Dark or Light

A First Look at Shadowskull Tower and Mogloween 2016

William Murphy Posted:
Previews 0

Next month, Adventure Quest 3D will drop on Steam, iOS, and Android as a truly cross-platform 3D MMORPG. You’ll be able to play at your desktop, move to your tablet, and take AQ3D with you on your phone anywhere you go. We recently chatted with the Artix Entertainment team, and Artix himself Adam Bohn, about the game and played their newly revealed dungeon: Shadowskull Tower.

Many of our members probably cut their teeth on Artix’s Adventure Quest or Adventure Quest Worlds, back before their folks might have allowed them to play something like World of Warcraft or another AAA MMORPG. The original Adobe Flash powered RPG has been around now for over a decade; it even predates WoW. Its MMO cousin, AQ Worlds came out much later in 2008 but rose to similar prominence as a leading browser MMORPG. Now, this October, Artix Entertainment hopes to widen their userbase even more with Adventure Quest 3D – a traditional theme park MMORPG that can be played on PC, iOS, or Android.

AQ3D was successfully Kickstarted in 2015 to the tune of roughly $370,000 USD, and in just a few weeks will be “soft launching” into Open Beta across all platforms. If you’ve always been fond of the traditional MMORPG theme park, then you’re the target audience for AQ3D.  Artix makes no bones about the fact that it’s very heavily modeled after games like WoW, FFXIV, and more. Its combat is realtime, but plays out tab-target like most. There are around 20 classes in the game, though your character can freely swap between any you’ve unlocked at any time. Your main character level dictates your basic stats and ability to handle enemies of similar levels, while each class has a Rank that allows them to be finely tuned via talents and skills.

The main city of BattleOn is where all players will congregate between quests, dungeons, and so forth. It’s here you’ll socialize, train up, buy and sell gear, and the usual.  There are hundreds of quests, storylines to follow, and those familiar with Adventure Quest and Worlds will feel right at home as AQ3D brings many of the familiar places to life in this 3D incarnation. That said, the goal going forward for Artix is to see where the world can go and grow from here on.

For our tour, we took off to the first of several revealed dungeons, Shadowskull Tower. Like the name implies, it’s dark, it’s spooky and filled with skeletons and other baddies. One of the rewards for completing the dungeon is the fancy looking Ghostrider-esque helm you see above. Artix has made the dungeon a series of floors that are randomized each time you enter. So the dungeon will never be exactly the same twice. It’s quick too, though we over-powered it by taking a small raid party with us, it’s geared for 3 people to go in and take on 6 floors and the final boss (who’s also randomized as one of several forms).

Combat is fast and fluid, even if it’s very “usual fare” for MMOs. The most attractive part about AQ3D for me is the ability to play the same game across my iPad, my iPhone, and my PC and play with my son as he gets older on any of the three. It’s simple enough for a younger audience, but has enough content to really dive into if you find the gameplay to your liking. There really aren’t that many good MMOs on mobile, and this is about as close to iPhone WoW as you’re likely ever going to get.  The multi-class system, the quick play sessions, and the long-term hook to keep seeing everything new that’s added almost weekly make AQ3D a no brainer to check out. After all, it’ll be F2P when Open Beta begins in October.

It’s monetized OK from what I’ve seen too. You can either get your dungeon armor and gear by grinding out to get all the mats for crafting them, or you can play the dungeon once and then spend money to buy the mats.  I’m not a real fan of this, to be honest, as it seems too easy to “pay to skip” to the best gear. I’d much rather see AQ3D go the route of selling mounts, cosmetics, and experience boosters, but Artix says they’ll be using the Open Beta period to see how people react to the monetizing and will adjust as needed.

Speaking of October, the Open Beta will kick off with Mogloween 2016, the annual Adventure Quest Halloween event that’s beloved by fans. The great Gourdthulu will be present, and players can work to earn the Pumpkin Lord seasonal armor set as well.  The latter of which looks exceptionally cool, in my personal opinion. That’s the kind of thing I’d like to see for sale to skip the grind, if there are no stats attached.

If you’re looking for a solid mobile MMORPG to play, or an alternative to WoW (or both!), Adventure Quest 3D could be right up your alley. I don’t think it’ll please folks looking for something groundbreaking or revolutionary, but in terms of a solid fantasy MMORPG that’s playable with the same servers across multiple devices you can do no wrong here. Keep an eye on the site for some giveaways, and head over to the official site for more details.


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.