Rango: The World is set a year after the Rango movie. Lars the chameleon has settled into his new name and role as sheriff of Dirt and players get to create a lizard in the style of Rango and Beans to explore the world they saw on the wide-screen. A browser based game that’s rendered in Flash, kids will customize their character, then walk around town, exploring, speaking to various characters that appeared in the movie, play mini-games and participate in delivery and collection quests.
The game is surprisingly non-violent and the language clean, considering the movie and the Rango video games. In this milder and kinder world, there’s no fighting, cussing or fiery mayhem. Kids do quests, which are mostly of the collection and delivery kind, play mini-games, which can also be a quest goal, decorate their homes, throw parties, which allow other kids to visit their housing, chill out in the movie theater or just hang out and chat. The in-game currency is water, which is also the valuable commodity in the movie, and kids get an allowance of water each day as they log in, and earn more by playing games and completing quests. With this currency, they customize their character with different clothing and buy housing decorations.
But for some mini-games, Rango: The World can be played entirely by mouse clicks. The UI is simple and intuitive and the tutorial walks you through all you need to know to play the world. Collecting items requires energy which regenerates over time, making kids think about what they need to pick up to fulfill quests, leaving the ones they do not need for other kids. With the addition of Timm’s Super Arcade, a game with a pinball mechanic not unlike Peggle, there are currently five mini-games, which range from a Match-3 to side-scrolling platformers, at least one of which should appeal to any child, and all themed to the Rango world, for example the Road Runner platformer is features Rango riding a road runner being chased by an eagle.
The housing in Rango: The World can get quite elaborate, especially for subscribers who receive a much large area to decorate. In keeping with the movie, housing items are recycled items. A cut out coffee cup chair, poker chip tables and other found items are use as decorations can be purchased and placed. As the player progresses though, the housing can get quite elaborate with more luxurious furnishings.
The game is not ESRB rated, but it is COPPA compliant, and has 24/7 moderator support with Game Masters (GMs) seen online -- often right at the point where you enter the game, to catch any inappropriate names. There are two types of servers: menu-chat and filtered-chat (termed safe chat and open chat in the game). By default, kids can only create accounts on the safe-chat servers. A parent has to allow the account to use the open-chat servers which operate with a black list – that’s assuming that the under-thirteen children do not have their own email account. Kids can add other players to their friends list and see that they have friends on the various servers, and teleport to them.
Launched on the same day as the movie, not all characters are in the game as of yet, and the first update to the game has added a static Road Runner, a new area and a new mini-game, besides cosmetic items and “sittables” – home furnishing items that characters can sit on. The game is free to play, but with a $6.99 monthly subscription, kids will unlock special vanity items, housing items, more rooms in player housing and quests, as well as a larger allowance.
All in all, Rango: The World is a nice little game for kids whether they have seen the movie Rango or not. The graphics are sharp, detailed and atmospherically reminiscent of the movie, animations are smooth if limited and there’s enough to do in the limited time a child has on the computer and as Funtactix adds content to the game each month, there will always be something new for kids to look forward to, such as actual road runner races against each other.