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9 Role-playing Games like MapleStory

9 Role-playing Games like MapleStory

Life is stressful. That's why it is no surprise that MMORPGs like MapleStory are extremely popular amongst people of all ages who just want to escape from reality, even more so, 2D, side-scrolling games, because one can enjoy them even with computer of low capability. Techspirited provides you a list of interesting alternatives to MapleStory.
Padmini Krishna
Key Features of MapleStory
  • Released in 2003, this online multiplayer role-playing game was developed by the South Korean company, Wizet, and released in North America by Nexon. There exist different versions for different regions.
  • The game has a 2D, side-scrolling type of graphics and is played using the keyboard and the mouse.
  • Once it is downloaded, the game is designed along the free-to-play payment model, where although the game does not inherently cost anything to be played, certain characters and enhancements can be purchased by the user from the Cash Shop.
  • Like in any online role-playing game, players function as characters, and develop their strengths and abilities as the game proceed.
  • They exist in the imaginary Maple World, and are supposed to complete quests, earn in-game money, and fight monsters.
  • Players can interact with other players' characters, form guilds, fight monsters collectively, chat, and trade.
There is something truly magical about role-playing; one can slip into a completely different world from one's own, a world that has infinite scope, limited only by one's imagination. With the evolution of the internet, the benefits of advanced technology, and the fascination with role-playing have been smoothly integrated to create a wide platform for players across time zones to come together and play, with a whole bunch of like-minded strangers, freeing themselves of the shackles of stress, pressure, judgmental eyes of acquaintances, racism, and so many such real-life issues.

As time passed, table-top role playing games like Dungeons and Dragons started being overshadowed by massively multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPGs), like World of Warcraft, that has now grown to a strength of over 100 million accounts opened worldwide since its inception in 2004. MMORPGs were developed along various themes, such as fantasy, history, science fiction, horror, and many other such exciting domains. In general, online role-playing games are classified according to their graphics format (2D or 3D), subscription model (some are free-to-play, others are charged, and the charges are also levied in different ways for different games), and whether they are browser-based or need to be downloaded/bought in CD form.

While most of the popular games available today have stringent requirements like a minimum memory, a good graphics and sound card, and speedy internet connectivity, the category of 2D games do not pose as many restrictions. They can be played by people in any part of the world, even in places where the telecommunication infrastructure is still nascent. Nowadays, one need not worry about the quality of graphics and visual effects being compromised in a 2D game, because developers are looking into optimizing these parameters with great detail. Apart from the game-play advantage of being able to formulate strategies better, since one has a convenient view of the entire field, rather than a point-of-view perspective of the field as happens with 3D games, 2D side-scrolling games also appeal to users because they remind them of those MS DOS-based games that everyone used to play in the mid-90s.

If you are one of the many, many people around the world, who are addicted to the hugely popular, 2D, side-scrolling, multiplayer online role-playing game, MapleStory, we completely understand your grounds, and we are also here to provide you exciting alternatives, for when you want some variety.
Other Games Like MapleStory
La Tale
Developer: Actoz Soft
Publisher: Actoz Soft, OGPlanet, Gamepot, Shanda, Aeria Games
Platform: Windows only (compatible with Windows 98 and above)
Subscription: free-to-play, in-game purchases
Graphics: 2D, side-scrolling
Note: This game reminds one of MapleStory in many ways, from the side-scrolling interface to the theme and the general look and feel, and is considered by gamers online as the closest-resembling alternative to MapleStory
WonderKing Online
Developer: To Win Games
Publisher: Game Chorus, GGamnol, Gameheart, publishers for other countries not yet announced
Platform: Windows only (compatible with Windows XP and above)
Subscription: free-to-play, in-game purchases
Graphics: 2D, side-scrolling
Note: When this game had been live, it was a fierce competitor of MapleStory. We cannot wait for this game to become live again (forums are hinting heavily that it will happen in the near future).
Lunaria Story
Developer: R2 Games
Publisher: R2 Games
Platform: browser-based
Subscription: free-to-play
Graphics: 2D, side-scrolling
Note: Just like MapleStory, Lunaria Story is designed with a 2D, side-scrolling architecture. The theme of fighting monsters and saving the imaginary world of Lunaria is also a recurring one. For fans of MapleStory who are looking for something that seems like exactly the same thing, except that it has a different storyline and theme, need not look any further. Moreover, Lunaria Story holds the advantage that it is browser-based, and therefore, users need not download the game; they can play online.
Ragnarok Online
Developer: Gravity Co. Ltd.
Publisher: Gravity Co. Ltd.
Platform: Windows, also available as mobile game for Android
Subscription: Originally designed for pay-to-play monthly, or prepaid subscription model, some local versions by regional developers run as free-to-play
Graphics: 2D characters in a 3D environment
Note: Ragnarok is similar to MapleStory in terms of the feature to adopt job-based characters with different capabilities. Although the setting and theme is Nordic mythology, and also instead of side-scrolling, characters are allowed to navigate in a 3D environment, because of the general format of gameplay, it tends to remind one of MapleStory a lot.
Tales of Solaris
Developer: NGames, operator of Game321.com (online games portal)
Publisher: NGames, operator of Game321.com (online games portal)
Platform: browser-based
Subscription: free-to-play
Graphics: 2.5D
Note: Formerly known as Tales of Laputa, this game combines hybrid web-based role-playing architecture with components of anime. With a fantasy theme, that reminds one of MapleStory, Tales of Solaris assures users, hours of enjoyable gameplay. The game allows for in-depth character customization, has a number of environment, and also many interesting monsters to fight. Like many other games, ToS lets characters keep in-game pets.
Grand Chase
Developer: KOG Studios
Publisher: Netmarble, Asiasoft, Nexon, Gamania, SG Interactive, Level Up! Games, Megaxus, Kill3rCombo, Axeso5
Platform: Windows only (Active X required)
Subscription: free-to-play
Graphics: 2D, side-scrolling
Note: Fans of the 2D, side-scrolling format will completely love this game, which runs along similar lines as MapleStory. Not only can one earn points (in-game currency) by completing quests and defeating monsters, but also challenge other players for equipment, trade, and lots more. The game has various regional aliases, such as Rainbow Warriors, and Eternal Adventures.
Wizard101
Developer: KingsIsle Entertainment
Publisher: KingsIsle Entertainment, Gameforge
Platform: Windows, Mac OS X
Subscription: Option for free-to-play with in-game minor purchases, or subscription-based pay-to-play
Graphics: 3D-based with 2D elements
Note: Wizard101 combines Harry Potter with the best-loved features of Dungeons and Dragons, and is a game that appeals to everyone, irrespective of age. The game is mostly designed in the format of player-vs-player combat, and it is not completely free, but yet, it is incredibly engaging.
Pokie Pirates
Developer: NGames, operator of Game321.com (online games portal)
Publisher: NGames, operator of Game321.com (online games portal)
Platform: browser-based
Subscription: free-to-play
Graphics: 2.5D, horizontal
Note: The first horizontal role-playing game to be released by Game321, Pockie Pirates keeps one engaged for hours, and guarantees many hours of entertainment. Like MapleStory, it combines elements of strategy and combat.
Guild Wars 2
Developer: ArenaNet
Publisher: NCsoft
Platform: Windows only
Subscription: no subscription, payment for one-time game purchase
Graphics: 3D
Note: Although puritans would not consider this game as one that has a lot of similarities with MapleStory, as it has 3D architecture, we recommend Guild Wars because it has both cooperative as well as competitive role-playing elements, and also, the game storyline develops dynamically with gameplay. It is a refreshing change and fun to play.
Online role-playing games, such as MapleStory, although harmless, are so addictive that sometimes they have a tendency keep users engrossed to such a level that they are drawn away from reality. Hence, although we do not dissuade you from indulging in them from time to time, exercise control, and do not lose track of the responsibilities you have in your life.