The term “WoW Clone” gets thrown around a lot these days...
It’s almost to be expected; World of Warcraft almost single handedly launched MMORPG gaming in to the American mainstream and racked up a staggering number of subscribers. Many games have taken a cue from WoW or even paid it homage in some subtle way and game that popular is bound to have imitators, real or coincidental, all over the gaming universe. Enter Alganon. In a brutally honest nutshell, if Webster’s ever includes the term WoW Clone in their dictionary of the English language then a screenshot of Alganon is guaranteed to be right next to it. This game manages to be an astonishing, albeit low budget, imitation of Blizzard’s flagship game in every single way. From the chat system to the auction house, combat, even instances and locations, it is eerily identical. Even the graphics, in their cartoon-inspired richness, are the spitting image of Azeroth. There is nothing major in this game that sets itself apart from its obvious inspiration. Alganon manages to be everything that WoW is, yet captures nothing that truly sets that game apart. One obvious drawback is the low level of players. Simply not that many players infest the swamps, deserts, farmland, or jungles of Alganon. The starting areas were especially lifeless which was a real let down. There is also a serious lack of polish in this game. I mean, the graphics are serviceable and all of the basic elements are there, but nothing has that “Blizzard Touch.” When you drink a potion, for example, it simply disappears from your inventory and the effects are imparted upon your character. In WoW at least there was a drinking animation and sound effect. All of those little bits that helped make Warcraft so enjoyable just aren’t there. The quests, though similar to many Warcraft ones, are also subpar in many ways. It’s either grinding or fetch-and-carry with little to no variation. Not that WoW ever broke that mold much either but there isn’t even a hint of originality here. Crafting, a fun pass time in many MMO games, is half-hearted at best here and just...blah.
That’s the real hallmark of Alganon: pure averageness everywhere that you look. Nothing original or especially compelling in sight. Every feature in the game is merely serviceable. The upshot? No monthly fee. There is a $20 initial purchase price and an e-store ala most free to play MMORPGs, but the typical $15/month fee is nonexistent. Is it worth it? Maybe. If you really need a WoW fix and have a bunch of friends who will play with you then it might work. But that’s Alganon’s true design failure: no audience. Who would be willing to pay $20 for the game and hopefully shell out for micro purchases during their tenure? I can’t really think of anyone. If I wanted to play a WoW clone I could find a free one (such as Talisman) and have nothing to pay. There isn’t anything compelling enough to get me to shell out any money here. This is why Alganon will fail. There is nothing new, original, or particularly interesting about it and there are few people that will bother to give it a second look. I was bored stiff after playing the free trial Week myself. I had no specific complaints other than how it was simply so dull to play the game and even then a small investment of $20 seemed like far too big a price to pay.
Bottom Line: Keep your money. If you want a WoW-like game there are truly free alternatives that are at least as good.