Even though the market is often bare, there are still quite a few MMOs out there. Many of them are fun as well! I know, I know, I am making it seem as though the smartphone or tablet MMO market is empty of all content, but the truth is that for its age, it's doing very well. There are more and more coming out all of the time, and hopefully I'll be there to cover them. In the meanwhile, enjoy a list of the specific titles that rest on my Nexus 7 3G tablet, just waiting to be played anywhere and any time!
This AAA mobile MMO will definitely have you calling out "WoW-clone!" in no time, but deep down it's a pretty fun game with an open world, tons of players, and a lot of kill quests. The developers recently added mounts and turned off the subscription, so there's no reason to ignore this one. Be aware that it will take up several gigs on your device, though.
Kabam is one of my favorite publishers because it makes simple, fun games that can be picked up and learned in no time. If you enjoy the universe of Tolkien, you'll probably like this one. If you've played other Kabam titles like Dragons of Atlantis, The Hobbit will feel a bit like a re-skin, but the portrait-only layout is nice. Good artwork, solid mechanics, and simple gameplay make this one a grab.
There are four total titles in the Spacetime Studios lineup of mobile games. They can be enjoyed on iOS, Android, or browser. My particular favorite has got to be Arcane Legends because it takes the best mechanics of the previous titles and combines them into a really unique sci-fantasy package. Oh, and the cash shops in these games are glorious.
PerBlue has been doing location-based magic for a while now, resulting in a series of games that offers quite a variety in gameplay. Parallel Kingdom is a high-fantasy, slow-moving classic romp complete with city-building and sandbox gameplay, while Parallel Zombies in an action-based shooter that is as much fun as it is scary. Parallel Mafia is similar to Kingdom but tends to lean more on PvP. Do yourself a favor and just download all three of them!
I enjoyed this killer location-based title when I checked it out earlier in the year, but it didn't really stick with me -- that is, until I discovered how strategy plays a role in your success and how important grouping is. The truth is that this one is more of a pseudo-MMO, but the developer Red Robot plans on adding in more "real time" interactions in the future. Don't let that stop you from adding some friends and playing along. This is probably one of the best-looking of all of the games on this list, as well, with top-notch animations and magic effects. Now, if I can only figure out the best combinations of spells...
This classic MMO is so cute that you'll find yourself pinching the screen more often than you'll want to admit. As I play it, I feel as if I am controlling an old handheld gaming device from my youth (or close to it) because I hold it in portrait mode and control it with an onscreen d-pad. To attack something, you simply approach it and push in the direction of the enemy, and you loot by doing the same thing. There's a surprising amount of depth in the game, and the old-school graphics will charm the pants off of you. Don't forget that you can also play it in a browser, but the window is tiny. Stick with the mobile version.
While my initial exposure to this experimental Google title confused me, I have been poking around in it since and have begun to enjoy it more. Of course, the game's weakness still comes from the lack of interactive portals or other players for those of us who do not live directly inside a major city, but I am still intrigued by the idea. The only problem is that Google loves to experiment, and I'm a bit worried that this one might just be tossed to the side eventually.
Midgard has been in development for a long time, and it still has a long way to go. It has a classic EverQuest look and feel to it, and though I haven't experienced much of the high-level content, the dungeons and boss-fights look promising.
This game offers slow movement, classic gameplay, kill-ten-rats quests, and retro looks, but there's something very appealing about it. When I play it, I don't expect to get into massive fireball fights or to be galloping across the landscape. Instead I chill out, grab a mission or two, and slowly finish it off. Over the last year, it has developed into a really neat little retro game, and it works in both portrait and landscape mode. Now if I can only stop looking for the cartridge in the back of my Nexus 7 when I play this one, everything will be fine.
I just downloaded this one literally a few days before I wrote this, but so far Avabel is a fantastic looking mobile MMO with a lot of players. I haven't gotten far enough to comment on the high-end, but the control scheme and action-based combat are promising.
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.