It may be hard to imagine a game called Amazing World being worth anybody’s time with a name like that, but there is no denying the charm and sheer spirit of the game. So just how child friendly is it exactly?
Now, I must begin my Amazing World review by stating that this is absolutely the kind of MMORPG that I would be happy to allow any of my theoretical children to play without adult supervision, even if it is not the kind of game that I could sit for any length of time and play for my own personal enjoyment. What gives me headaches from the sheer hyperactivity of the whole experience, however, gives kids a bright and colorful virtual playground full to the brim of lively mini-games.
The Zings are in trouble from the foul Queen Vexa who is dead set on destroying Amazing World (yes, that really is the name of the world) with the help of the Nix, her zealous little minions. You must help the anthropomorphic critters regain their homeworld and chase her off.
You play as a fellow Zing and initial customization is, well.. non-existent. You choose between several brightly colored pudgy animals - cows, dogs, bears, cat-things - and that’s your character. You can’t change your features or even the color of your chosen Zing. So from the get-go, it feels a little bit on the limited side. However, pretty quickly you discover the customization window and you can unlock different outfits and even skins for your Zing through in game currency though there is an awful lot locked behind premium currency.
When you first load up the game, it has you jump through several parental hoops, which parents will want to set up before letting kids play. They’re pretty easy to sort through so don’t worry too much if you’re just wanting to play yourself. There are also further parental options in game. Regarding premium currency, memberships and the shiny temptations that Ganz has put in the Amazing World store, however, I must admit to feeling a little bit uncomfortable. Here we have a free-to-play MMORPG for kids. It’s fun and cheerful and—oh, there’s an advertisement telling kids to go buy membership.
This just doesn’t sit right with me, nor did the quest that teaches the player how to buy shiny things from the in-game store. So I will say that if you do happen to be setting up Amazing World for your child to play, just have a word with them first regarding spending real money. Just to be on the safe side, you know?
Gameplay - 6/10
The game itself has a lot going for it. There’s a heap of fully voiced quests from all sorts of NPCs, little events popping up across the map periodically that have you completing various tasks alongside other players, and quite a few different mini-games and puzzles to play around with in place of combat (unless you count walking into Nix until they go ‘poof’ as combat). For older gamers, it’s not the most exciting game in the world and I found movement a little uncontrollable at times, but I think it’s a great place to start for kids and easy to understand.
Innovation - 5/10
I don’t think a kid’s MMO is really the place to look for innovation and Amazing World certainly doesn’t do anything that is necessarily new. However, Ganz have certainly done a great job of tying everything up with a nice little bow. Every part of Amazing World feels like it belongs, from the mini-games, to the events and the gardening. All of it feels relevant. Besides, there really aren’t that many kid’s MMORPGs around currently, and Amazing World certainly has filled its niche in the market well.
Community - 5/10
From what I saw the community is fine. There were people chatting, but there doesn’t seem to be anything really encourage players to play together, so you mostly just see a bunch of variously dressed Zings running around individually. And when it comes down to child friendliness in the community, Ganz have pretty strict rules on inappropriate topics, language, and practices within Amazing World. If anybody breaks these, it is pretty easy to report and block other players if it becomes necessary.
Graphics/Sounds - 7/10
The graphics are not exactly cutting edge, but let’s face it, kids don’t care about graphics as long as whatever the graphics are presenting is bright and fun. Besides, the cute, colorful style to Amazing World looks great regardless. Everything looks bright and cheery. Everything sounds bright and cheery. The entire game looks and sounds like one big sugar rush. However, if you’re playing Amazing World as an adult, there's the likelihood of the bouncing music and constantly cheery voices driving you to insanity, but the game is fully voiced which really does make all the difference. I mean, if us adult gamers can’t be bothered to sit through quest text, what chance do the kids have?
Value For Money - 4/10
Amazing World gains value for money points purely by being free-to-play. I mean, you absolutely can play the game without paying a cent and get enjoyment out of it. But aside from this, there is a pretty intrusive cash shop and membership scheme involved in the game that makes me cringe enough in other MMOs, but it’s even worse in a kid’s game. And it really sucks that there is so much locked off behind a paywall. But that being said, and I am not the first to say it, Amazing World is certainly a great game to introduce kids to MMORPGs without spending anything.
Overall Rating: 6/10
Bright and cheerful fun for kids of reading age
Lots of customization and activities available
Very easy to report other players if they’re causing trouble
Overall the community seems friendly
Playable through Steam, browsers, and mobile devices
It is adorable
Some minor bugs present
Game controls are a little awkward
Intrusive cash store and advertising membership in the game world is a little worrisome