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Enter a desi fantasy

Legend of Katha is a game that you would neither scornfully brush aside nor be wonderstruck by. The creators of this game — ACK Media — have developed this specifically for casual gamers, who are new to real-time online gaming, and kept it easy and simple, writes Aalap Deboor.

india Updated: Sep 12, 2009 00:44 IST
Aalap Deboor

Legend of Katha is a game that you would neither scornfully brush aside nor be wonderstruck by. The creators of this game — ACK Media — have developed this specifically for casual gamers, who are new to real-time online gaming, and kept it easy and simple.

It was every bit a browser-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) kept to the basics. You’re plunked straight on to the coast of Tiran, where you can be a male or female monk, trader, magician or warrior and customise certain features of your character. Your initial challenge is to kill as many Rambalas as you can to accumulate gold.

Scamper across to a nearby warp tile and teleport to other destinations in the same area. After you’ve got 250 sovereigns of gold, your first quest is unlocked. The game offers you 10 servers, and battling with live players just requires everyone to be logged on to the same server; there’s no hosting or joining a game.

A map on the left indicates four places — the coast of Tiran, town of Sadar, ruins of Adrawat and Nirav. You can choose to travel to any of these places except for Nirav, which unlocks only upon completion of the Paanika hunt quest.

Teleport travel

The character control tabs are absent, which means you can only click at a particular spot to get your character to run there and click on an enemy to attack. Attacking isn’t difficult; but when playing with the brahmi bow, be prepared to see a sword-wielding hero shoot arrows out of thin air.

At any point, you can only explore the area of the map that shows up on the screen; the scrolling function isn’t active. To travel to another location, you teleport by clicking on the place in the small map on your left. This hampers continuity, but it also helps you avoid unexpected dangerous enemies. The plot is intriguing but difficult to keep track of. Names of creatures, quests, places and weapons are tough to remember.

The gameplay tends to get a tad dull in the single-player mode as creatures come after long intervals and you find
http://www.hindustantimes.com/images/legendofkatha.JPG
yourself wandering about from place to place hunting for enemies.

Minor niggles

The Katha world has quite a few ancient buildings but you can’t enter any of them except for a palace where you get to restore your health in exchange for gold. It’s great that in multiplayer mode, entire teams can fight each other, and the powers specific to each of the characters are put to good use. The game’s got minor bugs too — a few times I was attacked by enemies that were nowhere close to me. Also, the first time I logged in, the same page kept refreshing over and over again. Some graphics are spellbinding for a browser-based game that requires no content downloading.

Works when server’s down

The game works even on Internet speeds as less as 20 kbps. The overall responsiveness could have been better, but you really can’t ask for too much when all you require to start off are a Flash Player and an Internet browser.

Killing the requisite number of Rambalas to unlock my first quest, Jaruka’s Curse, was easy. But the quest itself wasn’t.

The game didn’t lag too much in the multiplayer mode. In fact, I discovered an easy way to make more gold — run two or more instances of the game simultaneously through different email accounts and exterminate fellow characters using the one you play with the most.

The game requires a simple two-step registration and is free of cost. It is available online and is fun to play. It is still in its beta stage, so newer quests, characters and sub-plots will get added later.
Give it a shot.