I like nothing more than finding some weird or unknown MMO and presenting it like a baby to the world. That’s how it happens in my head, at least, but the truth is that all of the MMOs I find and think “I discovered this!” were already discovered by someone else, or else they wouldn’t have existed for me to find them! Still, it’s important to show off indie or lesser-known MMOs to anyone I can.
After all, these smaller MMOs might turn into the next big MMOs or, at least, will continue to feed the genre fresh new ideas and players. We can always use more ideas and players!
One of my favorite ways to find new MMOs is to sit down and start Googling. I also visit many other websites and make myself slog through page after page of crappy multiplayer games, hoping to find something awesome. Steam is a good place for MMOs, but its library offers barely a fraction of what you might find through Google searches. Steam’s user comments sections are mostly trash, as well, being filled with spoiled teenagers complaining that they had to pay a single dime in order to play a game.
The Steam pages are best because they are filled with decent information and updates from the developers and feature immediate download links. In many cases, a game’s Steam page is much better than its official page.
Recently I found some interesting MMOs on Steam and decided to share them with you. I haven’t put as much time in them as I would have liked but, hey, they’re mostly free. Try them out for yourself!
Amazing World is an adorable MMO for younger players (and maybe for their parents or older siblings) that features bright colors, customization, story-based quests, gardening, collections, and fun housing. It seems to compare to other younger-player MMOs just fine. It looks like it is connected to Webkins, an IP that should be more familiar to most parents.
The age group for this one is a bit harder to pin down. It has wonderful bright colors and child-like art but some of the quests would require a little more coordination and possible MMO familiarity so, parents, if you sit your kids down with this one be sure you’re around to help them out!
It’s free-ish-to-play, so be aware of that as well. The good news is that it has a low requirement for PCs, so it should play on older hardware just fine.
Guns and Robots
This little shooter is more of a lobby-based shoot-em-up than MMO, but it features some really clever graphics and interesting takes on standard shooter mechanics. With a few tweaks, this one could be a lot of fun. Unfortunately, the matching system in the game allows players to be thrown in with opponents who seem to be much more powerful and skilled, so you’ll spend quite a few matches frustrated at how quickly you die.
The lack of variable opponents might have something to do with the tiny community; during most times when I logged in to wait for a match there were maybe 25 people in the queue. I’m not sure how the game puts matches together, but in a game that relies on enemies for play, the lack of other players is a real problem.
The game is fantastic looking but hits even a decent rig like mine pretty hard. When I minimized it the rest of my system was hit with sluggishness; yet I am able to play amazing looking games like Planetside 2 with no issues at all.
Guns and Robots is definitely worth checking out; just be aware of its shortcomings.
My Lands: Black Gem Hunting
My Lands is, in many ways, a typical MMORTS. You’ll spend your time upgrading buildings and raising citizen counts, and most of it will take some time unless you spend some money. What tends to stand out about My Lands is its graphics and its gentle pace.
Graphically it’s somewhere between “primitive” and “interesting.” The art style is what I like to call “representative” – meaning that the graphics and icons represent larger items or groups and its simple systems represent much more complex behaviors. It’s charming in an old-school way.
You build up your population, raise the level of buildings, contact other players, but all of it is supposed to make you feel like you are slowly building an empire. It works for the most part, but the sluggish gameplay could have many new players turning off before giving the game a chance. If the game would improve its presentation a little bit, that would work wonders. I don’t think it needs to change its art, but become more conscience of walls of text or lack of lore.
It’s a rough title, but definitely worth checking out. You can also play with an iPad or Android app.
Of all of the games on this list, Royal Quest might be the most attractive to “standard” MMO fans. This is a very lovely game that is set in the world of Aura but features a sometimes-frustrating camera. Players should be able to explore “100 locations” although I am not sure if that means a large zone or instanced area. Along the way, players will kill mobs in the hopes of grabbing cards that are used to enhance equipment with special effects.
The cash shop feature some cool items but, so far, the quests are mostly standard grind quests. Still, it’s a pretty game and more time in it might result in much more grand adventure. I will report back on this one!
In a world of a million Minecraft “clones”, it’s important to understand that many MMOs for many years have been copying, stealing, and borrowing from each other. Heck, theft is a staple in gaming, but it’s also a staple in life. Something like Minecraft comes along, does really well (even though it didn’t invent the mechanics it popularized) and others borrow from it.
Cubic Castles definitely borrows from the “dig it up, build with it” design but packages it on mobile and PC. You get to explore the “overworld” to look for building materials and then take it back to your own private area for building.
The game is downright adorable, but the isometric camera angle makes things difficult sometimes. There are in-app or in-game purchases that many would call “pay2win” – but those people are usually 16-year-olds who haven’t paid for anything in their entire lives.
I found the game to be cute, and much better on mobile. Even then the controls can be somewhat clunky, especially when you start to dig (or pull, actually. You pull up chunks of earth. It’s very satisfying!) yourself into a hole. With some camera improvements the game would much more fun, but it’s still worth checking out!
I hope you dig these titles. If you have any other weird, odd or indie MMOs that you’d like me to check out, please let me know in the comments section!