Realm of the Mad God: NES-level graphics and modern MMO compulsion loops

On Play This Thing! (my favorite games-review site), Greg Costikyan reviews "Realm of the Mad God," a strange blend of vintage graphics and contemporary, MMO-inspired gameplay.

Realm of the Mad God takes the compulsion loop of a conventional MMO and boils it down to its essential nutrient broth, eschewing all the frippery and getting down to what such games are all about: Kill, loot, level-up, kill some more.

With NES-level pixellated graphics, frenetic top-down shooter play with WASD movement, and permadeath, it feels like a game from another era, yet informed by the tropes and techniques we've come to expected in dikuMUD-likes; games from another era are not, obviously, browser-games and massively multiplayer. It's a game that might have been developed in 1985, if we had an Internet in 1985.

Realm of the Mad God