“Villagers and Heroes” is a free to play massively multiplayer RPG available for Android devices and PC. I recently took a look at the Android offerings to see how they stack up. Massively multiplayer online games (will be referred to as “MMO” from now on) are difficult to do right on PC, let alone Android. That's why I was so surprised by what “Villagers and Heroes” was able to accomplish in my short time with the game. MMO fans rejoice, you now have a solid MMO to play on mobile.
For those unfamiliar, MMO's usually take place in massive worlds populated by other players. Non-American players will be happy to know that there are several international servers, allowing non-English speakers to communicate with fellow players from their country. “Villagers” has a competent set up when it comes to the fundamentals of MMO's; nothing has been left out on the Android version. I spent some time with PC version as well, and it's important to note that there are presentation and menu differences. Long story short, not everything that is true for mobile is true for PC, and vice versa.
The game starts with a robust character creation. You customize your character's appearance, as well as their class and proficiencies. There's several classes to choose from, including your standard fare of Warrior, Archer, Mage, etc. Each class plays a bit differently, and being the rough-and-tough brawler I am, I opted for the Warrior. The game does a good job explaining all of the different mechanics as they are introduced, ensuring that new MMO players will not be lost in the shuffle. In fact, the game keeps this “learn as you go” pace throughout most of the beginning hours. By the time you've leveled your character up a few times, you'll be comfortable with the majority of the games' workings.
If you've played “World of Warcraft”, “Runescape”, or any other hugely popular MMO, the structure of the gameplay will be familiar. After a brief tutorial that introduces you to combat and healing, you are whisked away to the land of Summer's Hollow, where there's a lively festival taking place. After rubbing shoulders with the local population, we are introduced to the main quest line. Honestly, the story is by the numbers, but that's just my personal opinion. I'm sure with more time and exposure I could get immersed in the lore, but fantasy stories aren't at the top of my list. Those who adore deep stories and world building will find “Villagers” adequate, as it spends plenty of time getting you acquainted with the world and the characters within.
From there you follow common MMO structure; talking to townsfolk and accepting quests. Quests can be as simple as learning a new ability, or exploring new worlds. Some early quests teach you “Gnomification”, a crafting ability that lets you combine weapons and armor to forge new customizable equipment. Around the same time, you'll be tasked with jumping through portals to new worlds and helping their denizens. The game is quest heavy in nature, but there's nothing wrong with that at all. In my opinion, the best content in most MMO's lay within the numerous quests. “Villagers” has a surplus of great quest content that will keep you returning time and time again.
Generally speaking, MMO's are not for everyone. However, those who have an affinity towards rich story telling, massively populated worlds, and community gameplay will definitely enjoy “Villagers”. Even if you've never played an MMO or you're not sure if you'd like one, “Villagers” is your best bet for testing the waters. It runs pretty well on moderately priced Android devices, and is best suited for Android tablets. Thanks to its free to play model, you won't have to cough up any cash to get a taste of what “Villagers” has to offer. If anything, it's a great reason to try your hand at becoming a hero; there's really nothing to lose. For those who put in the time and enjoy the game, it reciprocates with a large amount of content, end game dungeons and bosses, and seasonal updates. “Villagers and Heroes” is a great MMO for new players and veterans, and I highly recommend you try it out!
Reviewed by Matt
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