DownWorld Review: An Action RPG Cartoon World Online

downworld game

downWorld is an MMORPG or Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game, that was released in June 2011 by the creators of a similar MMORPG called ourWorld. This game is a socializing game based on earning money, creating an online persona, developing it, making friends online and then playing games and doing various challenges and quests to keep the players busy and interested. Here are some of the key features of this game:

Gameplay

downWorld is, to put it simply, ourWorld with World of Warcraft-like quests. The quests eventually lead to battles, and this is where downWorld goes beyond ourWorld. The concept of battles is interesting to say the least, if rather tedious and boring eventually.

The game begins with a story wherein you’re being taught how to play the game by your master, who is then murdered in front of your character’s eyes. You vow to take revenge against the murderers (props to anyone who can remember a less clichéd storyline for a game) and so you begin your journey to the depths and peaks of a world called Wired Wilderness. At this point, you should make a note of the alliteration in most of the names, because seeing what sort of names will come up next is likely to be your eventual motivation as you progress through the game. You start off at Derelict Descent, go to the Forsaken Forest, take a detour to the Hermit’s Hideaway on the way to Chaos Crossing for a quest…You get the idea. All this while, you’re given quests by people who promise to tell you the whereabouts of the people you’re looking for if you do the current quest and the next one, and so on it goes.

As for the battle mechanics itself, it is quite nifty. You basically play Bejeweled against a monster and when you beat them, you win. For the uninitiated, Bejeweled is a game where you’re required to make a line of three identical items in every turn to eliminate them and you have to keep this up until it is no longer possible for you to make a “triple” in one turn. The same concept applies here, except for every “triple” that you make, the monster opposing you takes a hit, and for every “triple” the monster completes, you take hit. You lose when your health runs out (the health bar is at the top of the screen), and the same applies to the monster. Bejeweled as a battle mechanic is pretty good, but it can also be quite an irritant in both egotistical and aesthetic terms because if you end up losing to a monster, losing a battle of wits against a blob of jelly will be a hard pill to swallow.

Each of the combinations that you can make has its own types and attacking strengths. You have seven different types of orbs that you need to “triple” so as to attack. The red ones symbolize fire, the blue ones symbolize water attacks and the green ones symbolize leaf attacks or whatever sort of attacks forests perpetrate on people. Presumably it is the Ents from Lord of the Rings sort of an attack. Digressions safely behind, you next have the yellow orbs that suggest thunder-based attacks and then you have the purple orbs with angel-like figures on them that imply magical powers of some sort. You also have the “diamonds in a transparent square box” orb which when placed in a “triple” remove the entire line either horizontally or vertically, depending on the orientation of the original “triple”. Lastly you have the silver decagon orbs that are a source for the “Flow” which power certain spells when you accumulate enough of it. The spells use the same hitting mechanism that you use. Each of the colored orbs is signified by a punch sign below the box with a number on it denoting the damage each punch or hit does. If supposing the yellow punch has a ‘2’ on it, then when you complete a yellow “triple” that punch will hit the opponent, causing 6 damage to it. You can also start certain matches with shields against certain types of punches.

Apart from the fighting aspect of this game, you have the regular character customizations that all role-playing games have. In this one, you can customize everything from the character’s headgear to his feet, its weapon and even add horns, wings or get a pet. Each type of clothing as well as the weapon has different styles in 5 different colors and most styles don’t become available until you reach level 5 and 10. Protip: Some of the initial headgear is horrendous, spare your eyes the ordeal or having to see even a virtual version of yourself look like that and just avoid it until you reach level 3 altogether. Regarding the social aspect, you can chat with other characters in the game; give them gifts, the works. You will only come across them in the hubs and cafés like the Hub 1 or Café Elixir. This is also where you receive most of your quests from people with exclamation marks above them.

Graphics and Audio

The graphics are quite well done in this game. They are polished and neat, you can clearly see your own character’s as well as other people’s character’s features and there’s no squinting required anywhere. The backgrounds themselves are really basic though, and the moment you start focusing on them you realize that they aren’t that good. This isn’t much of a deal-breaker though. The best part is of course where you beat your enemy and he explodes in a shower of blood. No fighting game is complete without loads of blood.

The audio is seems to be a typical tribal music-like tone initially while making a quick transition to regular fantasy fighting-based deep drums and marching sounds later on. It’s nothing special and not even particularly apt for the game, but it’s not much to fret over.

Conclusion

The idea of battling gets old very quickly, even if it requires typical Bejeweled-level of strategy to be able to win. And without the battle concept, there really isn’t much point to playing the game and you could always play ownWorld instead. People who’re done with ownWorld and want new avenues to explore might take to this game, but there are unlikely to be many new users given the choices available to them. In other words, this game doesn’t have much that is addictive yet, and stuff like that is what keeps MMORPGs like World of Warcraft running. All in all, if you’re one of those very few people who enjoy Bejeweled and role-playing games, downWorld is tailor-made for you. Otherwise, maybe not so much.

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