Thursday, May 07, 2009
Where I am with Free Realms
In the open Sunday thread some readers wanted to have more information about Free Realms. I can give some answers, but fact is that I haven't played all that much. I didn't quit World of Warcraft just to play another MMO for 20 hours per week, and even if I wanted to do that, Free Realms wouldn't be terribly suited for that purpose. For example in one weekend I managed to level up blacksmithing to the level cap, and mining close to it. Free Realms is more suited for casual gaming, an hour here, half an hour there, and that is what I'm doing.
I like mining and blacksmithing, and now I maxed it out I can forge a range of useful weapons for various other jobs I haven't started yet. The only negative point of the smithing / mining exercise was that it turns out that the three mini-games involved are nearly identical to the two mini-games involved in harvesting / cooking. Free Realm's "main" mini-game seems to have been recycled in slightly different forms for various jobs, where of course I would have preferred the mini-games to be more different. Some people called this game a Bejeweled clone, but doesn't quite describe it. It isn't enough to have 3 or more stones of the same type in a row to destroy them, you need to click and drag your mouse through those 3+ stones, and you can follow a curved path. And there is no swapping of gems involved, just destroying gems by drawing a line through them, and some special effects tiles.
I haven't played all that much of the trading card game yet. But the boosters I bought contained, besides cards, various goodies, one special item per booster. These are somewhat complicated to claim, you first need to release them in the card game, then claim them in Free Realms itself. But I did find a dog in one booster, so I didn't need to buy a pet. And I also found a special card players club card, which allowed me to play through a short series of extra trading card quests, which aren't available to players without the club card. The other items were things like clothing, or items with temporary special show effects.
I occasionally try to find those of my readers who posted their Free Realms name here, but it appears that they as well don't play for long periods. I really wish one could send a friend request to somebody who is currently offline, but that feature isn't supported (yet?).