Monday, October 09, 2006

Kingdom of Loathing: a review

I have heard some chatter about the online role playing game "Kingdom of Loathing" for a little while now, so I decided to give it a try. At first the game seemed like a simple farce on the typical RPG. The character classes are a mockery of the usual "Barbarian, Wizard, thief" archetypes as seen by the following
  • Seal Clubber - Seal Clubbers hail from the frigid Northlands, because one character class always hails from the frigid Northlands. They rely on their Muscle to survive.
  • Turtle Tamer - The Turtle Tamer's mystical connection with his terrapin brethren imbues him with great power. He excels at moving very slowly and winning footraces with smug satisfaction. His Muscle is the key to his success, and to his long lifespan.
  • Pastamancer - With his mastery of the arcane secrets of Noodlecraft, the Pastamancer is a force to be reckoned with. He relies on his Mysticality to get ahead in the world.
  • Sauceror - Long engaged in an uneasy truce with the Pastamancers, the guild of Saucerors protects the secrets of the Ancient Brotherhood of Gravymakers. Their Mysticality is their most important attribute.
  • Disco Bandit - The Disco Bandit boogies to and fro, hither and yon. Whence comes he? No man knows. Whither strikes he next? All men live in fear of him and his Moxie.
  • Accordion Thief - The scourge of mariachis and polka bands, the Accordion Thieves have plied their malign craft since time out of mind. Their Moxie serves them well in both their adventures and their interactions with "the ladies."
I think you can see where this kind of thing leads. Stolen Accordians and Pasta spoons become weapons. Instead of gold, the currency of the realm is "Meat." armor such as "paper-plate-mail pants" or a "yellow plastic hard hat" become suitable protection against enemies such the "confused goth music student" and the "Knob Goblin Barbecue Team."

The graphics are all simple stick figures and crude drawings, adding to the farce. The game is rife with enough pop-culture references to make a hipster's head spin. For example when given the "King of Cobb's Knob" Quest it says:
"We've marked your map with the location of the secret entrance that will allow you to go inside the Knob. Many Bothans died to... oh, wait, never mind. That was something else."
After you kill the Goblin King he drops "Glass Balls of the Goblin King" which are described thusly:
These are the glass balls of The Knob Goblin King. Hey, get your mind out of the gutter, we're trying to swim in here. These are three glass balls he kept juggling through your entire fight. Though, to be fair, you never saw the arm that was juggling them and the rest of his body in the same frame.
This is a nice nod to Labyrinth.

Consider starting up a game, but you are warned that while the game plays on every convention and cliche in RPGs, the result is very fun and addictive.

I have to get back to my sixth level Pastamancer now.

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Shuffledog said...

I've been playing for over a year, under the name 'Shuffledog'. It's highly addictive, incredibly in-depth for such a simple premise, and filled with re-playability. For example, there is a particular trophy to collect which would require completing the main game twenty six times and then gaining the game equivalent of 5 million dollars to win.

I love it.

Drhaggis said...

Thats a lot o' Meat!