Back on Monday I had the chance to sit in on a live demo for the new web browser game, Rango: The WORLD. Obviously it’s a tie-in for the Paramount Pictures movie that comes out today in theaters across the country, and since it’s a kids movie the browser game is targeted for that age group. I will say that, despite the fact that the game wasn’t designed for me, I did find it to be rather pleasant and something I’d have no problem letting my 7-year old daughter play.
Rango: The WORLD takes place after the events in the movie, so don’t worry, there won’t be any spoilers here. In fact, there were some portions of the game that were unavailable to us due to a couple of factors: the build we were playing was a week or so old, spoilers about the movie didn’t want to get out (which is understandable), and time.
The first thing I got to do when starting up Rango: The WORLD was create my character. You can have a male or a female, and there are a ton of ways you can customize your little guy or gal. I changed up my skin colo, face, hair style, and more. My character was a chameleon, like Rango, so while there wasn’t the option to be a different species, I felt that the customization helped offset that. Also, to be honest, children won’t really care about something like that since they will be able to dress their lizards up, with there being a ton of items and accessories to choose from, and have their chameleon their favorite color.
A huge plus for me, as a parent, is that the entire game is monitored by trained staff, so you know that your children won’t be out there and exposed to any unsavory individuals. Sadly there are stories on the news about adults meeting children in online games or communities, and things getting out of control, so it was nice to see that precautionary steps were taken when creating Rango: The WORLD. It gives a parent peace of mind, but even then, I think it is still the parent’s responsibility to monitor a child’s online play and who they are interacting with. There are options in the game itself that allow parents to put up even more barriers, which is great.
The gameplay isn’t difficult, since it’s all point and click, but it’s interactive enough to where a child wouldn’t find themselves getting bored easily. There are a ton of quests to do that let you explore the town of Dirt, interact with the residents, and allow you to accumulate experience points and water, the in-game currency. There was one ridiculously fun mini-game that I got to play, and it was where, by using the space bar on my keyboard to jump, I had to keep my roadrunner away from a giant hawk. Sometimes there would be obstacles in the way like cacti, or a change in the terrain, but I didn’t want to stop playing it. There were other mini-games, and even though I didn’t get a chance to play them, I would assume they are just as enjoyable, if not more.
There isn’t much to the game, in terms of graphics, but it worked. In my opinion it’s enough to be visually appealing for children and the town of Dirt, along with the residents, were very detailed. Obviously Rango: The WORLD won’t have the same quality of graphics you’d find playing a console game, but this isn’t a console game so to expect it to be so makes no sense. I will say that the music was very well done. With catchy country twangs, the whole western vibe was layered on pretty thick.
There are other features of Rango: The WORLD like achievements, ways to chat with friends and play with them, a theater where you can watch trailers and behind-the-scenes stuff from the making of Rango, and players even get their own individual homes they can decorate. As a gamer who enjoys being able to change and decorate a business or a home, I instantly loved how I could change things around. There were various wallpapers, floor coverings, furniture, and more. We were even told in the presentation, that somebody managed to create a fully functional chessboard inside their house, so the possibilities are endless. I didn’t really take the time to perfect my home, since I was just messing around in a demo build of the game, but if I was a kid again and playing this game I know I would be changing my wallpaper as frequent as I change socks. One thing that I was surprised about was how, if you have a couch, a bed, or a chair, you can have your character sit on it. Aside from games like The Sims, I haven’t seen any other game allow for that kind of interaction.
Many times games based on movies or vice versa are never a good idea. They never end up being executed well enough. Rango: The WORLD appears to be a fantastic way for children to carry on the story of Dirt and enjoy themselves in the process. Funtactix, the company behind the game, already plans to come out with a steady stream of new content, making the game endless, and while the game itself is free without any download, there is paid content as well as a subscription plan. As I said earlier, I’d definitely let my daughter play this game and I’d have no problem recommending this to any parent who wants to allow their child the chance to engage in fun, safe gaming.
For more information on Rango: The WORLD, check out the game’s official website.