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Realm of the Mad God: The best MMORPG Shooter you’ve never heard of

Video Games - by - August 29, 2011 - 11:08 UTC - Be first to Comment!

As a former World of Warcraft player, I can say, without a doubt, Realm of the Mad God is the perfect fix for anybody who wants the epic feel of a paid subscription service MMORPG for literally none of the cost. I repeat, “None of the cost“. In the MMORPG world that is subscription services, guilds, level/item/reputation grinding, and hundreds (that’s right, I said hundreds) of hours of logged game time, its pretty rare to find something that you can pick up and play on your terms, for free, and get the same gratification in a flat, 8-bit world as you would in the three-dimensional world of eye-candy that is WoW and other MMORPG counterparts.

Let us break down “Realm of the Mad God”, shall we?

Hmmm…where to start…how about: “Getting started”?

That sounds good to me. We can dive into gameplay and specifics a few paragraphs later, but until then get your pen and paper ready; this might take a while.

That's Oryx "The Mad God"...he's pissed--AT YOU!

Getting Started

First, you must have the internet connected to your computer. Second, you must have your computer turned on–not off. Third, you must log on to the internet.

Fourth, go to www.realmofthemadgod.com and press “PLAY”.

Thats it. Really.

You are now officially logged into a world with countless other 8-bit warriors, ready to quest, raid dungeons, and take down bosses! Create an account, if you wish. It isn’t necessary to play, but I would still recommend doing so. If not, your characters are saved onto your computer as “cookies”and can therefore be deleted far more easily if you feel like scrubbing your computer, catch a virus, whatever. With an account, characters are saved to the account and can be accessed from any computer, at any time.

You get all that down? Good. Pens down, please.


Gameplay time!

You start out in Realm of the Mad God as a level 1 Wizard “noobie” navigating  your way through a tutorial dungeon, ala “Demon Souls”, learning the basic game functions such as:

  • moving your character (A-S-D-W move you left, down, right, and up)
  • your health and magic bar (red is health, blue is magic)
  • attacking (Left click! Duhhhh…)
  • World chat (Hit enter to bring up the typing bar)
  • and using your unique class abilities (Spacebar!).

You learn other never before seen abilities such as:

  • how to loot items from dead enemies
  •  adding items to your 8-slot bag
  •  blasting through cracked walls
  •  and other basic fundamentals that make up ROTMG!!!

The beautiful thing about basic fundamental actions? They are literally the only actions players will ever need!

There is not an abundance of spell bars, action bars, timers, and maps taking up your screen. Players have a map, four gear slots (class weapon, class item, ring slot, and class armor), your bag slots (eight total), statistics (Attack, dexterity, etc), and below that an empty space reserved for party members.

World of Warcraft screen layout


Realm of the Mad God screen layout










Each number in your item bag correlates to the numbers on a player’s keyboard. If you have a “health pot” in slot 1, simply hit the number 1 to use it. Or, if you are busy running and gunning, you can hold “shift” and click whichever item you would like to use. Pretty simple, right?

Once you clear the tutorial dungeon, you find yourself in the “NEXUS”. In the Nexus, one can purchase upgrades to characters, such as 8-bit pets, alternative colors, special items, etc. In the center of the Nexus is the server room. Each server holds a maximum of 86 players. Enter a server and begin your quest!

Sound simple? It is! Everything about this game screams “SIMPLE”! From the graphics, to the layout, to the limited actions–this game is about as simplified as shredded wheat! And once players enter their realm of choice they’ll be thanking their hind end for Realm of the Mad God’s simplicity!

From the moment players leave the Nexus and enter their server, they are immediately bombarded with low level enemies. This is where players see the difference between ROTMG and your regular everyday MMORPG–the gameplay speed. This is a game of running and gunning. Players “shoot” attacks at enemies while dodging enemy’s attacks in return– think “Robotron”, “Geometry Wars”, “Smash TV”. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, please use this invention called “Google”. That will help.

Quests are automatically assigned to players as they level up–the higher the level the tougher the quests. All quests revolve around defeating a “Boss” enemy. Their location is revealed to players, on their map, and on screen with a tiny red arrow encompassing a portrait of the “boss”, pointing you in the right direction. Defeat “Boss” characters to gain quick EXP and move on to the next quest. The lower leveled bosses can be defeated alone, but as you rise in power, so do your foes! This is where an 8-bit warrior must find friends! Good thing they are everywhere!

Note the red arrow encompassing the quest boss? Its that simple, folks.

The greatest aspect of ROTMG is that once a player enters a server everybody is on the same team. There is no “ganking” (players killing other players), no horde vs alliance, no camping, just everybody working towards one goal–defeating Oryx “The Mad God”. If players are within the vicinity of one another they are automatically placed into a party. And unlike other MMORPG’s, the EXP points that people gain within a party are not divided amongst everyone, but given in whole! So if there are ten people in a party, and they kill a boss worth 50 EXP, everybody receives 50 EXP! The point of the game is to have everybody work together towards a common goal and help one another in the process.

Teamwork = a shit-ton of EXP for all!

When players first start questing, they find themselves on the outskirts of the map, in one of the sandy beach regions. The weakest enemies are located by the beach and as quests become more difficult, players venture further and further towards the center of the map. Speaking of the map…the map is arguably your most important tool. When a journey begins, the map is a giant black square. As players explore the island, more of the map is revealed. The beauty of Realm of the Mad God’s map is that every single person is represented by a green dot. This way, players can see where all of the action is taking place. If you were to run your cursor over a green dot, the characters name, class, and level pop up. Thats all very cool, right?


If you were to “click” on a players dot, the game gives you the option to teleport to them! If you see a gaggle of dots heading for a quest boss, but are too far away to catch up for the kill, simply choose a dot, click the dot, choose teleport and…BAM! There you are! This simple but effective function makes it easier to get around the map– but be careful! If a character is too weak for an area, death is all but guaranteed. So be careful where you teleport. It is a useful tool, but must be used in moderation. Teleport to the wrong area of the map and you can say goodbye to all that hard work leveling up!

Since I just brought up death, we should cover my next topic: Death.


In Realm of the Mad God, death is not an option. I mean, characters can die, but in doing so means the deletion of said character. Thats right; once a character dies in Realm of the Mad God, he is gone. Forever. Like, never coming back. Ever. Any loot accumulated, any cool gear earned, whatever had been collected will be gone. So while the gameplay of ROTMG is fast and furious, recklessness will get you nowhere. Believe me, I know.

After you die, a screen pops up displaying your lifetime statistics with that character. After their statistics are tallied up, players gain “Fame points” based on their performance. The more dungeons players raid, the more enemies players kill, and the accuracy of attacks can earn more fame points. Use these fame points to buy stuff for characters in the Nexus.

Death comes for us all, Oroku Saki.

Levels & Classes

The level cap is 20, in Realm of the Mad God. No, its not very high compared to WoW’s 70-80 lvl system, but it is a difficult task to complete! As I said before, you can’t simply dive head first into battle against a Cube God at level 1. A single hit will destroy you! You have to take the time to slowly work your way towards the center of the map, gaining gear, experience, and meeting friends along the way. If you don’t, attaining 20 will never happen. And if you fail to attain level 20, then that means you can’t experience any new…CLASSES!

As of right now there are 13 different classes to choose from. Meeting certain lvl requirements unlocks new classes:

  • TIER 1: Wizrad (Your starting class)
  • TIER 2: Priest (acquired with by reaching lvl 5 with your wizard), Archer (Lvl 5 Priest), Rogue (lvl 5 Archer), Warrior (lvl 5 Rogue)
  • TIER 2.5: Knight (lvl 20 Warrior)
  • TIER 3: Necromancer (lvl 20 Wizard & Priest), Paladin (lvl 20 Priest & Warrior), Assassin (lvl 20 Wizard & Rogue), Huntress (lvl 20 Rogue & Archer)
  • TIER 4: Mystic (lvl 20 Huntress & Necromancer), Trickster (lvl 20 Assassin & Paladin), Sorcerer (lvl 20 Necromancer & Assassin)

Thats a lot of leveling! And if players don’t take the necessary precautions while playing it’ll take forever!

The versatility of the classes allow players to discover what class is right for them. If a person likes speed, go with a Rogue. If a person likes to blow crap up, go with a Wizard. If people want to be a tank, go Warrior. Just because a class is lower on my tier list doesn’t mean they are any less effective than the classes in the higher tiers. I simply arranged them by availability, or in what order people tend to unlock them. All classes are effective and all classes are mained. I think the tier system is in place to add replay value to the game; adding that achievement factor we have grown to love, over the years. Obtaining the maximum level in multiple classes is the carrot at the end of the stick to keep players coming back for more.

Speaking of achievements! There are five achievements that can be obtained within each class. They are shown as five little stars in the class selection screen, underneath each character portrait. Obtaining stars raises player’s personal account “Star” rating. The more stars a player has, the bigger their rep. The first star is easy: “Gain 20 fame with your _____”. But, after that, the hill monumentally steepens–120 fame for the second star. After the second star, I haven’t a clue what the requirements for a third star are. I’ve never made it past the 20 fame achievement. I’m still new to the game. Shut up.

The multiple classes. Note a few empty spots. More classes to come? Also, note the 5 stars under each character.

With the 13 available classes and five achievement stars per character, players can end up with a total of…lets do some math!

13 characters x 5 stars = 65 stars!

I apologize for neglecting to show my work. 65 total reputation stars is the final answer.

(See, you’re learning, too)

In all seriousness, Realm of the Mad God is a phenomenal game. Its smart, cute, humorous, challenging, but its not overly time consuming. You can log on, immediately join a group of 85 other people, and grind out a few levels before bed. Maybe even take down Oryx himself? You should definitely give Realm of the Mad God a shot. Its as easy to pick up as it is addicting to play. But remember, easy to learn is not easy to master. This game will challenge your patience, your quick wit, and those run and gun skills. So be careful; one false step at level 19 and….poof. I’ll see you in the nexus.



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