I don't like free-to-play MMOs. I don't find them interesting in any capacity; I think their mechanics are ludicrously designed; and the fact that so many of these games trick players into thinking that doing the same quests over and over again is fun baffles me. Of course, when I heard that Katamari Damacy designer Keita Takahashi had joined developer Tiny Speck to work on a new MMO called Glitch, I was instantly intrigued.
Now, had Glitch been touted as yet another entry in the MMO genre, I probably wouldn't have been very interested in playing it. But when Tiny Speck and Takahashi stated that the main driving forces for Glitch were curiosity, humor, and absurdity, I was instantly sold on the prospect of the game. When I first played Glitch, I knew right from the get-go that I was in store for something different.
Tiny Speck's MMO is not like much of what you see cluttering up the genre. For starters, Glitch is a very calm and non-threatening experience. Don't expect epic battles with fierce monsters, constant level grinding in caves, or monotonous quests. No, Glitch is a much more freeing experience. You can do whatever you like at your own pace, and you can enjoy the game for what it is: a harmless side-scroller that's enjoyable and, at times, therapeutic.
Don't get me wrong, there's certainly a lot to do in the world of Glitch. There are several tasks to undertake, skills to learn, and people to interact with. You can do anything you want, from watering trees to harvesting for supplies and ingredients, but there are also a few offbeat activities. Feel like nibbling on a pig? If that's too harsh for you, why not pet it? Maybe you'd like to sing to a butterfly. Don't feel like singing? OK, why don't you give that pretty flying creature a nice massage? Despite the fact that none of these actions make much sense (with the exception of nibbling on a tasty pig), they are all things you can do in Glitch.
The game still makes sure to follow certain MMO tropes, even with all of its joyously nonsensical elements. Building skills is a major part of playing Glitch, and if you want to prepare tasty meals, mine for items, and be an expert digger, you're going to have to put some work into increasing your abilities. Actually, you don't need to do much of anything. Simply assign what skill you want to increase, and a trusty guide will start reading a book on said skill. Once the little guy has read through the whole thing, you will have upped your abilities. It's simple, it's inviting, and it does away with you actually having to do anything. If you do wish to engage in some sort of physical activity, though, there are various quests for you to take part in, most of which grant you experience points and cash.
You'll run into other players and encounter them watering trees, making donations to shrines, and so on. If you feel like engaging them in conversation, you can do so. Talk to them, hug them, give them a gift, add them to your friends list — you can interact with other players as you see fit. Personally, I've always been and always will be a lone wolf gamer (read: antisocial), so while I don't add friends, I certainly take requests into consideration. If you dig the social aspects of MMOs, Glitch has what you're looking for.
If everything seems very relaxed and low-key, that's because it is. Glitch isn't going to have you in suspense. It isn't going to make you tense. It's certainly not going to raise your heart rate. Instead of being the typical action-oriented MMO, Glitch is the type of game that you can sit back and relax with... kind of like Katamari Damacy. Even if you're into "standard" MMOs, you should really give Glitch a try. It's engaging enough that you'll get really into it, but it's got plenty of traditional MMO attributes — tweaked to suit the subject matter and aim of the game — to keep fans of the genre satisfied. If you're like me and don't like MMOs at all, then this is the game you should play. It's drastically different from anything else in the genre, and it's really just a fun game to let loose and have fun with, featuring writing that's witty and comical enough to appeal to most gamers.
If I had to compare Glitch to any other games, I'd say it's almost like a cross between Harvest Moon, Animal Crossing, and Katamari Damacy. The game lets you take a character through a large world, buy yourself a home, and do some loot grabbing. There's plenty of interaction to be done, which makes it a social experience if you're looking for that. And like Katamari Damacy, there's junk literally everywhere for you to accrue, and the game takes a sit-back-and-relax approach, so nothing ever feels daunting. Even the visuals and sounds are created to evoke a calming experience. Gamers, non-gamers, and MMO fans alike can all find enjoyment in Glitch. It's so inviting, and it's perfect for when you want some down time. Most importantly, it's fun, and that's really why we play video games in the first place.
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