Gather your swords and axes friends, in this App review we are taking a look at Parallel Kingdom for iOS!
This app is a wonderful take on the MMORPG Genre, combining exploration, community, and… your real-world physical location. Parallel Kingdom uses your Current GPS location, in combination with Google Map Data, to create your surroundings. I’ve been playing this game for 6 months and have recently claimed the land our OWC Headquarters sits on in Woodstock, Illinois.
What this game lacks in plot, it makes up for with its raw exploration and gameplay. After clearing out the area of monsters and collecting some gold and “Pages” (which you need to max out to level up). I decided to wander around and see what else the land around our building had to offer.
As you venture around, you will see a colorful display of flags, and claimed territory. Every player has a color associated with themselves, and as you build flags (with wood and leather that you’ve gathered from creatures), you can claim open land or burn the flags of other players and claim their land as your own. Though the latter will likely anger other players and lead to them coming after you.
Don’t feel like leaving your couch to explore? Not a problem! The game also lends you a dog as a pet, which will scour the area for unclaimed land for you to explore and claim as your own. Once you claim an area (by building flags) you will be able to build a home, decorate it and return to it at any time.
While the game is free-to-play, it does use an in-app purchasing system for “food”. Food is required to level up, train your dog, and refine oil (which is used for higher-level buildings and constructs) and is the game’s secondary currency. Trade posts are available to sell items for food, so you can obtain it without purchase. However, the game no longer provides enough food for a few levels, so you’ll need to earn some of this quite early. While every time you play you do have the chance to win some free food (I won some myself), gathering enough to level up can feel like a contrived hurdle to jump in order to progress in the game.
Whether your just looking for a casual game to play and defend your territory at home or work, or looking for a total time-sink to delve into, Parallel Kingdom is a fantastic choice.
The pixel art goodness and intentional Google-powered backgrounds are a fresh sight but not as catchy or flashy as other titles available on the App Store.
When it comes to mobile MMORPGS, this is one for the record books. Player interaction happens, there is a live, thriving economy, and it has a world that is greatly affected by its players. Just don’t be surprised if you find yourself saying “Sure! I’d love to go to the store!!” only to have access to some iron mines.
This silent gem deserves great praise, but I wish, honestly, it had some sort of audio.
This is a fantastic use of reality to make a game, which has been attempted but poorly implemented in the past. The idea of going to a physical location in the real world and have that affect my game is a good idea on paper, and its great to see PerBlue implement this effectively and in a very fun manner.
While by no means a perfect game and limited by its heavy dependency on paid currency and lack of audio, Parallel Kingdom is still a great innovation and wonderful game to enjoy regardless of your gaming time limitations. Frequently, I’ve found myself entirely too eager to go out for errands just to raid our local stores of precious resources to build my airship. And if fantasy isn’t your thing, the same company also has a “Parallel Mafia” game, which plays very similarly but with a very different theme and items.