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iPhone Game Review: TibiaME MMORPG
      #38977 - 10/29/10 04:38 PM

iPhone Game Review: TibiaME MMORPG
Reviewed by JadeDragon

MMORPG on PC is a hugely popular genre led by EverQuest and topped by World of Warcraft. Mobile platform provides something unique that's not in any PC MMO games, and that is the ability to play anywhere you go on your cell phone. TibiaME is a new MMORPG for the iPhone and iPod touch, and it's one of the most expansive games played in real time online!

Gameplay

For a real time massive multiplayer RPG on a mobile gaming platform, TibiaME has a huge world that includes 12 large islands that will take you a long time to trek each in various terrains like desert, jungle, swamp and mountains. The game design pays homage to classic titles like the Golden Sun and Zelda where you explore different areas of the maps that include rivers, forests and mountains while fighting bugs, snakes, orcs, trolls and even dragons. Though TibiaME has a good number of online players, some 50K explorers in this massive world, you will hardly run into anyone unless you are in a town or a popular cave. So you won?t actually feel crowded in your travel or dungeon crawling.



As large as these maps are, exploring it actually doesn?t get overly tedious. The game has a small map screen that shows where the towns? shops are, the terrain and where you have been (fog of war covers the areas you haven?t trekked). Though you can?t enlarge this map, it does help you figure out where you are and where you should be going. The islands in the game are connected by boats and you can get hitch a ride by talking to the harbor masters at the port. Land travel offers teleports that can move you from one part of the terrain to another, and that?s essential in this game because the large size of each island, and as in many RPGs, you have to discover these teleports first before you can travel through them.

Like in Final Fantasy games, TibiaME has many caves scattered throughout the landscape. You will run into plenty of enemies while traveling the terrain, but the caves often has specific enemies and some are tougher than the ones above the ground. There is only one issue you will run into when it comes to the caves: Premium content. TibiaME is free to download and has ton of gameplay for free, but many caves are open only to Premium subscribers. So what do you get for free then? You can travel through the entire island of Lybera and take a ship to the main island Aurea. Here they can enter a large dungeon underneath the city and travel across the surface.

Fighting in TibiaME is real time fighting but you do have timed moves, as you can?t just hit as fast as you can like in real hack and slash. All hits have success rate meter and damage level based on your character?s level and his/her level compared to the weapon?s damage level. Using higher damage level weapon than your character?s level means you will have few successful hits. So make sure you pair the weapon with your level. Class is limited in TibiaME as there are only two classes, a wizard and a warrior. And wizards can only use magic weapons and learn and cast spells, and warriors can only use non-magic weapons like a sword or mace. Each town has merchants that can sell and buy anything you need or unload your loot. But don?t get super excited about looting because you have just a few slots to store your items and your potions share these slots with loot. Luckily, your character regain life and mana while no fighting, you don?t need to carry lots of potions. While looting isn?t that exciting, you won?t need a lot of cash either in this game. You can pick up most of your weapons, armor and potions in the wild or from enemies after you drop them. The shops in town offer little more than you can pick up on your own.



As an RPG, TibiaME has a good number of quests though not overly stuffed with them. You can get quests from town mostly, but you will also run into farms or explorer in the field where they will happily let you do their dirty work. Quests range from collecting mushrooms, to find some treasures to kill monsters, pretty much the usual RPG chores. One nice thing about getting the quests is that you will need to explore all areas of the land in order to find your quest givers. Some quests are also leveled quests which means you can get them until you?ve reached certain levels. While the game makes you work for your quests, and rightfully so, it gives achievements freely. There are ton of achievements and most you will gain by just playing the game.

Graphics & Sound

Graphics in TibiaME is sharp and colorful. The quality is excellent in the style of Final Fantasy for the iPhone. Characters have smoothly movements, and the enemy has good AI behind them. If you run into several enemies at once, they line up nicely to hit you from all sides and give you the opportunity to hit them. The terrains vary on each island, and some caves also have their own unique looks. Level design also shows ingenuity, as some dungeons, though huge, have different entrances that are conveniently get you use a teleport or visit a nearby town.

Controls are simple in TibiaME. You use a virtual d-pad to move your hero and fighting is automatic. You can also use the d-pad to fight, just tap the direction where the monster is.

Oddly there are no sounds in the game. There is an option you play your own iPod music playlists though.



Conclusion

MMORPG on the iOS devices is a still a new genre and is still hard to find a good game that will keep you occupied for a long time. TibiaME does a good job at giving you plenty to do and long road to travel, if you are a premium player that is. It also offers PvP mode where you can play against other players on a PvP island or in an arena. The game has all the bells and whistle of an RPG with quests, enemies, dungeons and all. The class system is a bit bare-boned and inventory is very limited. But if you are a Final Fantasy fan who is looking for a new adventure, you should join the TibiaME army. The journey is worth it especially if you become a premium player.

Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):

Graphics: - 4.5 - Graphics are sharp and the world and dungeons have nice designs. Could use an enlarged map view.
Sound: - n/a - No in-game sound, there is an iPod option.
Controls: - 4.5 - The game is portrait orientation only, movement and fighting are smooth.
Gameplay: - 5 - If you are looking to put in some hard work in an MMORPG, this is a good game to do it in. Huge maps and lots enemies to fight.

Playing Hints and Tips:

- Take one life liquid with you for those tough fights. Enemies like to gang up on you with 2-4 of them together.

- Don?t really need to buy stuff from the merchants. You will have plenty of loot in the field and in the dungeons.

- Make sure you talk to everyone you come across. Many people can give you quests.

App Facts:

Developer: ClipSoft
Release Date: Oct 18, 2010
Price: Free with option to buy premium
Buy App: TibiaME MMO

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Check out our full list of iPhone/iPod touch game reviews:
http://www.mobiletechreview.com/iPhone-game-reviews.htm

Check out our other iPad game reviews:
http://www.mobiletechreview.com/iPad-game-reviews.htm

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