I had to wait a full 24 hours, but I finally got my invite to Glitch last night. When I first signed up, the message said it would be only “a few hours,” but a sudden increase in interest lead the folks behind Glitch–Tiny Speck, Inc. and some of the founders of Flickr–to extend the wait to not overload the system. Okay, understood. Can’t really complain too much about the wait considering Glitch is a free, browser-based MMORPG. Don’t have to download anything, don’t have to pay for anything. And it’s pretty good, too, considering I don’t really love MMORPGs–I just have to remember to close down all other open applications and ignore the lure of checking my email every few minutes, as between those two I crashed the game several times. My laptop is certainly on the way out…
So, what is Glitch about? Well, let’s use the creators’ words first, and then I’ll see if I can figure it out any better for y’all:
Glitch is a web-based massively-multiplayer game which takes place inside the minds of eleven peculiarly imaginative Giants. You choose how to grow and shape the world: building and developing, learning new skills, collaborating or competing with everyone else in one enormous, ever-changing, persistent world.
Hmm…basically, you are you, and you live inside the brainspace of one of eleven Giants. You will then help that world grow, going on quests, learning skills, interacting with other…um, Glitchers. There’s very little warfare, instead focusing on social aspects and friendly topics. For instance, a lot of early missions in RPGs (and MMORPGs, from what I can tell) involve slaughtering some kind of weak animal X number of times. Oh, new adventurer, eh? Go kill ten rats to prove your worth. Oh, fresh off the boat? Go eviscerate fifteen boars and wear their skin as a cloak to show me you mean business. In Glitch, one of the first quests you get involves petting six pigs. I liked that. I also like petting trees.
So, yeah, it’s a light-hearted affair, but I think that’s good. Plus, the whole “inside of the brains of Giants” is unique enough to really let the art style go wild. So far, I’ve explored caves, lush forests, wild fields, and I’m sure there’s even more. Each hubworld is made up of dozens of mini sections, all brimming with people or things to interact with. There’s a lot to learn, such as skills and what each item does and why it is important to collect butterfly milk or eggs from an egg plant (not to be confused with eggplant), but everything is gradual.
And this is what I look like, after tinkering around a bit with the avatar customization options:
Since the game is browser-based, your profile is always kept up-to-date, which is great as a refresher on things you’ve done and things you can do. I never used this feature too much with Dragon Age: Origins, but since Glitch plays within the very same browser that’s getting updated, it’s much easier to explore. Right now, I’m choosing the next skill to learn (Animal Kinship III?)–and I’m not even technically playing the game.
Easy to get into (well, once you get the invite), friendly, fun, with lots to do, Glitch might actually be the first MMORPG I’ve liked and continued to play. So long as I like and continue to play it, that is. I don’t have any buddies playing with me because I refused to connect with Facebook, so it’s solo me in a world of many, and while one always levels up fast in the beginning with four dozen things to do, I’m curious as to how long Glitch can hold out for. Granted, it’s adorable graphics are more than enough to keep me walking left to right, right to left, until every section of every world has been scoured.