I was delighted to learn that not only is Realm Of The Mad God still a thing, but it's still full of players and it's as moreish as ever.
The perfect hybrid of action-RPG and bullet hell shooter is now being remade in Unity, to escape the curse of Flash and ensure future generations will know its terrible brilliance. You can play it for free right now.
Realm Of The Mad God was first released over a decade ago, and has aged incredibly well, save for one aspect: it runs on Flash, which is officially due for the chop by the end of this year. The death of Flash risks another round of old games being culled from our fickle culture, although projects like Flashpoint are helping to preserve as many as possible. RotMG has sidestepped that process, as Exalt converts the game to a standalone Unity version instead.
It plays much the same way, although it's currently still in open development while things are tidied up. The open beta launched last Thursday, but due to a bug I wasn't able to play it until today. I am happy to report that it remains excellent. In fact, it was one of the best games of 2011, and it utterly consumed Alec Meer (RPS in peace) for a while.
"It's Diablo as a twin-stick shooter, able to creep towards bullet-hell while being absolutely, resolutely shackled to loot'n'xp hunger. I could probably play it forever. I really do not need this right now" he said in his Realm Of The Mad God review.
It's every bit as immediate and rewarding now. It's perfect for people like me, who like to play MMOs solo but also wordlessly teaming up with randoms for a short while before parting ways. It's also surprisingly cute and positive for such a ravenous time-glutton. It might be exactly what some of us need right now.
You can download and play the Realm Of The Mad God Exalt open beta from its own website, for free.