The Legend of Zelda series is one of gaming’s most acclaimed titles. So often imitated, though never exactly replicated, “Zelda Online” hit the internet as a multiplayer game in 1998. That game has since been renamed as GraalOnline.
GraalOnline is a game that heavily lends from the style of gameplay from arguably the series’ best game: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. That’s a title that you’ll see in many gamers’ top 10 lists, and practically every list of the best RPGs of all-time. Hack-and-slash action, questing and storyline, and chests and other unlockables are just a few of the many things that Graal takes from Zelda. If you prefer older, retro-style games next to today’s set of RPGs, this is the type of game you’d be recommending to your kids!
GraalOnline is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and iOS. It can be played by standalone client, browser (through Facebook), iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad. It’s important to note a separation between the standalone and browser/iDevice versions of the game. Though the gameplay is nearly identical, there is a difference between the number of players, variety of servers, and more. Let’s take a look at each platform.
Standalone Graal (desktop or laptop)
If you prefer to play by desktop or laptop, Graal can be downloaded and played for free with a trial account. This comes with a few restrictions, but you’ll still be able to play and enjoy the game.
After downloading the client and logging in to your account, you’re taken to a playerworld selection screen.
Here, you’re able to select between several different servers, each of which has its own unique style to it. For example, Zodiac plays like a level-up MMORPG. Unholy Nation is a “classic” Graal playerworld with an emphasis on PvP (sparring and PKing) and events, and Valikorlia is a strict roleplay-oriented world. You can learn more about each server by clicking the name and reading the information.
The screenshot above is a live screenshot of the Graal the Adventure playerworld. Looks a lot like ALttP, right?
Gameplay is pretty simple. The directional keys allow you to move your player around, the S key will let you swing your sword (on sword-based playerworlds), the A key will pick up things (bushes, stones), and the D key will use your weapons and NPCs (bow and bomb).
On standalone Graal, you’re able to quest for additional strength and items, play in exciting events, and compete with other players to show who’s key-mashing strategy is the best.
Though significantly newer, GraalOnline for the browser and iDevice (which mingle on the same servers, separate from standalone Graal) is much more popular. While you can only expect standalone Graal to have 200-250 players online at any given time, GraalOnline for Facebook and your iDevice often sees a playercount of well over 2000.
Graal for iDevice is available as GraalOnline Classic (the Zelda approach) or GraalOnline Era (a 2D shooter version of the game). You’re also able to play by the browser on your desktop or laptop. Classic and Era are also available on Facebook as apps.
Here’s a look at GraalOnline Classic from Facebook:
The blurred bar across the bottom is where your buddylist is displayed.
It’s a great casual game for kids. The game allows you to customize your own character and pick what they’ll look like, join and compete with guilds to take over forts and fight in massive player vs. player wars, prove yourself in spar tournaments, buy hats, and chat with thousands of others on a unique platform.
It’s a very casual game, but playing GraalOnline via an iDevice is actually extremely comfortable, and competitive gameplay is actually possible. A game like Graal proves that a directional pad and one or two side buttons will actually allow for some testy competition against other players around the world, as sparring does. There is a leaderboard for the top player-killers and sparrers:
This video shows the simple gameplay mechanics as demonstrated on an iPhone:
Overall, Graal is a fun, casual, social, and nostalgic game for kids to play. It’s the type of game you can start playing today and pick up very easily. It doesn’t take any intensive grinding or months and months to get good at. It’s something you can play and enjoy at any time. Let me know what you guys think of GraalOnline in the comments!