Sherwood Dungeon Overview
Sherwood Dungeon is one of the few browser based MMORPGs that boasts a full fledged virtual world. The game runs using Shockwave and thus requires the latest version of the player which is available for free. The graphics in Sherwood Dungeon are stunning but come at the cost of several gameplay draw backs. With no party system and no penalty for death, (players immediately respawn upon death) the game can best be described as ‘MMORPG-lite.’ To further emphasis this point, the character creation process involves selecting one of six avatars which can be changed in-game at anytime since there are no concepts of race or class in Sherwood Dungeon. Even with these flaws, this is a great casual MMORPG experience that can be had right on the browser without even having to sign up for an account!
Characters - Warrior (M), Valkyrie (F), Dark Knight (M), Skeleton (?), Viking (M), Ranger (F)
Sherwood Dungeon Screenshots
Sherwood Dungeon Feature Video
Sherwood Dungeon Full Review
By, Erhan Altay
Originally released in 2004 by the independent game publisher Maid Marian, Sherwood Dungeon is a visually impressive browser MMORPG that runs on Adobe’s Shockwave player. The game is best known for its simplicity and ease of access. New players can start playing right away as guests without even needing to sign up.
Jump Right In
As mentioned earlier, Sherwood Dungeon doesn’t even require players to register an account before playing. All players need to do is put in a desired character name and hit play. Account registration is available for those who want to log in from different computers since character information for guests is saved on their individual PCs. While Sherwood Dungeon does ask for an email address during account creation, there is no verification required to start using the account. There is no real character creation process in Sherwood Dungeon, instead there are six available avatars including three male, 2 female and one skeleton model. It is important to note that these do not represent races or classes since neither of these concepts exist Sherwood Dungeon. All characters have the same basic attack and block ability. Besides selecting from these characters, players can chose between several color and hair options, all of which can be freely changed in-game at any time. The character creation process must be completed each time players log in but it only takes a moment.
Welcome to the Forest
New player start their journey in a wooded region besides a castle. The first thing players will notice is just how well done the game’s visuals are, especially considering that Sherwood Dungeon is a browser based MMORPG. The second thing players will notice is that even low level monsters are very aggressive and won’t hesitative to attack new characters. Unlike most games, the most doesn’t play a role in combat in Sherwood Dungeon. Instead, players must use to arrow keys to position themselves towards a foe and manually hit the ‘ctrl’ key every time to take a swing. Players may block opponents’ attack by holding cltr+shift but the recovery time after a block is so high that it really isn’t worth doing, at least not against low level monsters. Besides movement, attacking, and blocking players can hit up arrow + down arrow to start dancing, the ‘esc’ key to bring up a help menu, and ‘tab’ to use their equipped amulet. New players will likly spend their first few minutes simply killing the various forest critters roaming about the beginner area including giant spiders, knights in plate mail armor, small orange humanoids and several other odd creatures.
No End in Sight
From my experience, leveling up in Sherwood dungeon is a slow process. Even the weak monsters take quite a few hits to kill and seem to be nearly as powerful as the player which means you’ll end up dead quite often. Luckily, there is no cost to death. When players run out of health they simply respawn at the beginning of the particular zone they’re in at full health. Often death is the best way to regain health so don’t worry about standing around waiting for your hp to regenerate. Each time they level players receive additional health points and are allowed to equip better equipment. Almost every monster you kill will drop some piece of equipment, be it a new weapon, piece of armor, or a shield. There are several types of weapons in Sherwood Dungeon including swords, maces, axes, and so on. Each is slightly different but balanced. For example, swords have the longest damage range (1-15 dmg) while maces have higher minimum damage but lower max damage (4-12 dmg.) There is currently no max level in Sherwood Dungeon but the exponential rate of experience required to reach the next level make it very difficult to continue leveling past the 50s range.
Unlike most MMORPGs, players cannot select which server they would like to play on, instead they are thrown into a random one each time they log in or move from one area to another. This makes it very difficult to hunt with friends or play with others in general. The game world itself isn’t very large, besides the forest players start in there is a single dungeon which can be entered from inside the nearby castle. It is at this castle that player will encounter the few NPCs found in Sherwood Dungeon. The first serves as a quest giver (kill 5 spiders) while the second is a merchant who sells a variety of gear but also purchases all the loot you’ve collected. All players have a single inventory bag for loot and potions and a separate bag for runes. There is no equipment screen in the game, instead players simply drag a weapon, a shield, a ring, potions, and an amulet to the appropriate box on the toolbar to equip them. Players are encouraged to enter the dungeon starting at level two since there are plenty of treasure chests and barrels located within which can be searched and often contain valuable items such as potions and equipment. The dungeon has a total of 13 floors with each floor containing monsters fitting for players of the same level.
Pets & PvP
The only premium features currently available in Sherwood Dungeon are pets which come in various forms and all cost $5 per year to maintain. A horse mount is the most basic pet and can be purchased by all players from the start. Eleven other pets are currently in the game but are grayed out to beginners until they reach certain levels. These pets fight alongside the player and deal additional damage but cannot harm other players in PvP. The pets are: a wolf, spider, dragon, lion, unicorn, warrior sidekick, valkyrie protector, dark knight henchman, skeleton minion, Viking henchman, and ranger ally. PvP in Sherwood Dungeon is restricted to specific zones and is set up in a way to keep things balanced and focused. Players are aligned with other who share their color (freely changed at the character screen) and must fight those of the opposing colors. Additionally, player levels do not have an effect in PvP which allows lower leveled players compete with those who have been playing longer. Of course equipment still plays a large role in determining who wins a fight but a large number of poorly equipped players can easily defeat a smaller batch of well armed opponents.
Sherwood Dungeon has gained a large audience since its release. There are currently 3 servers (Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald), each with 99 channels. There are thousands of concurrent players throughout the day but the game still manages to feel empty. Players can only directly chat with others in the same channel and zone as them but even so, there is very limited chatting going on. The community seems to be spread across a large international spectrum which means any chatting that is going on mostly consists of players trying to determine what country their fellow players are from. The total lack of game music doesn’t help alleviate the lonely atmosphere. There are some simple sound effects such as a ‘clink’ when you strike something and a ‘ugh’ when you’re defeated but these noises are more annoying than useful. Even with these flaws, Sherwood Dungeon deserves kudos for being a uniquely free to play game supported almost entirely by ads rather than a premium currency which requires constant micro payments.
Final Verdict: Good
Sherwood Dungeon is an enjoyable free game with great graphics and a rich world to explore. The lack of in depth gameplay features and limited chatting make it an ideal virtual playground for young children. Those looking for something deeper or a game with more social interaction should look elsewhere.
Sherwood Dungeon Videos
Sherwood Dungeon Gameplay Footage
Sherwood Dungeon Official Gameplay Trailer