A Mystical Land is a nicely-polished MMO carving a place for itself on Facebook
A Mystical Land is a new multi-platform MMO that’s using the Portalarium player (which does require a download and install) to run through Facebook’s platform. It may strike some players as reminiscent of Runes of Magic, which is not coincidental. A Mystical Land is one of the first projects released by Neonga, a company formed by former executives of Runes of Magic publisher Frogster. A Mystical Land‘s 3D graphics are very striking and its gameplay is a bit more polished than the usual Facebook MMO fare.
In many ways, A Mystical Land feels a bit like a simplified throwback to earlier MMOs like Ultima Online and Everquest. Once you’ve picked your class from the starting selection of warrior and priest, you can still do just about anything you want, even opting to play the entire game without fighting anyone. There are deep crafting and cooking systems as well as aspects of the game that progress through fishing, bug-catching, gardening, farming, woodworking, blacksmithing, and even tailoring. The interface for all this is very simple, making A Mystical Land an excellent game for kids and parents to try playing together.
Combat has something of an old-school feel. While few enemies in the game are aggressive, there’s an emphasis on killing special monsters called bounties for loot. While modern games tend to spawn monsters like this in instances, A Mystical Land uses the old “timer” respawning system for them. This can mean having to patiently wait your turn to pick off certain Bounties that spawn in areas where people like to grind levels. Of course, this is only if you choose to play a character that fights at all, which isn’t necessary.
A Mystical Land has no shortage of quests and exploring areas to find new quest givers is actually kind of entertaining. While your character moves slowly, the landscapes are fun to watch and you’re always free to make trips more interesting by wandering around. The NPC dialog is genuinely humorous, though at times feels roughly translated. Navigating the world can be difficult due to the small size of the Facebook client, which tends to be quickly overwhelmed by icons, speech balloons, in-game chat, and PC names in heavily travelled areas.
The worst that can be said about A Mystical Land is that if you enjoy it on Facebook, you’d probably enjoy playing it more in its off-Facebook browser-based version that supports more features, including fullscreen graphics. A Mystical Land is otherwise a very solid MMO that isn’t really surprising, but does offer a lot of things to do and areas to explore as freely as you’d want. It’s probably going to be an excellent diversion for younger players who’ll enjoy the role-playing possibilities offered by all of the game’s many types of jobs.