opponent.
Every creature has its own stable of unique animations whether they are running, attacking or dodging. The animations are not plentiful, but smooth and well polished. Customization is a large part of this game and every part as mentioned, has a unique look and every choice allows you to preview the part as it looks on your creature. Powers are displayed like Trading Cards, each with a unique graphic.
Parents can set their kid's chat to menu-chat only; which is to say, they can only choose from a list of pre-set phrases, and these actually allow children to interact with each other and disallows the ability to exchange personal information.
GMs hang out in the lobbies often to monitor the chat, and thus far, I've found little whining and rudeness. Except for a few less vocal, all players I've met have been sporting, wishing me luck at the beginning of duels, congratulating me on wins and often saying "Just lucky" when they win.
Is it Fun?
Damned straight. C'mon... it's PvP! Truth to tell, I was pleasantly surprised by this game. There is surprising depth and strategy in creature building and combat. You can have several builds of the same creature to test and see how well they do. Parts can be removed back into your library - just remember to do that, or else you will lose them if you delete your creature. Something a kid told me in-game. A well built creature with well chosen powers and maybe a few lucky dice roll can defeat creatures several levels higher. Other Pros to the game include the mini-games and COPA compliance. Like any other MMO, the game updates frequently and tournaments are held regularly for in-game prizes and leader-board bragging rights.
The main Con in this game is the lack of a true players guide or manual. The "How to Play" information on the website is sketchy at best and not easily printed for reference, and some information would be nice to refer to during duels - or better yet, when inspecting your opponent to see what parts and powers he has. Others include the lack of anything else to do besides the combat gameplay. There's no large world for exploration or tradeskills or quests. However, this must be taken in context that this is an MMO targeted at boys.
I review these games with children and "borrowed" a set of brothers of 7, 11 and 14 to test it on the older demographic as my nephew is 5. I needn't have tried to explain. Once the customization screen came up with the different parts, they got it. The 11 year old "drove" with the seven year old on one side, the five on the other with the 14 pointing over his shoulder and generally annoying him by questioning his selections. They ALL agreed that Fearful Fart was the best power in game.
As this is a kid's game, you'll find most players online after school hours. That is, between the hours of 3pm and 6pm. In the evenings, you'll find the adults on line. The guys that are already levels 31 - 60. The ones that go "OMG! You FARTED at me???" Ahhh... I love that power too.