Secondhand Lands Review: Red Riding Hood Versus Bo Peep

By Rick Charbs (Jammart), Onrpg writer
Secondhand Lands is a creative MMORPG developed by Pixel Mine and finally released to the public not long ago. It features a casual yet immersive gameplay that promotes community interaction. Secondhand Lands is not only backed up with great writing, it also has a great deal of humor and wit here and there. Trying to please the humorous crowd, Secondhand Lands introduces interesting characters such as the four Princess “Pwnies” of the apocalypse and the Sugar Prune Fairy. Built from the ground up by three people in their spare time with their own money, Secondhand Lands was subject to a great deal of work and dedication.

General Gameplay

To very briefly describe this MMO, base yourself on the popular title RuneScape, but rather add a higher frame rate, smoother animations, and a more fantastical theme. Otherwise, these two games are profoundly similar in terms of gameplay, graphics and sound… almost everything.
Adding a twist to the traditional MMORPG, Secondhand Lands features four non-human races to choose from: Wolves, Sheep, Catgirls, and Scrappers. Scrappers are animals that are bipedal (stand on two feet) that range from lizards to skunks. The other races define themselves in their names. An interesting feature for the Wolf and Sheep characters are their ability to equip a saddle and allow Scrappers and Catgirls to ride them as a player mount—talk about a unique feature!
Each race has a wide variety of very interesting and creative skills to choose from that are divided into four categories: strength, constitution, empathy and mysticism. An example of one of the sheep’s skills is Headbutt:  “Bo Peep always taught you that the only way of dealing with wolves was by using your head… with extreme prejudice!”
Other features Secondhand Lands has to offer are the following: a large array of equipment to customize your character (ranging from glasses to butterfly wings to… cow udders?), an extensive crafting/resource gathering system to create fancy items, a token item-mall system to help support the game, a player-run market, and various quests with their own storylines.
A final aspect of Secondhand Lands I’d like to introduce is the team play value of the game. Firstly, you have the faction system; the Red Riding Hood and Bo Peep factions are severe enemies, and by joining one of these factions you automatically oppose the other. This adds a whole new perspective on your gameplay, which can add a little bit competitive spirit to the game. Secondly, there are guild and group functions available to pair up with others in order to accomplish larger goals, and thirdly team play is also recognizable in events and PvP. If you decide to play in the Open PvP mode of the game, you will gain 10% more exp from killing monsters and have a much higher chance to receive rare drops. There are currently three team play events that happen periodically within the large game world.

Graphics and Sound

As previously mentioned, the graphics in this MMO resemble that of Runescape. However, on the plus side, Secondhand Lands’ graphics are slightly more sophisticated, as they are much smoother and much more defined. The textures and environments are rather dull, I might add, but they do provide a high fps rate. The terrain is very wide spread though also very repetitive, and some of the objects are a little too plain. Everything was lag-less for me though, so I decided not to nit-pick on the graphics seeing as the game ran so well.
In the sound department this game is a little deviant. They chose to run a classical themed array of background music that seems a little too calming for an MMORPG. Some claim that it puts them nearly to sleep! They do provide interesting sounds that happen randomly according to the animal you select to play as, though.

Personal Recommendation

After a complicated “simple install” (apparently it was not so Vista friendly), I finally had the chance to login the game. The learning curve was next to nothing, aside from a few simple commands that were easily discovered.
I enjoyed all of the humor the game had to offer—something we don’t see in MMORPGS anymore. The fantastic wit and clever mind behind this game is highly appreciated by its community! Unfortunately, the community is still quite small and great portions of the areas in-game seem empty at times. Due to this, many put down the game right from the beginning and judge it harshly. I also enjoyed the fact that team play is highly recognized and valued by the developers of the game, and such it plays a very large part of the game as well as the fairly elaborate customization.
With their small player base and recognition, I think that the game has a long of way to go. Although, considering it was developed by three people from the ground up with a minuscule budget, it is most definite that this game will continue to grow exponentially. So far, they’ve mastered team play effort and have created a very unique concept for the game. However, improvements could be done on the graphical and sound portions of the game in order to incite more people to join. The “gameplay over graphics” saying doesn’t apply to everyone, and so improvements in that field could bring a great deal of extra attention to the game.
I highly encourage those of you who are looking for a new perspective on MMO games to try this game out, and to get your friends to play too! The style may need some extra work, but the possibilities are huge, and the developers working behind it all are very determined and perseverant. Happy gaming!
– Great community
– Appealing humor
– Good Customization
– Unique Concept
– Large game world
– Small community (can be considered a pro)
– Mediocre graphics and sound
– Bland textures and environments

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