We sign up for classes at Fantasy University in our preview of the funniest Facebook RPG so far
Have you ever wanted to take up the deadly arts, but were too busy watching TV? Or wanted to combine your love of Houdini and hexagons, but could never find the proper outlet? Maybe you should be a Slackninja! Or a Mathemagician! Fantasy University is an upcoming Facebook fantasy RPG that doesn’t seem to take itself too seriously, offering a nice change of pace from all of the demons and dragons we’re usually fighting.
Debuting this July, Fantasy University will take the run-of-the-mill conventions of Facebook RPG’s and turn them on their head. The game will combine exploration, combat, puzzles and grown-up humor in an attempt to create a truly unique Facebook experience.
While players will still participate in combat, make guilds with their friends, and complete quests, the team behind the game is promising that the experience won’t simply be a retread of other Facebook experiences. “The team’s dynamic approach to quest design has broken new ground in interactive storytelling,” boasts a recent press release. “Depending on your major of choice, your experiences in combat will drastically differ.” Player will have five “majors” to pick from; Slackninja, Mathemagician, Dodgebrawler, Emomancer and Cheermonger.
In addition to standard combat, players will be able to bring pets in to help them battle as well. Like most things in Fantasy Univeristy, the pets offer an over-the-top silliness to their nature. Instead of wolves and bears and other typical RPG pets, expect to become the proud owner of the mythical Calupacabra, or the Uncontrollable Stabbing Machine.
The game will also feature a crafting system that will let you combine items to create newer, more useful ones. One such example in the aforementioned press release reads “Have a stick, some mithril duct tape, and a flamethrower? Not anymore, you don’t! You’ve got a Flamethrower-on-a-Stick!”
Simutronics, the developers behind Fantasy University, have a long-running history with social RPG’s. Formed in 1987, the team is best known for its world in the world of text-based multi user dungeons, or “MUD’s.” Games like DragonRealms and Gemstone IV (which the company still operates after 22 years) combined a role-playing experience with social interaction, in many ways making them the forefathers of the modern Facebook RPG. As such, debuting a Facebook RPG like Fantasy University seems like a logical next step for Simutronics.
The game also promises an endless barrage of pop culture references, and the early screenshots seem to confirm this. Captain Arr looks just like Captain Crunch. “The Dude” is clearly “The Dude” from The Big Lebowski. In one quest, as your path is blocked by flames, the game declares “the route, the route, the route is on fire.” From what we’ve seen, this seems to be the sort of tongue-in-cheek pop culture silliness that has made TV shows like The Simpsons such a success over the years.
While meant to be silly, the game clearly has a very adult sense of humor in mind. After all, there are few 12 year old’s who can appreciate a good Big Lebowski reference. Considering that less than 1% of Facebook gamer are under the age of 18, it’s strange to think that more games haven’t gone this route. Should Fantasy University live up to its promise, it will be nice to have a game that caters to the grown-up pop culture nerd in all of us.
The game isn’t set to launch until July, but if you want to enrol in Fantasy University early a closed beta will be launching in June. To sign up for your chance to be a part, visit http://apps.facebook.com/fantasyuniversity/.