Comic-Con is coming, which means it’s cosplay season! We want to see your best costumes, so we’re running a contest on our Facebook page, and one lucky fan who gets the most votes will win a Museum Replicas Obi-Wan Jedi Cloak! In honor of all of this creative character-creation going on, we’ve taken a look at another way to get into a fun fantasy character (without a stitch of sewing required): role-playing games! So keep that cape close by and pick up your iPad, we’re looking at the best massively multiplayer online games available from the Apple app store.
Pocket Legends (Free) – Years of experience in the mobile-MMO business have paid off for developer Spacetime Studios, who have brought us three different flavors of 3D MMO for iPhone and iPad. Pocket Legends (fantasy-themed), Dark Legends (vampire-themed), and Star Legends (space-themed) are all highly regarded games, each offering a different setting for your leveling-up, world-exploring pleasure. Looking a lot like World of Warcraft in miniature, Pocket Legends starts you off as a new resident of the colorful magical realm of Alterra. A free to play game, upgrades for your character are earned by finding treasure along your journey or by knocking out monsters for their loot. Of course, like many “free” games, you can take a shortcut by paying real cash for new gear at any time. No matter how you get it, though, the items you equip your character with will give them a unique appearance to show off to the thousands of other online gamers you might encounter. If you’ve never MMO’ed before, this is a great place to start.
Order & Chaos Online ($6.99 for 3 months, $.99/month after) – Also more than a little inspired by World of Warcraft, Order & Chaos Online aims to at least be the most accurate copycat WoW-like game out there. Where Pocket Legends is cute and fun to jump in and out of, Order & Chaos Online is a surprisingly deep game that impresses with its massive scope. One of the best looking titles in the iOS app store, the world contained here is a lot more expansive and expensive-looking than the game’s price would have you believe. Choose from Human, Elf, Orc or Undead and take on huge monsters with the help of friends and strangers alike. A guild system is even available to act as a social network within the game and keep your quests filled with familiar virtual faces.
Empire of the Eclipse ($1.99/month) Massively multiplayer games don’t have to be about hacking, slashing, and loot gathering in some mystical realm. Empire of the Eclipse is closer to Sim City than World of Warcraft, putting you in charge of a patch of galaxy far, far away. If you want to be the next great intergalactic emperor, you’ll need to thoroughly explore your sector, lock down some resources, and get to building a fleet. Each new game incorporates a number of players spread across the same star-system as you, and you’ll need to decide who to trust and who to wipe out of existence. Space-Rome wasn’t built in a day, so activities such as researching new technology can take hours of in-game time and things are happening even when you’re away from your iPad, forcing you to check in on your empire often to monitor your status and issue orders. The payoff for all of this hard work, however, can be enormous; the only thing better than defeating an enemy is defeating all your enemies at once!
Please Stay Calm (Free) – Another take on persistent online multiplayer gaming, Please Stay Calm asks the increasingly important question: What will you do when the zombies come? If you’ve played enough of this undead-apocalypse simulator, you should have a good plan. A location-based game, it’s up to you to defend your territory while at home and scavenge for goods while out and about. Link up with other gamers in your neighborhood to collaborate on a communal compound, or duel those survivors to remind them who is in charge of this part of town. While the gameplay involves more spreadsheet managing than zombie-skull thumping, the comic book-style graphics throughout the app are still great and the experience is a fun one.
Alexei Bochenek is a lifelong tech nerd & film buff based in Los Angeles. When he’s not playing with his phone, it’s because the movie has started. Shhhhh!