By Vincent Haoson, Onrpg writer
Muniz Online is a browser-based game from Acclaim, the company that has brought games like 9 Dragons, 2Moons and Bots! into the MMO scene.
Cuteness and Gameplay Combined
The game combines cuteness factor, a variety of mini-games you can spend time on, MMO elements like a quest and level system and community enhancing features like a marriage system and even a customize-your-own home feature. The result of this mixture of elements basically describes what Muniz Online is.
When you start playing Muniz Online, you get to choose from three different default skins, the cute egg-like Chapati, the male humans, Chapato, or the female counterpart the Chapata. Muniz Online lets you choose from a limited set of starting clothes that you can put on your avatar. You can get more clothes and accessories for your avatar as you progress through the world of Muniz Online.
Speaking of progressing through the world of Muniz Online, the exploration starts when you click on the Chat tab found in the website. You don’t need to download anything because it basically runs on flash and traveling through the islands is basically done on-site.
The game feels familiar because the gameplay is almost similar to Club penguin and Gaia Online. The customization and the exploration are similar, though some aspects of the game tend to lean on different paths.
What sets Muniz Online apart from the other browser games that I mentioned earlier on is that it has a marriage system. That’s right. The game has a marriage system.
The marriage system in Muniz Online is similar to the requirements when you are getting married in real life. You would need a place for the wedding to take place, witnesses and of course your significant other. Marriage in Muniz Online is as easy as it can be. There’s no gold or level requirement, you don’t even need to have a house of your own to get married.
Of course, like in real life, marriages have its pitfalls. So, if you don’t want to be with your Muniz Online partner because of one reason or another, the game provides you a way out. Yep, that’s right, you can divorce your “partner” and return to becoming a Chapati, Chapato or Chapata that is single and ready to mingle.
Another difference of Muniz Online to other games of the same genre is the leveling system. Muniz Online’s leveling system is unique to the genre because unlike in Penguin Club or Gaia Online where all the game features are available, Muniz Online requires you to reach certain levels before you can do certain things in the game.
The level system infuses the MMORPG feel into Muniz Online, though unlike most MMOs where the quest is already listed down, in Muniz Online you’d need to search for the quest NPCs that are scattered within the island.
The quests are somewhat required because areas in Muniz Online are level locked. So if you want to explore more of the island then you’d really have to spend the time to explore and level.
As a game that is community-based, Muniz Online has the right stuff. Most of the elements that make a community work and prosper are found in the game. The first proof of this fact is that the game gets boring If you don’t find anyone to talk to. Yes, you may quest or earn for that item you want your avatar to have, or even play all the mini-games that are available in Muniz Online, but those things won’t make you keep on playing.
One of my major problems with Muniz Online is its lack of any decent quest guides. I’ve tried looking for one in the forums but all I saw were a few questions on how to do certain quests. This can really miff some players especially when you log into the game and the people you get to talk to are as helpful as a bunch of toddlers being asked for directions.
The level-game system tie-in is a good decision to keep players interested on playing but the inefficiency of the quest system can kill the fun factor. If the quest system was more user-friendly and make it less asking-the-people reliant then it would really make this game a gem.
Besides the gameplay elements found on Muniz Online, the game is obviously centered on teens rather than those hardcore gamers. The cutesy graphics the game is the obvious proof. Though this may not deter the more community-centered gamers regardless of how childish the sprites may be.
Another thing that I noticed is the sound of the game. Though at first the inaudible and kid-style sound your avatar creates whenever you chat or make a smiley is cute and hilarious, you’ll eventually want to just turn of the game’s audio and plug in other mp3s.
Muniz Online has the tendency to be a little too cutesy. This can be bothersome for older gamers who would like to try the game. However if you would give the game a little leeway you can filter out the cuteness factor and just enjoy it.
Also, for a community based game like Muniz Online, it would seem that the forum still needs to become very active. As a game that belongs to this genre there is already stiff competition with Gaia Online, who has a bigger forum base and has already, established itself as a community-game. I myself can’t help but compare the two because of the stark similarities.
Still, as a flash game that is highly reliant to a big community base, Muniz Online still has a long way to go before it can be a big thing. The game can’t really attract the hardcore gamers because the gameplay is centered for teens, or at least for those people who would rather go for a community rather than playing. I would say that if you are into community based games then by all means try it out. Though my word of caution is that this game is made for teens, if you would like for a more mature community game go somewhere else.
– Customizable avatars
– No need for downloads
– There are a lot of things you can do in-game
– Avatar leveling can keep you hooked
– Too cute for hardcore gamers
– Forum community is not that big
– Sounds can be irritating
– Lack of a decent Quest guide