Virtual world gaming is an increasingly popular term these days as Virtual Reality devices such as Occulus Rift hits the market. But Virtual World gaming is not a new term. It has been a long favorite of avid gamers who prefer a more challenging & immersive gaming experience.
There are many virtual world games out there, for both kids and adults. There are the more popular ones and the less popular ones. However, here is a list of Top Ten Virtual World games that you should definitely try out, if you haven’t already.
1. Second Life
Second Life has the largest Virtual World among the others and it has been created entirely by its users. Second Life is more like Sims, where you have your own avatar, your own house and fun places in the 3D world to roam around in. So for those who like Sims, Second Life is a great alternative. And for an online game, the graphics are good enough.
You can play Second Life for free or for something less than $6/month. The free version allows an Avatar and free roaming virtual world, while the premium version will allow a personal house and some exclusive extras. There is an in-game credit system which allows you to earn or buy credit which can be later used to buy items from their online store.
There is a in-game item store in their website which allows you to buy items that you can directly use in the game. Both free and paid items are available in the store, with a huge range of items.
2. World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft is the most-subscribed massively multiplayer role playing game with over 7 million subscribers as of now. World of Warcraft was launched on 2004 and 4 expansions have been released so far with a 5th expansion announced last year.
World of Warcraft can be played free up to a certain level after which you’ll have to subscribe to continue. To play the game, you’ll have to download the game files from their website and after installation players will be allowed to choose between 4 servers referred to as “realms”. Each server has different characteristics from the other.
If you want some action packed game to play against real people, then World of Warcraft is the game for you. No wonder it’s so popular among online gamers.
IMVU allows different environments to join depending on your preferred taste – sci-fi, rock, fashion and more. There is definitely in-game credit system and you can either buy or earn credit.
There is an option to use a free avatar and if you want full features and adult content, then you’ll have to go for a paid version. IMVU is for both adults and children and privilege for children is limited and adult activity is strictly monitored. Just like Second Life, IMVU allows you to do almost everything you could do in a real world. You can join private rooms to chat or wander around in public places.
Although IMVU is a great platform, a lot of people have complained being banned for weaker reasons. IMVU strictly monitors their users, almost to the level of stalking. And getting banned in IMVU is not very difficult. IMVU takes their age policy and adult content policy very seriously.
In case your wondering, IMVU is not an acronym for anything although IMVU users have created one themselves – “Instant Messaging within a Virtual Universe”.
4. The Sims
Although Sims is not an online Virtual World (yet), it is definitely one of the best Virtual Worlds to play in. Sims allow high detail avatar creation with personalized gestures and traits.
Like other real life simulation games, Sims allow you to earn in-game credits, have jobs, get married and almost all the things you could do in real life.
The only downside of The Sims (so far) is that it has to be played offline either in your PC or Mac, so like other online multiplayer games, you won’t be receiving automatic updates to your game. However, there are expansion packs that you can install to enhance features in your game.
5. Blue Mars
Blue Mars was released back in 2009 and is currently still in beta mode. Blue Mars was built with CryEngine 2. Blue Mars is also similar to Second Life although not as massive.
Other than the fact that Blue Mars has fewer users and less space in their virtual universe, it also has fewer features compared to Second Life. For example, you cannot fly in Blue Mars and walking is very slow. You cannot jump from the Balcony, you’ll have to walk down the stairs. Blue Mars is still in the development process, so it’s difficult to say how good it will be released in full version.