I was told that Conquer Online should feel a bit like Ultima Online on the iPad, but I'm not sure about that. Yes, it features the isometric view that we are all so familiar with in UO, but I don't think the comparison holds up beyond that.
Click past the cut and I'll break it down for you. Also, if you would like to receive a free super item pack for the game, you'll find it at the end of the article!
"Yes, you can stop yourself and walk back to town by touching on the screen, but even that gets old since your hands are often in the way of the screen while traveling."
Graphically, the game is good enough. It's dated and pretty bland most of the time, but the bright screen of the iPad and the controls smooth over the rough spots. There are no animations other than the mobs and characters on the screen, and running is accompanied by a constant clomping sound that is annoying. The rest of the sounds in the game are adequate, and occasionally I was privileged to hear a bit of music, but other than that the game's soundscape is bare.
Quests are, for the most part, of the kill-ten-rats variety. Monsters are rarely a challenge, although it is easy to become swamped by more than one and be forced to run away! Run away! I played a ranged character; it was pretty fun to stand back and pick off mobs that would normally pull in groups. My combat was pretty standard, though, and was automated for me even though I had to buy stacks of arrows for ammo. For the life of me I could not find my "skills" window until later, so I was stuck with some kind of default attack. I tried to find an NPC who might teach me something new to use during combat, but I gave up after a fruitless search. Knowing me, the guy was standing right under my nose or I was simply not opening the correct window. I had a hotbar that was just waiting for skills to be dropped into it, but as of hitting level 31 with a "battle power" level of 40 (whatever that means), I still have only one basic attack along with one called Scatter. I tried it on different mobs; it seems to do nothing.
Frankly, the game feels like a classic from the mostly long-gone era of foreign grinders that were the cause of old stereotypes. Some of the best-looking and most immersive games in the world now come from foreign lands, so to see a game that resembles a relic from seven years ago is a bit depressing. Boredom set in when I realized that I have played equivalent games many times before and was not eager for a trip to the past. And I suspect many bugs were brought out in the transition to the iPad. For example, players can choose whether they want to run or jump around the environment by hitting a button next to the minimap, but sometimes the jump button is picked by default and I found myself having to switch back. It's an annoyance mostly, but it still needs to be fixed. The game locks up often, as well, and needed to be forced to close.
I could completely see Conquer Online becoming a fun game to play. Yes, the fact that you play it on the iPad does add "fun points" simply because the device is such a pleasure to use. Fixing bugs and adding on other forms of control would definitely bring the fun up a notch. If you enjoy grinding and quick leveling, then check the game out.
I also have some codes for some Super Item Packs that include upgrade packs, lots of equipment, a riding crop and tons more! Simply go to our giveaway page, snag a code, and redeem it here. That will help get you started on the right foot! Enjoy!
Each week in MMObility, Beau Hindman dives into the murky waters of the most accessible and travel-friendly games around, including browser-based and smartphone MMOs. Join him as he investigates the best, worst, and most daring games to hit the smallest devices! Email him suggestions, or follow him on Twitter and Facebook.