MMORPG.com's Carolyn Koh recently had a chance to get some hands-on time with the upcoming MMORPG, Hero:108, being developed for kids 13 - 16 years of age.
Once upon a time, man and animals lived in harmony. Apart, yet bearing each other no enmity, until the day came when Highroller, banished from the Eastern Capital, gained the ability to speak with animals. He convinced them that humans were their enemies and instigated a war between them, driving them from their ancestral homes. But within this darkness, a ray of shining light prevailed and a squad of humans and animals banded together to battle Highroller and his cohorts, to bring back peace to the Hidden Lands. This is the story of Hero:108, based loosely on a collection of classical Chinese stories called The Water Margin, which is about the trials and tribulations of 108 outlaws of the Song dynasty.
Hero:108 is a cartoon on the Cartoon Network, an MMO set to launch this Summer and soon to also be a series of kids' toys. Currently in closed beta, it was shown at GDC and I had a chance for some hands-on action with a media preview. Targeted toward kids 13 to 16 as a first MMO after they begin to explore more than just Club Penguin and Webkinz, the game is free to play and monetized by the usual micro-transaction of convenience items such as town portal scrolls, potions and nifty costumes to wear - there's an equipment screen and a costume screen so players aren't sacrificing utility for looks - and the graphical style is just like the cartoon.
Read the Introductory Look.