The more you know
When you go to kingdomofloathing.com there are a bunch of stick figures. You see some stats about some players and some announcements. Currently there is a banner for their game Shadows Over Loathing. And that’s it.
But if you make an account and go in, you enter a comical world that shows you how entertaining simple stick figures and the written word can be. Kingdom of Loathing is a browser, turn-based RPG that has the normal elements of any RPG: six classes, skills for each, a main quest and side quests, and fun secrets. What sets it apart is the fairly simple illustrations of monsters and the hilarious descriptions of the fights and adventures you partake in.
I mean, this is what it looks like (I’m going through a special Super Mario version run):
The game is filled to the brim with jokes and pop culture references. Skeletons can “scwipe you with their scimitar and misc.”. And you’ll fight monsters like The Beetles or golems made of chowder. Everything from the fights to the item descriptions have jokes and it’s an absolute delight reading new material as well. You can take apart cottage cheese and get a cottage. That’s the kind of humor I’m talking about.
The world is very well developed at this point and there are tons of places to explore. Expect to do reading from all the descriptions of the events you run into. There is a limiting factor though: every day you get 40 adventures and every combat/event encounter consumes one adventure. Stores and stuff don’t use adventures. You might feel like this is limiting, but it’s just about the right amount to play for every day. And you can have up to 200 adventures stored up. You can go past that with food and drinks, but the 40 given will only give you up to the 200. But also take care not to drink too much alcohol or you’ll be fallen down drunk and useless for the rest of the day.
The six classes are strange like Accordion Thief, Seal Clubber and Pastamancer. But the themes that continue in the skills make them feel like legit real classes that have existed forever. Admittedly they’re based off of normal ones. Mix that with the thousands upon thousands upon THOUSANDS of items you can find in the game. Content really does feel endless here.
All of it is free. There are a few things you can pay money for, but the game is completely fine without them. And if you finish the game you can ascend and start over with different challenge paths that go from something as simple as being a teetotaler and not being able to drink, to having the whole kingdom turned into a nuclear post apocalypse. Or even like my current run, being a Super Mario-like character. Every time you ascend you get rewarded and you can start over with new content, which at this point there are SO MANY different cool paths you can take now.
There are, of course, online components. You can shop the player maintained mall, take part in PvP, or create a clan with your friends to take on a clan dungeon. But also of course, I do not partake in the online aspects except the mall.
This game is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea but I highly recommend trying it. It is available for free at kingdomofloathing.com. If you’re not into browser based mostly text adventures you can get West of Loathing or Shadows of Loathing on Steam. They are not free though.
But all I’ve been doing is explaining what the game is. The whole battle system set around things like fighting hippies having elemental effects like “stench damage” gives you a bit of an idea of some of the organized absurdity the game shows you. The game is most rewarding when you know more about real life and pop culture. References abound in nearly every description and you’ll find yourself laughing out loud (hopefully, if not I apologize for my taste in humor). At the very least there are some puns there that you can enjoy.
And that’s the big thing. The more you know about pop culture, the more enjoyable this game gets. Things from random beer quotes (I don’t drink, but I still get some of the jokes from ads and whatnot), to references to other games, to making puns or making fun of grammar. There are so many different kinds of humor all throughout the game. Every time I read something and I get the reference I feel like doing that DiCaprio pointing gif/meme. And sometimes the stuff is just funny without getting it.
So if we get all that pop culture stuff in with an infinitely updated game that I would play forever if it updated forever and I lived forever, and you get this wonderful game. Really, I’ve seen so many mixed responses to this game. …but I just finished my 50th ascension and I still have more things I want to do in this game.
Kingdom of Loathing is #179 on the ULTRA, as of the publishing of this post. What other browser based games do you still really like?
Thanks for reading, and hopefully I will post more darn often. =_= Be safe.
I’ll see you next time.