Kingdom of Loathing Review: Humor With Stick Figures
By Vincent Haoson (Vincenthaoson), OnRPG Journalist
When it comes to browser games we are used to the game takes on the serious route and makes everything cumbersome and someone clichéd. This happens on most browser games if not all. However, what happens if you put stick figures, an insanely simple gameplay and comedy in a browser game? Well, what you get is Kingdom of Loathing
I’m a stick and I’m strong
Kingdom of Loathing is a browser game that doesn’t take itself too seriously. This is the game’s biggest draw. The game takes on the satiric route that makes it such an appealing game to a lot of players. Where can you see a game that has Pastamancers, Saucerors and Accordion Thieves as character job classes? The funny job classes have their own corresponding description as well. For conservative RPGers who are looking for something familiar could be sorely disappointed, because the job class description lacks any indication of what type of character you are going to choose. There is no link between any job class to any other MMOs. So it is in a sense a click of faith for new players and hopefully they get the job class they want to get.
To be honest, the job class itself should not be too much of an issue because the game’s primary concern is to be funny and comedic. The one good thing about the game is that even though the game titles and descriptions found within the game seem off and unusual you can easily understand what it is you are clicking. Of course, this can be unnerving for new players but give the game about an hour or so and you will understand the game play completely.
Basic gameplay, Epic lines
Kingdom of Loathing’s gameplay is typically RPG. The setting is a medieval/fantasy story where a village is under attack by savage monsters and it is your job, as an adventurer looking for fame, meat and honor- to vanquish them. Yes, you saw it right! The game has MEAT in it. As crazy as it sounds, Kingdom of Loathing uses meat as its currency. Don’t ask me why cause I have no idea why the people of KoL just love meat enough to use it as their currency, enough said.
Aside from, the typical RPG-preferred theme, setting and story, Kingdom of Loathing is also stat based. There are three major stats that you have to raise which is muscle, mysticality and moxie. For a game that has a very unusual theme, majority of the stats are your typical RPG stats. Muscle and mysticality are usual enough and are self-explanatory while moxie serves as your character’s ability to dodge in combat. The game has a linear leveling system but has a random stat and experience system. You might be going through the same adventure however it may earn you a different stat point. The mix of random stat gains, quirky narratives per adventure and the linear leveling is a weird combination for a game, however it has proven itself a successful mix because it has worked for Kingdom of Loathing by winning over thousands of regular players.
Kingdom of Loathing is like a satiric story unfolding as you continue with your “adventures”, the game’s title for quests. The game puts in an element of story telling with a comedic twist as you do adventures. Think of tabletop games gameplay, subtract the many sided dices and put in stick-figure characters in an online game and you would get the gist of how adventures happen in Kingdom of Loathing. The game slowly unlocks itself to you. You would not see everything in the map in your first log-in. The lack of any info on the other maps gives you the drive to explore the land and face first-hand whatever the map offers you. The good thing with this game feature is that it provides surprise and anticipation on what you may get to see as you continue on with your Kingdom of Loathing journey.
Simple and clean interface
Kingdom of Loathing’s interface is very minimalist, clean and simple. Everything you need to see and click is provided for you where you would expect it. This makes the whole gaming experience as fun and enjoyable as it should be.
Comedy without being rude
Kingdom of Loathing is a game that is comedic and candid that has a few limits. Online games have the tendency to be overly strict with the language being used in their game. This gives players the feeling that the principal or a disciplinarian is looking over their shoulders while they type, you would not see that in this game. The game’s chat is one of the most free spirited chartrooms I’ve seen in a game. Players are given freedom on what they post on the chat room as long as they follow do not go overboard and being “jackasses” as the game puts it.
The game’s mix of simplistic and easy to understand gameplay and the comedy it provides are a good and very enticing mix that gives players enough reason to come back for the game. Another good thing about the game is that it is being updated regularly. Though there is no fixed time or schedule for the updates, the people behind the game are always doing something fun or updating a bug or fixing a game system. You get to see what changes they made in the fourth panel in the game’s interface so that you may get the news and the recent changes whenever you log in and play.
It has been very hard to find any faults in Kingdom of Loathing, the coarse language of the game included. If you are looking for something refreshing and unusual I would suggest you play the game and you will enjoy a world made up of stick figures using slightly bigger sticks to whack each other senseless. Learn to not be a square and you rest assured that you will enjoy Kingdom of Loathing.
– The game’s humor is the game’s main draw
– The game interface is very simple and minimalist
– The game is like a comedic- story that unfolds in each quest you take.
– The comedic job titles for your characters confuses new players
– Your characters are stick figures
– Everything is in black, white and blue making the game interface very plain.