July 2021 Multiplayer Rankings [Part 1 of 2]

Where do all of the multiplayer titles stack up against each other, from the perspective of the Aun Tumerok? Not just MMORPGs this time. We have everything from early closed alpha/beta games to full-releases with a long-established history on the market.

NOTE: This has been sitting in my drafts for too long. I’m releasing it as-is! Hope you enjoy and there’s really not a single game on this list that was 100% miserable to play.

Ratings are now from 0.5 to 5 at 0.5 increments. For games that more than one of played, the scores will be averaged which could yield a result not ending in 0 or 5.

4.5 & 5 = Top Tier
3.5 & 4 = Recommend
3 & 2.5 = Borderline
1.5 & 2.0 = Not Recommend
0.5 & 1 = Worst of All-Time, Broken, etc

Bottom 5 — Not Recommended

#14/15 [TIE]: Farmageddon: A Cattle Royale / Turbo Tempest

A battle royale with boats and controls that feel unresponsive and floaty . A cattle rogue-like affair with controls that feel responsive but lack any sense of impact. Both games were clearly crafted with love for the craft, but the craftsmen involved, being relatively new to the field, created works that are quite flawed. Both are free-to-play, neither has a predatory cash shop, and both can be fun.

Gameplay / Commentary:

PinkAlpaca plays Turbo Tempest
Sokol Free Channel

#13 Paintball Wars [2]

Goodbye Paintball War. Hello Paintball War 2.

It’s closed down and when it was open, it didn’t really have much of a population. I won’t hold that against the game. The gun mechanics were acceptable for paintball guns but really lacked any sense of impact, the maps felt like tutorial maps from a different game or asset pack, and the entire package just felt pointless. There are much worse games out there. As the developer grows, they have the potential create quite good games. This one just misses the mark, unfortunately.

#12 Abstract [2]

https://cdn.cloudflare.steamstatic.com/steam/apps/256750884/movie480.mp4?t=1558067490

Abstract is a third person shooter by a relatively new, young developer. It’s free-to-play and for being a project by a single developer with minimal experience, it’s actually not bad. Movement is a bit awkward, occasional performance issues are common, and the maps become rather repetitive over time. Support the developer and follow their subsequent projects. As for this project, it’s just lacking too much for a recommend.

#11 Batterneers [2]

Batterneers is a multiplayer, deathmatch-style pirate ship game. An acceptable selection of weaponry and powerups. The art style is somewhat unique and coherent, but it’s low resolution makes it occasionally difficult to make out detail. The playfield is extremely small, though, which creates a unique experience but not necessarily a good one. It’s as if this was designed to be a single screen couch co-op experience and even so, the playfield is too small for a ship-based game. It also lacks much variety in modes, making it easy to become bored with what’s offered within an hour.

Middling Six: The Next 6 Games in the Rankings That Are Flawed but Might Be Worthwhile for Fans of the Genres

#10 Frog Fighters [2.5]

If this list was purely based on fun factor and potential, Frog Fighters would be much higher. It’s a unique take on a deathmatch and flying craft shooter, puting you in control of a rocket launching frog on a flying lily pad. The graphics are a bit difficult to decipher and the controls a bit off, making what would otherwise be an enjoyable experience in small bursts into an occasionally frustrating one. It’s free-to-play and fun but won’t become a daily game any time soon.

#9 Twisted Sails [2.5]

One game mode isn’t enough. I love the low resolution art style that’s somewhat akin to early texture mapping (Catacomb 3D, Wolfenstein 3D) with a heavy cell-shading influence. The ship controls are fairly tight, making each match feel like you are the one who lost in cases of defeat. The amount of content here is the main issue. One game mode (a deathmatch mode) and a very limited selection of ships, maps, etc is not enough. Hopefully additional content is released for this title.

#8 Rogalia [2.5]

I hate ranking this title so low. It’s coming off of a near closure and is now on a single, very resource-limited server in the UK. I can tell a lot of time and passion went into the development of this game. It’s full of features and content. The pacing is the issue here. MMORPGs tend to be time sinks, but a lot of the early content is simply boring or too easy to exploit. For a long period of time, it wasn’t uncommon for griefing to occur in the form of blocking access to certain content. There’s a niche game for a niche community here and it seems that instead of trying to expand the potential playerbase, too much time was spent either appeasing the playerbase and/or making the game the developer wanted to make regardless of feedback.

Either way, I found the game to be too uninteresting an d slow-paced. If you are into sandbox MMORPGs with lots of underlying systems and mechanics, you might find enjoyment here. Definitely not a bad game — just a very niche one.

Check back tomorrow for the remainder of the list!

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Aun Collective

Aun Collective

We are a game preservationist, archivist, design and writing collective, focusing on multiplayer and massively multiplayer games. Also music preservation!