It's literally been years since I've done a roundup of any kind, and a lot has happened in said years. As you might have guessed from the title, the next handful of weeks are going to focus on free (mostly as in beer, but some, such as today's, are also free as in speech) games of the massively multiplayer variety, all of which are available for our favorite operating system. The round-up kicks off with The Mana World.
If you've ever found yourself thinking "I sure wish there was a free to play MMORPG that looked like the SNES RPGs of years past" (and honestly, who hasn't), then boy have I got a game for you. If you don't believe me, take a look at a screenshot or two, I'll wait. See? By the way, that's about as populated as the gameworld has been every time I've logged in.
So, yeah, The Mana World looks nice, if you're into the whole old-school look (which I am). The problem is, there isn't yet a whole lot there under the surface. No character classes (are though there are plenty of customizable stats), no real skill system, and fairly uninteresting combat mean you're probably going to tire of this one easily, unless you're a sucker for grindfests.
The Mana World does have one feature I love: a casino. That's right. Sick of grinding mob after mob for loot to sell? Trade in some of your hard earned gold for casino coins and try your luck. It's not much, but it's a feature I love and one that gives me hope that The Mana World will eventually turn into something great. Seriously, I love me some minigames, so much so that I'll grind for days if I find out there are more minigames available at higher levels.
I'll definitely keep an eye on this one. Even though there isn't a lot to do now, it's got promise. Plus, hey, it's open source. You can't go wrong there. Kudos to The Mana World team, keep it up.