Adventure Quest is a casual browser based RPG which has found a wide audience due to its ease of access and charming gameplay. The game offers classic turn based battles like those found in old console RPGs at the click of a button. Players start out as one of three base classes but soon have access to several more advanced options. The initial city of BattleOn serves as your home base for the first leg of your journey but there are three more towns to explore with all but one being accessible to free players. To enjoy much of AQ’s content including additional quests, maps, equipment, and pets a one time payment is required to upgrade your character to a ‘Guardian.’ The three base classes are:
Fighter - A basic melee class with speciality in closed range combat. Fighters wear heavy armor and have skills that focus on increasing both physical and elemental resistance.
Mage - The basic magic user. Mages are armed with staffs but rely on elemental spells to defeat their enemies. Many Mage skills increase elemental and magic defense.
Rogue – Like Fighters, Rogues start out as mainly using close ranged attacks but rely more on agility and special abilities. Their skills are similar to that of the Fighter.
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AdventureQuest Full Review
By, Erhan Altay
AdventureQuest was the first browser based game released by Artix Entertainment back in 2002. The simple 2D graphics and old-school turn based gameplay quickly attracted a large audience that today surpasses 65 million registered accounts. Buoyed by their success, Artix released several other MMOs in the following years including DragonFable, MechQuest, and most recently Adventure Quest Worlds. But even with the release of these titles, the team behind AQ continues to add new content to their first smash hit.
Join the Adventure
Originally titled Lands of Rising Evil, AdventureQuest is a simple fantasy RPG that despite being played on an internet browser, has very little player interaction. Your experience with the game will almost entirely be a solo venture but that’s not necessarily a flaw. The turn based nature of combat and the emphasis on casual play make it more ideal to have just the player and an assortment of NPC allies participate in battles. In order to play AdventureQuest, players must visit the official website which is titled BattleOn.com and create ‘sign-up.’ The account creation process is painless and doesn’t even require email verification. Even so, providing a legit email address is recommended since players are rewarded with 1000 gold for verifying it. The game can be launched in various resolutions with the maximum being 1000×750. Character creation is equally brief. There are three starting classes to chose from including Fighter, Mage, and Rogue. Appearance customization is quite bare with a few hair, skin, and eye options. There is no gender selection, instead your hair style determines your gender since the longer hair options give your generic avatar a more feminine look than shorter styles.
Welcome to BattleOn!
There is a short tutorial which introduces players to the city of BattleOn with a short tour and to combat with a single battle. The town screen serves as your hub from which you can access the inn (equipment shop), Pet Shop, Mage Shop, and Guardian Tower. Each building has various NPCs that have quests on offer. Unlike other MMORPGs, the quests in AQ have a great deal of plot behind them. Many have multiple steps each accompanied with a short scene. I can’t say the text interested me much so I tended to skip through it but from what I read it tends to be light hearted and comical. The quests don’t have any sort of level recommendation so new players might find themselves able to complete the first step but fail later on only to have to re-do the whole thing from the beginning. Because of this, I suggest new players simply grind it out for the first few levels by clicking ‘Battle Monster’ on the town screen. AdventureQuest has no persistent world to explore, instead you simply move from one screen to another at the click of a button. The most important button being the Battle Monster button.
Combat, One Turn at a Time
Turn based combat is a staple in console RPGs but hasn’t caught on as much on the PC. The battles in AdventureQuest are nowhere near as intricate as those in client based games such as Atlantica Online but still keep players hooked. The game automatically matches you with monsters around your level to keep things exciting and the fact that there are so many monster models also helps. The only problem is that during the early levels, your character does very low damage and doesn’t have any special skills available to make fights more interesting. AQ does have a strong emphasis on pets and there are dozens available for sale at the Pet Shop, with several usable at level 1. My lovable penguin pet, who I named Frosty, was quite useful in battle often dealing more damage than I did. The rogue and fighter classes play quite similarly with a constant series of melee attacks. There are 8 primary elements in AQ including Darkness, Light, Fire, Ice, Energy, Water, Wind, and Earth. Weapons and Armor each have one of these attributes which adds another dynamic to battle. Like in Pokemon, certain elements are stronger against others. A sword imbued with Darkness, for example, won’t do any damage to a Dark Knight monster which forces players to carry several weapons and sets of armor with them. Switching weapons and armor can be done freely without costing you a turn. Switching pets, however, does take up a turn.
While there are plenty of areas to explore for free in AdventureQuest, including 3 of the game’s 4 towns, a great deal of content is only accessible to Guardians. Guardianship can only be acquired by paying a onetime fee of around $20 which is far better than having to make continued micro payments. New players shouldn’t rush to upgrade their account to Guardian since they won’t hit any ceilings for many hours. Eventually though, players will have to make the decision. Non-guardians, called Adventurers can only advance to class level 5. Class level isn’t’ the same as base level. Base level is capped for all players at 130 while each class has 10 levels, with a new skilled learned each level. Besides the three beginner classes, players can train as a Knight, Beastmaster, Wizard, Paladin, Pirate, Necromancer, Berserker, Martial Artist, Dragonslayer, Dracomancer, Ninja, and Vampirslayer. Additionally, there are three ‘sub-races’ that players can transform into as they progress through the game including Vampire, Werewolf, and Werepyre (a hybrid of the previous two.) Several of the advanced classes and the Werepyre sub-race are only available to Guardians. Players who are already Guardians can upgrade their account once more to become X – Guardians. This class of player receives a bonus 10% experience per battle, and receive other goodies such as 25,000 gold upfront. The third and final premium feature are Z-Tokens which are used to purchase powerful items and equipment. Z-Tokens can be earned through regular gameplay but are very rare, the easier way to gain them is by purchasing them directly from Artix.
A Dynamic World
New features continue to be added to AdventureQuest to keep it interesting for veteran players and make it more attractive to beginners. The graphics have undergone several upgrades but more importantly whole new features such as player housing have been added recently. Houses can only be purchased with Z-Tokens which will likely put them out of reach for free players but other features such as the moral compass. AQ has an alignment system similar to the one in D&D which is effected by the players actions. Your alignment influences what special effects certain pieces of equipment have so chose your actions carefully. The only real player interaction possible in Adventure Quest is through periodic clan wars and even here it is rather muted. Players battle monsters to protect their bases from damage and at the end of the war, the faction with the most health is crowned the winner. Even though there are literally thousands of gamers playing AdventureQuest at any given time, it is by any definition a single player game. This may limit its appeal to some but it has managed to carved a large niche for itself and continues to attract new players.
Final Verdict: Good
AdventureQuest is a casual, singleplayer browser game with simple turn based battles. It can be played for minutes or hours at a time and has a great deal of dialogue/lore to accompany the bright 2D graphics. It isn’t the most exciting game out there but is enjoyed by millions of gamers across the world.