Bookworm Adventures: Fantasy University

If I could go back and do school again I'd be a bully who spoke entirely in clich├ęs.

I’ll not beat around the bush here. Fantasy University is a new Facebook game that’s pretty much Kingdom of Loathing, except instead of willfully crap art and surrealist text, it tries to be pretty and has a more satirical tone. But the appeal is just the same- free, lo-fi character development in an overtly funny, monochrome world.

It’s also just as addictive as Kingdom of Loathing. Probably don’t go and check it out if you have a high power job, a baby, or a high power baby who ejects you from windows when displeased. Thanks to ex-PC Zoner Ed Zitron for the tipoff. Fittingly, I used to go to school with Ed. He was in the year above me, but I was taller.


  1. FuryOfTheAxe says:

    Its worth remembering my few year old facebook account password?

  2. Brumisator says:

    I am a terrible bigot, and I don’t play facebook games, only because they are on facebook.

    • mandrill says:

      See, that was my first reaction a while ago. but there is some quality available in there sometimes.

      I can reccommend Vikings of Thule as well.

  3. bleeters says:

    Facebook! I have an instant dislike of this. Good day, sir!

  4. the wiseass says:

    I’m glad to join the hate-mongering crowd: fuck Facebook!

    • the wiseass says:

      Oh and besides, can’t you guys get rid of these console only ads? I don’t mind watching your ads, but I’d much prefer if they were for PC-Games, since this is a PC-Gaming website. Ya know…

    • Quintin Smith says:

      We prefer PC game ads too, but basically cyber-beggars can’t be choosers.

    • the wiseass says:

      Ah well, at least you’re trying, so thanks for that :)

    • Nova says:

      Yay fuck Facebook.
      For me the game could just as well be for the console toys.

  5. Vivaci says:

    I hope facebook and any and all facebook-only apps and games die in a fire. (And especially Mr. “Privacy is so yesterday”)

    It’s worse than consoles even.

  6. Spacewalk says:

    But does it have hordes of skeleton bros to kill and items that let you build things out of bricks?

  7. Cooper says:

    You listen to it twice, ‘Cause the DJ is asleep

    Spelt Spektor, isn’t it?

  8. Simon says:

    Looks good, looks interesting. Standalone download please.

  9. zipdrive says:

    What is this Book of Faces you mention?

    • zipdrive says:

      hmm…just thought of this: Is facebook the more masochistic version of facepalm?

    • Spacewalk says:

      A Facebook is a popular social networking site. A Book Of Faces is what serial killer keeps in his basement. You may find serial killers on Facebook but there is an important distinction between the two.

    • Gunrun says:

      Serial Killers are more likely to respect your privacy and not bombard you with requests for sheep and carrots?

  10. Alex says:

    But not actually anything to do with Bookworm Adventures? Unless I’m missing something… :-(

    • mwoody says:

      I think it was a weird pun based on “faceBOOK.” I was faked out, too. :(

  11. Ajh says:

    I was all set to play this the moment I saw Bookworm adventures, as it’s the only game my semi-literate mother and I can both enjoy playing these days. She has too much arthritis to do crazy pinball stunts now. Bookworm is awesome fun. In a year or two I’m going to get a copy of one of the games for my cousin’s boy, but he’s not quite old enough yet.

    Then I saw “facebook” and my heart fell. Facebook games are evil incarnate.

    This did give me the idea of showing my mother kingdom of loathing though. Man I love that game.

  12. ReV_VAdAUL says:

    Hmm, a Facebook game that rips off Kingdom of Loathing and this portrayed somehow as a good thing??

  13. Clovis says:

    I’ve been playing this a bit. There has to be some kind of connection to Kingdom Of Loathing here, right? The more you play it, the more you see how it is pretty much just KOL. The humor, the quest structure, the combat, the pets, simpler character development, the items, the item combination, etc.

    I don’t see how this is much of a problem even if there is no connection between the two. They are not stealing any art assets or words. The art is pretty fun in the game and sometimes the text is a bit funny (very hit or miss). I got a chuckle out of the character creation that featured a type of hair called “goblin king” which looked like Tina Turner hair. The game, just like KOL, is chock full of cultural, pop, nerd, etc. references.

    It almost feels like a proper game, especially when compared to, say, Mafia Wars. Once the game is stable, I’m hoping to convince some non-gamer friends to try it out. It’s basically like Mafia Wars, except with interesting artwork and interesting text. IE, you don’t just click on the thing to get you the most points or whatever, rinse and repeat. Ugh, Mafia Wars is awful.

    The big problem right now is that their servers aren’t doing so well.

    • Lobotomist says:

      It was done by some guy that worked on Kingdom Of Loathing

      Basically – its KOL with better graphic. Which is actually a good thing

    • Doug F says:

      See, here I was thinking the Goblin King hair was based on David Bowie’s character from Labyrinth.

      Y’know, the Goblin King?

    • Mike says:

      That is incorrect. None of the creators of Kingdom of Loathing are in any way involved.

      And while the art may be better, from what I’ve heard the writing is a bit crap compared to KoL, and it’s the writing that a game like this lives or dies on.

  14. Souldark says:

    I want that half hour back. Fucking Facebook games :/

  15. Serenegoose says:

    Bah. This looks amusing, but I don’t use facebook.
    Free it for the masses!

  16. JuJuCam says:

    Geeze the amount of prejudice on display here kinda makes me uneasy. Yes, the vast majority of FB games are soul-crushing worthless time-sinks with only the barest of decision making and none of it fun or interesting.

    But anything that provides even the smallest glimmer of hope in this segment of the market should, I think, be treated with all of the kindness and support you treat any unique and interesting thing in any division of the electronic games market. The chaff on FB is easily identified – it’s titled some variation on x wars or y-ville – but anything else could be truly amazing and visionary and fun and deserves a red hot go.

    As for this in particular, well it’s KOL in slightly different clothing. It’s no bad thing. And I can nominate “BFF’s” and use their powers in combat, which is something I would’ve loved in KOL.

    • ReV_VAdAUL says:

      Maybe people just don’t want to use facebook at all, perhaps they value their privacy at least somewhat?

    • JuJuCam says:

      Then I’d expect such comments as “Unfortunately I don’t use Facebook as I value my privacy”, rather than comments such as “Facebook games are evil incarnate”.

    • Joof says:

      On a recent KoL radio show/ podcast, Jick, the creator of KoL, was upset that they took interface elements and jokes from KoL. I’d have to listen to the show again to remember exactly what he was upset about, but I do remember he was kinda ranting about this game.

    • Joof says:

      This was supposed to be a response to Clovis up above. =/

    • geldonyetich says:

      You’d be prejudiced against Facebook games too if you noticed the completely unethical means they typically operate.

  17. Ashen says:

    Facebook “game” coverage? Seriously?

    • Dave says:

      If you believe Kingdom of Loathing is a game, then this too is a game. Facebook or not.

      And if you don’t believe KoL is a game, there is something wrong with you.

    • Clovis says:

      I guess the herp derp Facebook “game” joke will go away once the Civilization FB game is released. Unless they somehow make it terrible.

    • Nick says:

      Well they managed to make Civ V terrible so..

  18. tomwaitsfornoman says:

    Today’s headlines: Nerds Dislike New Things. Water is Wet. The Sky is Blue.

    • Butler` says:

      Yeah all those Apple nerds hate new things.

    • outoffeelinsobad says:

      I have a different word for those people.

      Also, this game plays like a slow version of those cheap adventure-RPG flash things like Dragon Fable and MechQuest.

  19. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    This Facebook/console elitism gets boring fast, guys…

    • Vodka & Cookies says:

      I know and the funny thing is PC gaming is portrayed by its fanboys as the adult game platform but this behavior shows just how incredibly childish PC gaming is. It’s the exact same type of people on game consoles who whine about Wii games.

      Apparently your not a PC gamer unless you play very specific set of games on a PC.

    • BigJonno says:

      I totally agree. I was having a conversation about gaming fanboys not too long ago and I came to the conclusion that I loathe PC fanboys much more than their console counterparts. Whereas console fanboys are usually sub-literate chimps or kids who are attached to the one console they can afford and feel the need to defend it, PC fanboys are usually condescending bigots who come across as being intelligent enough to know better.

      I’ve been dabbling with FU today and I’m probably going to keep playing it for the art and the occasional genuinely funny line.

  20. substance says:

    I’m not against facebook games nor am I an PC elitist but this game(and games like it) are, at best, mediocre time-sinks that have no place in RPS.

  21. Polysynchronicity says:

    I’ve played good facebook games, but after trying this one I really have to say KoL did (and does) the same thing better

  22. Dave says:

    If there are any Lackadaisy fans here (or even if there aren’t) its creator Tracy was the artist for much of the FU character stuff.

  23. SoulPride says:

    “Thanks to ex-PC Zoner Ed Zitron for the tipoff. Fittingly, I used to go to school with Ed.”

    Goodness me, so did I! We used to play EverQuest together.

    Small world.

  24. snv says:

    it beeing a facebook game immedeatly makes it inferior to KoL, even if it were infinitely better in every other aspect

  25. Peeved says:

    Yeah this does look kinda fun, but fuck Facebook, and for that matter, fuck Twitter, and fuck their needless integration into multiple games and apps. This Web 2.0 social networking bullshit is the worst fad I’ve ever seen. It’s like Myspace but with even less privacy!