Dark or Light

The Game Hopper: GLITCH

William Murphy Posted:
Columns Bill Murphy 0

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.

This week, to kick things off, it’s all about GLITCH from Tiny Speck.

Played entirely in your browser via Flash, GLITCH is a bit of an odd duck.  Well, really… it just is an odd duck and gloriously, humorously, voraciously proud of it.  A beautifully drawn 2D side-scrolling game, GLITCH has some of the kookiest and most unique looking visuals on the market today, AAA or otherwise.  See the screens pasted here for an idea of what to expect.  What exactly is GLITCH about though?  Well, from the team’s own website:

“Glitch is a web-based massively-multiplayer game which takes place inside the minds of eleven peculiarly imaginative Giants. You choose how to grow and shape the world: building and developing, learning new skills, collaborating or competing with everyone else in one enormous, ever-changing, persistent world.”

Like I said, GLITCH is awesomely weird.  I mean, they have Egg-Plants… plants that grow eggs. Really.

I petted the Egg-Plant… it needed my touch.

There's no combat in GLITCH.  The game is about being creative with your avatar and working alongside others to create and change the game world.  I've barely scratched the surface myself, but to give you an idea of what you're in for here are some things I've done.

  • I have hugged a pig and received meat in return.
  • I have petted a tree so that I might harvest it's cherries.
  • I have squeezed a chicken in midair to get some grain from it.
  • I have planted and watered a bean tree and then plucked its beans.  Said tree stays around for others to help grow and harvest.
  • And of course, I gave an offering to a floating creepy tree guy in hopes that my tithing would appease the giants.
  • Did I mention that GLITCH is weird?

One of the best parts about GLITCH is that the skills system is completely independent from the leveling system.  I honestly, at this stage of my knowledge on the game, couldn’t tell you what levels allow you access to.  You get Favor with the Giants, but I don’t quite get what it’s for yet.  But the Skills are learned over time, not with XP, and learning one unlocks another.  Some skills depend on several from other parts of the skill tree to be learnable, and it’s all really well mapped out.  Looking at the tree, I’m instantly reminded of the Periodic Table.

I can even learn stuff while stuck at work… score!

The skills themselves unlock more and more actions and recipes with which to make things.  Animal Kinship improves your ability to interact with animals, while cooking helps you make better food (with which you can do many things or make a profit in the game’s Auctions), and so on and so forth. It’s all about building and adding to the world though.  Let me restate this for those wondering: GLITCH is not about being the hero and killing things with a sword.  It’s about carving out your own little niche in this crazy animated world and making things.

There’s also a boat-load of character looks to buy and choose from.  Some can be made, but many are bought in the store using the game’s currency (Currants) and the Cash Store currency (Credits).  No fear, this isn’t a F2P game that will charge you to progress.  Everything that you buy with real money is strictly for looks.  Everything to use in the game to make stuff and do things with is bought with the in-game currency. 

The only stuff I’ve seen to buy with cash is the cosmetic variety, so put down your pitchforks and indulge this little free game.  It’s not what you’re used to.  There are several subscription options, if the mood strikes you, and each gives you a ton of Credits to use plus plenty of other bonuses as well.  Though it’s never really necessary, if you’re bound to go crazy with vanity items, you might want to look into it as there’s even a $4.99 option which gives you all access to vanity items and a vote in “Referendums” which drive what sorts of features get added to the game.  That’s right: subscribers have tangible votes on what comes next.

There’s a lot more to GLITCH than I can cover in this column.  My best advice is to play it for yourself since it’s completely free, and see if it clicks with you.  It didn’t at first for me, but the deeper I went; the more I enjoyed my time.  It’s just a crazy world filled with goofy things to do and people to play with.  The game's out of beta now, and quietly building a following.  But the folks at Tiny Speck certainly have a vision, and it’s an intoxicating one at that.


William Murphy

Bill is the former Managing Editor of MMORPG.com, RTSGuru.com, and lover of all things gaming. He's been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002, and you can harass him and his views on Twitter @thebillmurphy.