Kingdom of Loathing Offers the Best Graphics of…OK, I’m Lying
- The mascot of Kingdom of Loathing
The latest new computer game is released. It’s bold, realistic, captivating graphics roll across the screen, obviously the product of months of toil by the best and the brightest artists and graphic designers in the country. The type of game you want to buy a new, larger monitor for, a faster processor, hundreds of dollars of specialized equipment and monthly subscription fees. Kingdom of Loathing is not that game.
Kingdom of Loathing is a game I consider the ultimate tongue-in-cheek, anti-high tech computer-based role playing game. Kingdom of Loathing (or “KOL”) takes the classic elements of a DnD-style multiplayer role playing game and adds a layer of sarcasm, whit, and silliness that’s hard to find elsewhere in the gaming world. One piece is devoted to the original Nintendo game controller. Another, c-prompt based, text response DnD play. Goods are bought, sold, and traded in meat.
Graphics aside, there is a lot of depth and thought that goes into this free game. Character development, a stash of goods that would rival most homes, a large selection of lands that open up as your character progresses, multiple “bosses” to conquer, the ability to form clans among other players, and a set of crazy skills that any rational person would love to have in real life, from “disco nap” to “immaculate seasoning.” Read past the break for the gritty details!
Picking your character is the first step of entering the silliness of KOL. The six character classes, all plays off of the classic “mage,” “warrior,” and “priest” themes, are Seal Clubber, Turtle Tamer, Pastamancer, Sauceror, Disco Bandit, and Accordian Thief. Each character has their own attributes, special equipment to be obtained, and skills they can acquire. The game is constantly evolving, with new items, lands, and quests being added on a regular basis. In fact, the last time I logged on, I had a happy surprise of receving a message with a new item, the moon unit, which allows you to change your sign a single time.
My one complaint, and it’s a petty one at that, is the amount of information you need to keep in your head in order to play. Years ago, there was the possibility that you could play the game without a reference guide or the help of other players. Now, a reference is (I tend to use the KOL Coldfront
wiki) for remembering food and cocktail recipes, how to solve various quests, and creating various complicated items. In trade, having a huge, complicated world to explore in a free game is a pretty amazing thing.