| TibiaME

We haven’t covered TibiaME for a while now, and my how it's grown.

Since arriving on Android and iOS, the MMORPG has had a bit of a makeover and broken the 300,000 active player mark (according to the website, at least).

Now it’s here on the cutting-edge Xperia Play, where it looks very much like a game from a bygone era.

It’s all ME, ME, ME

You start by picking from either a bruising warrior type or a beardy wizard avatar. Then the top-down adventure begins in traditional MMORPG style: you wander out into the world, exploring, slaying nasties, gaining XP, and mingling with the other players.

It’s a deliberately simple, pared-down affair. Combat, for example, is automatically activated when you walk into an enemy, at which point you just sit there waiting for either your or your opponent’s health bar to hit zero.

Combat is not the game’s high-point, and if you find yourself unimpressed with - or simply unable to find - TibiaME’s community then there are substantially more enjoyable ways of spending your time. Like watching the Xperia Play boot up.

The NPC dialogue is fun, the community (though sometimes a little sparse) seems friendly enough, and the graphics - given an HD sheen since we last looked at the game - have a charming retro vibe to them.

More importantly, no matter how much of a grind it is, the levelling up is always faintly rewarding.

But these positives aren't enough to save it.

Bare bones

Considering Tibia has been around since 2003, it’s no surprise that TibiaME has simplistic gameplay. But under the glare of a full Xperia Play gamepad it borders on being anachronistic.

While moving round the world with the D-pad is infinitely better than the touchscreen, the lack of depth really is exposed by the number of unused buttons for your thumb to trail over.

Aside from moving around, a lot of your time is spent chatting to other players, and considering you do that via the normal Android text entry pop-up you begin to wonder whether you shouldn’t just close the gamepad and play the game in vanilla mode.

Or you might decide that repetitive gameplay and simple mechanics weren’t the reasons you bought an Xperia Play in the first place.

TibiaME is what you would call an acquired taste, even for MMO enthusiasts. It's a freemium download, however, so there’s no reason not to give it a try if you fancy grinding out some XP on the bus.


The dinky MMO benefits from the new lick of paint, but less so the Xperia Play buttons, which end up highlighting its simplicity