Posted in Book of Travels

Book of Travels may be TOO relaxed for my tastes

With new games popping out of the woodwork and old MMOs capturing my imagination, I’ve had some difficulties scheduling time to play certain games. One title that I was not there for on Day One was Book of Travels. But hey, I figured it was only early access — two years until launch, apparently — and I could delay my initial foray a little.

This past week I finally did slot a few hours to explore what this micro-MMO had to offer. The character creation, while somewhat confusing (this whole game is “somewhat confusing”), is very involved — on par with Villagers and Heroes or Guild Wars 2, which I hold up as the gold standard in this space. I enjoyed picking out my background, rolling for my meager equipment, and generally getting into the headspace of my character.

The game itself? Well, it’s very pretty. I don’t really need to tell you that. It’s like you’re moving through a stylized watercolor or those old Japanese landscape paintings. Because my character was so small and so far away from the camera, I kept wanting to zoom in — but nothing doing. You get what you get, here.

As far as I can figure, you just wander around, heading for various landmarks that are on your map. There are plants that can be harvested for various items, some of which I could use for magic spells (which are called “knots” here), others that I could eat or barter. There are people and objects that can be clicked on to trigger conversations, events, or quests. But by and large, you simply walk. Walk walk walk walk. If you’re not in the headspace to casually stroll through an MMO, you very much should not play this.

I didn’t hate it, nor did I find enough initially to captivate me. It’s something to tinker with rather than dive into. I did appreciate that there were no limitations on where I could go, as the game gave me the freedom to pursue my own course and agenda, but it was almost too much freedom and lack of explanation that did me in. Random Wandering Online is not exactly the title I want to play for any length of time.

Still, it’s got a ways to go before it launches, so I’ll keep an eye on it and see how it shapes up over time.

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