Alternatives to MMORPGs
Visit the The MUDdex!
So what if you are playing your favorite MMORPG and the
server crashes. Or you are having huge lag problems. The bugs and
crashes are getting you down. Or your main
machine is in the shop, and you are left using a backup machine with only 16M
video RAM. Maybe the monthly fees are interfering with your ability
to buy groceries. Or the biggest draw of MMORPGs, the other people,
are getting on your nerves. You need a break from the game, but you
still need to have fun.
Here are some suggestions.
- SpiderWeb Software
produces a number of game titles, including the Avernum series,
Geneforge, and Geneforge 2. They are single-player adventure games with simple
graphics and an emphasis on gameplay. The simple graphics mean short
download times for free trials and full games. You can purchase game
keys on-line, or order a CD by mail. Most games offer hint books for
sale. Games run on both Windows and Macintoshes, and most of them are
written first for Macs. I'm particularly fond of Geneforge.
- Some of you may remember the board game Cosmic Encounter. There
is now a Web based
version of the game that will run on any machine with a reasonably
advanced web browser. You can play against the computer or against
other players. If you want to play for free, you get a limitted set
of 'alien' characters to play. If you pay, you get the full set, as
well as access to ladders and other goodies. The game is fun,
intense, and frequently silly. There is no easy way to describe the
gameplay. Just register and play against the computer a few times
until you get it.
- Popcap Games produces a
number of really fun click-toys. You can play words games, run a
virtual fish tank, and align colors and geometric pieces in a
tetris-like manner. Their games can be played over the web,
downloaded in a nagwear version, and even played on Pilot devices.
Oh, and you can purchase the games to get rid of the nag.
- The extremely popular German-origin board game Settlers of Catan is playable through
on-line Java servers and through MSN. Some Java-based Catan sites are:
If these servers are full or down, google around and see what you can find.