Welcome back to another roundup of MMOs and MMO-adjacent games you’ve (probably) never heard of — or have totally forgotten about until now! If you’re bored of the same-old, same-old, why not give one of these more obscure titles a try?
We’ll start today with Red Stone, a game that boasts a whole lot of content and options if you can get past its isometric viewpoint. It’s been around since 2003 and offers a nice throwback to an earlier era of MMO play. Plus, it’s on Steam.
You can get even more retro than that, provided that you head to Euotopia’s neck of the woods. This “multiplayer online adventure” calls to mind memories of tile-based dungeon crawlers like Nethack, only with the best graphics that 1992 has to offer, housing, and other players.
“Euotopia lies somewhere between the realms of action RPGs, MMORPGs, MUDs and roguelikes. It began as a multiplayer roguelike, morphed into a multiplayer Ultima-like, and 10 years later is now a fully-fledged virtual world with its own rich history,” the team said.
Here’s a genuine oldie that brings back memories of a simpler time and interfaces. Ogre Island dates back to 2000 and offers a free web-based MMO that was a passion project of a very small dev team that made it on the side. Fun fact: Ogre Island attempted a Kickstarter campaign in 2014 to bring the title up to modern standards, but sadly it failed. It’s still playable today, even so.
If you like the idea of playing an MMO that looks like it was descended from Final Fantasy on the NES, then look no further than Stendhal. This title definitely draws upon that old school anime sprite aesthetic and has been constantly updated since finding its current server home back in 2008.
“You will meet a wide variety of characters,” the team beckoned. “Many will give you tasks and quests for valuable experience. You may be asked to help protect land, feed the hungry, heal the sick, make someone happy, solve a puzzle or simply lend a hand.”
Released in the late 1990s, Astonia was subsequently abandoned by its developer and then picked up by new parties interested in continuing the legacy of this classic MMORPG. The title is on Steam and is completely free to play with no option to pay into it.
“Astonia takes you back to the roots of 2-D isometric CRPG classics, featuring old schools RPG mechanics such as customizable characters, a high variety of complex spells, skills, professions, complicated storylines and quests, and an intricate PVP system set in a rich high fantasy world with steampunk elements.”