No, seriously, nobody is going to take away your “eRep” for enjoying it. If they do, to hell with them anyway. They apparently forgot what “fun” is all about. Which, isn’t the point of gaming to have fun?
I understand your worries. It’s a cute game, the admitted demographics being kids aged 10-14, with the intention of being a “friendly” place for kids and their parents to play together. The idea of you, being all grown up, hanging around in a cartoony world full of mini-games and carebear-like glee sounds like you’re either a wuss, immature, or a pedophile.
But you shouldn’t be ashamed to admit you like it, or to give it a try. Believe it or not: There’s more adults playing Free Realms than you could possibly imagine. And they’re not all creepy, immature basment cases with no lives. Quite the opposite….they all seem to share a common bond of having a life, and really burned out on the tiredsome MMO cliches of late. Sure, you get the “reach this level” or “kill/havest x of these” quests…but it’s more fun here! It’s puzzle games in the style of Bejewled or Wario Ware representing harvesting and crafting. The combat is simple and fun. And despite being a kid’s game…there’s some adult humor in there as well (discovered today some of the Fight Club referrences in the game!)
Remember when gaming wasn’t about “End Game”? Remember when it wasn’t about the grind to level cap, the best
items, the scheduled endless raids? Remember those feelings the first time you stepped foot in Azeroth, Norrath, Tyria or whatever your virtual “homelands” were? The ones about exploring, doing things, socializing, that kinda stuff? Well, I’ve been finding that again here. And we’re not alone.
There’s a lot of us out there. Sure, there’s also a lot who feel the game feels shallow because of its casual nature, or that it wouldn’t have long enough replay value for them. Whatever. It’s probably because they want another World of Warcraft, another Warhammer Online. I don’t. I just want to run around with my friends, and play some games and have some fun. In a way, I’m almost feeling too old for the 80+ level grind games that require every evening’s attention. I already have Guild Wars, which even though I’ve played that for over 3 years now, I’m still hanging around. It’s the time investment, I suppose. Free Realms is different; it’s the blow off game. But it has a LOT of things to do and work on when I’m needing a break.
And yeah, it’s not completely “free”. There’s an item shop, and then a membership. We happened to luck on some extra cash today, and Shel and I snagged us a membership each for a month ($10 for both of us, that’s cheaper than 1 person subscribing to most MMO’s these days.) The unlocked content is just icing on the cake; I’d say you’re only restricted from a fourth of the content on a free account. Still, it’s nice knowing the permanent pet she bought in-game (for $2.50) is permanent even after our membership wears off, and never expires. So it’s nice not having to crap our pants worrying everymonth about a subscription going away and not being able to play our characters.
If you want the pixelated blood, gore, massive warfare, competitive PvP, and mature content….yeah, this isn’t that kind of game. If you’re the kind of person who still likes to play Nintendo games, isn’t affraid of cartoony puzzles or possibly wants something both you and your kids would like (including the inner-kid), give it a look. On a technological level, it’s worth checking out just because there’s no client download. It’s a plugin installed to your web browser that streams the content in as you play…you’ll be in and running around in just a few minutes.
Also, still not convinced it’s okay to come out of the “Free Realms” closet? Check out these threads and posts: