Note: this is an online game that is in a continual state of change. While aspects of the game have remained the same, much has evolved since this review was written.
Looking for a new way to waste time? Looking for a free online roleplaying game that includes treasure, monsters, magic? Then you might like to try adventuring in the Kingdom of Loathing.
The Kingdom of Loathing features primitive hand drawn graphics, a wide range of monsters and a large number of locations.
As in many role playing games, the first thing you'll have to do is decide on what type of character you want to be. There are six classes to choose from, each having different abilities. The game uses three main stats; muscle, mysticality and moxie. Muscle is especially important for Seal Clubbers and Turtle Tamers. Mysticality is vital for Pastamancers and Saucerors. Moxie is the stat for Disco Bandits and Accordion Thieves.
Once you have set up your character and logged in for the first time, you're ready to play. At first, the number of areas that you can explore are quite small. As you gain experience, new areas become available for you to wander in.
There is a limit on number of turns you may play per day. The default limit is 40 turns per day. There is at least one item that can increase that limit. If you join a clan, that will add to your number of turns. Eating food will increase the number of turns but you can only eat so much in a day. The final thing you can do to play longer is to drink, alcholic beverages. This does increase the number of turns, but once you get too drunk, you'll no longer be able to do anything.
You'll find that there are many many items in the game. Almost everything will be useful to you at some point, though some class specific items do exist. Some items are more useful when combined with other things. Some combinations are obvious, others are more subtle. Fortunately there are several fan sites which can help you learn more about some of the items. Your inventory is split into three sections: food and drink, equipment and miscellaneous.
Two more features of the game worth particular note. The first is that you can participate in player vs player fighting, but it is strictly voluntary. If you do decide to participate, the only way to stop is to abandon that character and create a new one. The other feature is the chat. There are several chat channels, each serving a different purpose. You need to pass a literacy test before you may enter the chat room, but there are many friendly and helpful players there. When I was just starting the game, a number of players gave me currency and gifts as start up presents.
Be warned. The chat rooms are not always a great place. While there are rules about chat and what is and is not permissible, you will still get some real jerks there. Their behaviour includes attempted scams, people begging, extremely crude language. There are moderators who can ban people, but you may still read some abusive stuff before they go.
While the humor of Kingdom of Loathing can be a bit on the rude side, the game is a lot of fun. Not a family style game though, a bit too much drinking and so forth that younger players should not be exposed to.
That said, there is still much to recommend the game for the mature player. There is much humour in the encounters and game play. It is quite a large world, and will takes weeks to explore. It does limit your play to a small number of turns a day, but that means that you can't spend three days and do it all. So log into KoL and try creating your own character.
This is a very impressive effort for an online game that is also free. I did donate to the cause and each $10 donation will bring you a Mr. Accessory. These are quite valuable and very useful for players up to about level 15 or so.