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Review: Unknown Game 3938
Author: Tigerworks
Added: 31/01/2004

There seems to be quite a lot of hype around this game, but when I played it, I was disappointed. I'm writing this review to tell you why.

The presentation in Flanville is generally quite good. The game has its own unique graphic style. The menu was fairly limited with only a few items. IMO it's a little odd having 3D rendered things in a 2D world, though. Despite the nice graphics, there were many details that let the game down. Windows controls everywhere! Edit boxes should NOT be used for displaying a message to the user... it is ugly, and completely breaks out of the game's nice feel. A simple string object with a border or something would have been MUCH nicer. The shops also had a Windows combo box, detracting from the feel of the game.
The second time I tried the game, it was the morning (8AM) and to my suprise there was a nice dawn effect making everything look much nicer than the first time I played. However, this made it run much slower...
So the game has nice presentation, which is spoilt by windows controls... Presentation: 6/10

Arguably the most important part of a game. Apparently, Flanville uses Moo2. This older technology is probably what caused the game to pause for up to a few seconds, every few seconds, which ruined any smoothness to the game.
There are lots of jobs to do and many things to explore, find and try out, but I found it frustrating trying to earn enough money, until it was the morning and I made some cash catching butterflies. I managed to buy a house, but whenever I entered or left a house, the game froze for about ten seconds, which was frustrating and slowed the game's pace down a lot.
I think I saw other people, but the name tags weren't always showing up, or two people had the same nametag, and other players kept walking over things. So I don't think it accurately represented other players. This probably needs some work.
Even moving around was frustrating, you could almost walk off the screen because the scrolling didn't keep up, so you couldn't easily see where you were going. Collisions were weird too, making it difficult to manouvre around obstacles.
There were many things to do and try out, the Pac-man minigame was an interesting addition (again, frustrating, you can't see the ghosts coming until you've already hit them). I didn't get to try out any of the battle areas because they kept crashing the game and I couldn't buy any furnature in the shop (the list boxes were empty or didnt respond).
This game shows much promise, but at the moment I myself think the game is unplayable, due to the constant lag, many bugs and glitches, crashes and frustrating things (status of treasure mined, for example, is not saved, and keeps resetting). I think the game needs more testing, more work, and if possible, an upgrade to the faster, newer MooAPI.
Gameplay: 4/10

Are 3D graphics a little odd in a 2D world? Perhaps, but still the graphics looked like time and effort went in to them. This was let down by smaller things like the edit box messages, and the character sometimes still playing the walk animation if you were stopped, but on the whole graphics had a nice feel to them and obviously effort was put in to them.
Graphics: 7/10

Sound and music
The music was quite nice, I suppose, but often repetative whilst exploring the large world. Sounds were fairly limited. There isn't much else to say about sound and music really, not much diversity, and didn't seem to play an important part in the game.
Sound and music: 5/10

Well... I only played the game a second time to explore the game in more detail so I could write a better review. Again, like the gameplay, this is very promising, and could become one of the games you always play, interacting with other players, buying, upgrading... all the advantages of online games are there, but the gameplay detracts from lastability.
Lastability: 4/10

Overall, I give thid game 5/10. This game is a rarity; a MMORPG made in a click product. However, it looks to me like an early alpha of the game and with some work and improvements, this could become a true classic. Until then, I won't be playing it, though...

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