Misfortune: Free to Play Pirate Adventure

By Luke de Beneducci

Recently I found myself fortunate enough to spend some time playing Misfortune, a free to play browser based RPG, developed by LoadinGames studios.

I approached the game with a mind split in two directions: trepidation and nostalgia.  Trepidation because the game was a browser based RPG which I sadly do not have a good track record with, and nostalgia because I like to fondly remember the times in my childhood when I adored browser based games.  Little did I know, I was in for a nice trip full of memorable characters as well as an interesting story.

The storyline of the game is that you are a teenager who has aspirations of becoming involved with a beautiful girl while sailing the seas with his parents.  One night without warning, you are thrown overboard.  You then find yourself washed ashore in unfamiliar territory.  You make your way into a cut-throat town called Rodnia and end up in a pub called The Dancing Piano.  There you meet with a pirate named Bloody Harris. You begin to do quests for him and other members of the bar to enable yourself to return home while also falling for a pretty barmaid.

Old Ladies Looking For Love In All The Young Places

The quests in Misfourtune are enjoyable to a degree but sadly enough quickly runs out low on the re-playability factor.  There are four different types of quests; the creation of maps, looking for someone who is lost, killing something, or finding an item for someone. Admittedly the quest names are creative, if not slightly repetitive. But the main reason to quest is for the side stories.  Running into drinking contests, games of dice and the one that sticks in my mind most is getting propositioned by an old lady.

There are a few other side stories that you come across while questing which require helping a bad poet find love, a confusing duo involving an automaton, breaking into the king’s weapons facility, getting the barmaid to love you and investigating a murder. You only run into these enjoyable moments when exploring side rooms and dead ends during questing which means that exploration is key to learn more about these snippets.

The main problem about questing though is the level design. Each level is relatively the same, containing enemies, side passages and gates which are unlocked through keys found in barrels, trash piles and sometimes on monsters, this however is not the main reason the questing is monotonous, that springs from the fact that the art style and the scenery are exactly the same in every level and each level seems copied and pasted with a simple room and corridor change. Questing overall is enjoyable for the side quests but gets monotonous rather fast.

Its A One-Way Trip To The Boneyard For Ye

Combat in Misfortune is mostly a simple affair of click on your opponent rapidly with your cursor and watch their health drop, this requires little input compared to a hotkey game but can still be enjoyable especially if you relish the thought of relatively quick and easy combat.  Late game combat seems drawn entirely from precise timing of potions to maximize the health gain and keep you alive long enough to wear your opponent down. I personally am not a fan of a rapid click combat system but the only game play problem I faced was being flanked unknowingly by multiple enemies.

What Type Of Pirate Are Ye?

At first I did not get the idea behind the stats in Misfortune.  There seemed an unnerving amount and most of them labelled confusingly to a beginner in the game, but I eventually uncovered that the three main combat statistics are; dexterity, fitness and fighting all of which can be trained once you unlock the gym. There are other combat stats but these are not based on your character but on your armour, e.g. damage, defense and attack. Now we get onto the rather interesting subject of stats that have nothing to do with combat, these involve; Clockworking, Pickpocketing, Speech, Trouble with Fred, Love Guide and Candidate for What? These apart from speech relate to the miniature sub-quests that you can obtain while exploring. Speech is gained from armour items but relates not to combat but to the sub-quests.  For example, in Trouble with Fred, Fred is a person you occasionally bump into who is charged with taking your money.  If you choose to talk yourself out of this predicament, you will get a randomly rolled number which increases depending on your speech statistic.

X Marks The Spot

The map is a rather simplified nice drawing of the town and your selections.  You unlock these selections one by one starting with The Dancing Piano and moving down the line to the right, though after you unlock home that becomes your first option. The picture above is an example of the map, my current map in game also has a spectacle shop which I unlocked after helping a crew raid the king’s weapons facility. The map above contains two stores, one for weapons and armour and another for scrap items.  The map also contains Gustav which is the gym you unlock fairly early on.  In the gym you spend a small amount of money and a few skill points to rank up one of your passive fighting stats.

Conclusion

In my opinion, Misfortune is a fun little game to play and I would definitely recommend trying out the game at least once.  The art style is beautiful and whimsical.  The plotlines while, not completely flushed out, are full of comedic value.  The conversations you have with other people are rather genius in some places.  Misfortune is currently in an open beta and most definitely has a lot of potential.

Misfortune Summary:

  • Time Played – 6 hours
  • Bugs – Sometimes enemies are seen in locked rooms through walls.
  • Availability – LoadinGames

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