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Saturday, 31 January 2009

Finding a Good Free MMO Game Online - A Step By Step Guide, Part 2

You are happy to once again turn your back on all the sounds of the market square and finding your way into the serenity of the countryside. The wise old man smiles as he opens the door and you soon find yourself sitting by his side in front of the fireplace. His calm voice is accompanied by the squeaking from his old rocking chair as he begins to talk...

(Today it is Squaredale in the 2nd inquart, 0 S.D. and clouds cover the sun this afternoon)

n the previous post in this guide you were advised to first decide whether you were looking for a F2P (requires download) or a browser-based MMO game. Done that? Great, then you're ready for:

Step 2A: Deciding the genre by picking your game (browser-based)

Fantasytree tip #1: If you are completely new to MMOs or feel hesitant about downloading a client it's wise to start with a browser-based game just to make sure you like the main game concept of MMO:s before you put down the extra time and effort it takes to find and download a client-based one.

The time has now come to decide whether you want to be a human warrior or a minotaur mage in a fantasy setting - or if you perhaps prefer playing a trigger happy bounty hunter in some future dystopia. In other words: Which genre are you looking for? And would you like a text/tile-based, 2D, 2,5D or 3D experience? (Welcome to the jungle...)

However, if you have decided on the F2P alternative you must also make sure your computer can meet the system requirements. We will look at that specific problem in the next part of this guide (Most of the general tips I give in this part apply to F2P gaming as well though, so keep reading...)

Let's start by focusing on the less complicated - but often somewhat limited - alternative of playing a MMO directly in your browser. (Path "A")

My favorite site when trying to pick a free MMO to play is However this approach requires you to define certain search criteria and compare ratings or reviews between different games in order to find your game. If you want an even faster way to find some of the very best browser-based MMOs I suggest you take a look at this list from the site

Fantasytree tip #2: Make sure that you also take a look at what is available for a "free" account vs. a "premium" account. Sometimes certain areas, skills, quests and items are only available for premium members. If you find that there is too much of a disadvantage to only playing for free, then there is really just one decision to make: Bite that sour apple and pay or simply find another game. (Personally I don't mind if I can't have all the most powerful items in a game, however I find it hard playing a game in which I know that some areas and quests - probably the most inspiring ones - will always be out of my reach unless I start paying a monthly fee.) Of course it is all up to every gamer to decide what is important for a rewarding experience. I recommend you to check these things BEFORE falling in love with - and dedicating a lot of time to - a game though.

Step 3A: Register at the site

After having picked a game what you do next is going to the site to register for a game account. You will probably have to submit your e-mail address in order to receive an activation mail for your account.

Fantasytree tip #3: Register an extra mail account at one of the free mail services that you use for all the different game accounts you will have to make in order to play the best of the available online MMO games. A "ijustusethisforgaming@ ... .com" account is really good to have when you don't want too much game related mails among your private ones.

Step 4A: Go to your mailbox and activate your account

Once you've found the "account activation mail" and your account is activated you simply - 5A: - log in and start playing (probably by creating your first character and perhaps going through some sort of tutorial)

In the next part of this guide we will take a look at in which ways your computer will perhaps limit your choices when it comes to which F2P (and B2P - Buy to play - or P2P - Pay to play) games you can actually play.

But let's end this part - and finish the guide as far as it comes to browser-based gaming by summing up:

The steps included in finding and beginning to play a good, free, browser-based MMO:

1. Decide that it's a browser-based (A) and not F2P (B - will be covered in the next part of this guide) MMO game you're looking for.

2A. Find a game you feel like trying - you can for instance use this list for that purpose. Don't forget to look at "free vs. premium account advantages"

3A. Go to the game site and register (submit that alternative e-mail address I suggested)

4A. Go to inbox and activate account

5A. Go back to game site, log in and enter another world...

I hope this guide was helpful to you. Please comment or mail me if you like/dislike it.

Don't miss part 3 (coming soon...)

Thursday, 29 January 2009

The Hobbit Movie will probably be Released December 2011

Returning to the courtyard of the Citadel you once more find yourself waiting for the herald. A fanfare and again the latest news are proclaimed. They will surely cause an excited mumble among the people who have gathered below the glistening towers...

ou have probably heard that the classic work by J.R.R. Tolkien, "The Hobbit" will be adapted as a film just as the famous work that followed it, "Lord of the rings" has been. But have you also heard which of the actors from the LOTR that will also return in The Hobbit? Or that there are plans for a second movie, taking place somewhere between LOTR and The Hobbit?

These and many other questions are answered in this splendid the Hobbit Movie FAQ on the nice Tolkien fan community site I can really recommend a visit there.

Finding a Good Free MMO Game Online - A Step By Step Guide Part 1

As soon as you leave the city behind, the sounds of carefree birdsong fills the air. Walking into the shades of the trees you soon reach the old cottage. Inside the wise old man awaits you and soon he begins talking to you about some of the things you have always wanted to know more about...

o you dream about finding that breathtaking MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online) game that will give you unforgettable experiences of a fantastic world, challenging quests and friendship? But you aren't ready to pay anything for it, since there are so many free games available out there on the web? Then you have come to the right place.

Trust me when I tell you that trying to find a good free MMO game is like entering a jungle. Many choices have to be made as well as some research if you are to find the brightest sparkling gems in the enormous heap of available games out there.

If you are ready to put in some time and effort, I first recommend you to join a forum with other MMO gamers. This is one of the best ways to learn more about different kinds of available games, tips and tricks and find new online friends. The number one such forum I have found is I can warmly recommend you to become a part of the community found there.

But what if you don't have the time and don't feel like registering at any forum? Do not despair, Fantasytree to the rescue! By following the step-by-step guide provided here you will be able to find your way through the jungle and be part of an amazing MMO game world sooner than you might think.

This guide will through a number of posts guide you through the different choices and steps that are necessary to find and start playing a free high quality MMO.

Step 1: To download or not to download, that is the question...

The first thing you have to decide is whether or not you want to play a game directly in your web browser (from now on referred to as A) or if you would like to download a game client from a game's homepage to your hard drive (will be referred to as B). Generally I would say that downloadable F2P (Free To Play) games have a higher quality than browser based ones. However a F2P is not available from EVERY computer with an internet account in the world, as a browser-based game is.

Consider this and decide whether you are looking for:

A1 A Browser-based MMO or
B1 A downloadable F2P game

In the next post we will look at how the system requirements of a game will limit the number of different game types you can choose from.

To be continued...

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

A Classic of World Literature among the 10 Best Selling Fantasy Books!

Standing in the courtyard of the great Citadel you eagerly await the herald's proclamation of the most recent fantastic events. Hundreds of heads are lifted as the sound from a trumpet is heard from the marble balcony high above...

book that is often found among the very best and most important books ever in reading lists (for instance it is included in "1001 books you must read before you die", Swedish edition) is challenging the most popular modern star authors of Fantasy. Rad Bradbury's classic "Fahrenheit 451" has reached 7th place in the list of the best selling fantasy books at the moment. Meyer is still safe in the top spot, but Kitty Norville and the living dead of Max Brooks are closing in:
(Top 10 standings last time I posted them can be found here)

1. Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Saga, Book 4) by Stephenie Meyer
2. Sookie Stackhouse Box (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood) by Charlaine Harris
3. Dead and Gone (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 9) by Charlaine Harris

4. From Dead to Worse (Southern Vampire Mysteries, Book 8) by Charlaine Harris
5. Bone Crossed (Mercy Thompson, Book 4) by Patricia Briggs
6. Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand (Kitty Norville, Book 5) by Carrie Vaughn

7. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
8. World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks
9. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
10. Betrayed (House of Night, Book 2) by P. C. Cast, Kristin Cast

(List from´
Related links:

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

5 Free Games I Really Recommend

Entering the ancient Library you marvel at what is suddenly available to you. Without hesitation you pick one of the offered challenges and start struggling for that new high score...

he time has come to gather the free games I have recommended so far, add a couple of new ones (one of them being a flash version of THE original Prince of Persia - the one I talked about running on that old Macintosh) and proudly present to you my first "Free games I really recommend list". Hopefully this list will grow and - perhaps from your feedback - evolve into a real gaming treasure. However 5 really good games aren't too bad for a start, is it?

Three of these games can be played directly in the blog, the others can be found by following the links. None of them require any registration or download in order to play.

The games are: Prince of Persia, Black sails, Never End, Aengie Quest and last but not least...Untangle 1.2

That's right, it's that fascinating puzzle game I talked about in an earlier post. Hope you find it as captivating as I do. Still haven't made it through all 19 levels - can you beat me to the final line? (Please let me know if you do)

Remember that I only add - and link to - games I have tried playing and honestly recommend myself. As always I wish you much pleasure and hope that you find your own favorite among them.




4. AENGIE QUEST (click picture):


Monday, 26 January 2009

The First Journey to Solemgreyd - Join this Totally Free Interactive Game!

As you leave the bustling streets of Ceyeth Lavgildin behind you and step through the huge, richly ornate opening into the hall leading to the platform, you feel a mixture of excitement and anxiety when you think about what lies ahead of you...

elcome to the first adventure game here on Fantasytree. The journey down through the inside of the trunk, down to the unknown land of Solemgreyd awaiting far below, will begun as soon as AT LEAST 2 persons have reported their interest.

So how do you join? Simply write a comment in which you tell me that you want to play. As soon as two or more players have done so your character will start moving towards Rowotan, the final outpost before you enter the dark lands of Solemgreyd...

Please note: This game is written by one single fantasy-loving person not receiving any payment for doing so. There will therefore be NO GUARANTEE what so ever concerning how long this adventure will last. The game has to be taken "as is" and with an awareness that the writer has NO OBLIGATIONS what so ever towards the players.

I will of course do my best to make this a good experience for everyone involved. If that doesn't sound fair you shouldn't join.

Sounds fair? Then what are you waiting for - write your comment so that we can get going...

Fantasytree introduces Solemgreyd - Join This Totally Free Interactive Fantasy Game!

Amazed you realize that this place is something more than you ever imagined and that you might be one of those who will carve their names into the ancient trunk of the proud, ever growing tree...

new week and I am happy to present to you a new, dangerous land to explore. If you enjoy taking part in fantasy adventures in brand new, totally original worlds you have come to the right place.

Ever since I began writing this blog I have felt a desire to develop this blog into something more than an ordinary blog only publishing top lists, game recommendations, fantasy news and so on (although it will certainly continue doing that as well). It is my ambition to expand Fantasytree into an entire original fantasy world in which you can find all the fantasy-related news, lists and reviews you're looking for, but where you can also interact with and discover some parts of this world in a more game-oriented way.

I have already begun creating this new world and see before me Ceyeth Lavgildin - The City of Golden leaves, Citadel of the guardian, a huge Library in which chronicles and scriptures can be found but also the majestic Halls of fame. These and many other locations will be safely situated way up in the gigantic Fantasytree. The much darker lands surrounding the foot of this tree however, the evil realm known as Solemgreyd - only kept from disturbing the peaceful lives of the inhabitants of Ceyeth Lavgildin by the dedicated Rootan watchers in the outpost of Rowotan - THAT is a land where danger and adventure awaits (and where the game part of this blog will take place).

Does this sound like fun? Inspiring and exciting? Boring? Stupid? I need feedback in order to shape this blog into something worthwhile, a place you want to return to.

But I understand that it is hard to comment on something that is yet to be experienced, so I thought I would simply start an introductory adventure and see how many will be interested in joining. All you must do to join is to simply click this link: The first journey to Solemgreyd. Further instructions will be found in the post this will lead you to.

I probably should mention that playing this game is of course totally FREE, and that all participants (to begin with) will participate in controlling one character, much along the ways the good old "solo adventure" games - Lone Wolf, Fighting Fantasy and that kind - were played.

How long this game will continue will obviously depend on how many players there will be. The adventure won't start until there are AT LEAST two persons interested in playing. Of course there will be no obligation to continue playing. TWO players will however be a minimum for an adventure to continue.

Feel like playing? Then move on to The first journey to Solemgreyd.

Don't feel like playing? Simply wait for the next "regular" post to arrive.

Whatever you choose I hope that you have a great week ahead of you. Don't forget to vote for your favorite subject (survey can be found at the top of the left column) her at Fantasytree.

Best wishes

Sunday, 25 January 2009

The 10 Best Power Metal Albums

You find a list of 10 powerful albums and realize like I did that you have some great unheard albums to catch up on soon...

ower Metal is one of the metal genres closest related to fantasy and the fantastic you can find. The two groups I wrote about a couple of days ago - in the post
The Two Kings of Epic Fantasy Metal! - Blind guardian and former Rhapsody (now known as Rhapsody of Fire) are actually both usually labeled as Power Metal.

From my favorite site for music lovers and album collectors,, I have found a top 10 list over the best power metal albums ever recorded according to the users of the site.

The list goes as follows:

1. Blind Guardian - Imaginations From the Other Side (1995)

2. Helloween - Keeper of the Seven Keys Part II (1988)

3. Kamelot - The Black Halo (2005)

4. Blind Guardian - Nightfall in Middle-Earth (1998)

5. Helloween - Keeper of the Seven Keys Part I (1987)

6. Jag Panzer - Ample Destruction (1984)

7. Virgin Steele - Invictus (1998)

8. Lost Horizon - A Flame to the Ground Beneath (2003)

9. Lost Horizon - Awakening the World (2001)

10. Gamma Ray - Land of the Free (1995)

I have to admit that I actually only have one of these albums in my CD collection (Nightfall...), although most of the tracks from the two Helloween albums are included in the double-CD compilation Treasure chest that I do own.

Seems like I have got some really interesting musical experiences ahead of me (saw that Gamma Ray album at a really nice price the last time I was at the local record store). Hope you can find some undiscovered pieces of majestic gold as well.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Another Free Game for you to Play: Never End

nfortunately I couldn't make this game available for "website inclusion" with the old template, but better late than never...

An appealing little combination of puzzle and adventure game that actually made me think of the first "Prince of Persia" version I had on our old Macintosh some 15 years ago.

Hope you'll like it as much as I do.

The First Free Game for You to Play is Here: Black Sails!

nd thus it has begun...the first free game has been added to this blog!

I am happy to announce that the first "free to play" game has arrived at this site. It is my ambition to only host games that I regard being of a high quality. I will also make sure to try out the game myself before I add it. No randomly added (insert name of a game you dislike)-type of game here!

I will try to keep the focus on RPGs and adventure games. But, if there is a game that I truly regard as FANTASTIC I reserve myself the rights to add it here. For instance there is this amazing puzzle game called "Untangle" that I just loved when I tried it. The game idea, the music, it all contributed to an extraordinary experience. I am not sure it's possible to get that one for your site, otherwise it is quite possible that it will be added in the future although it's a puzzle game.

Will he ever stop talking and just letting me play, you wonder. Why, certainly. Let's start this outstanding collection of top notch games with a nice little pirate RPG/RTS game then. Black sails awaits you...

The original game can be found here:
Black Sails


Release of a New Blog: A Blogger's Quest!

am very happy to announce that I today have released another blog,

This is a blog about blog improvement and high quality blogging, based on the experiences I have had while working on this one.

A short excerpt from the first post:

Every post here will include at least one valuable realization I had along the way, a lesson and an advice that can hopefully help you as well to create the blog of YOUR dreams.

I will try to divide the different aspects of blogging into a few important main subjects, such as: Writing, Layout, Add-ons etc. ...

To make this a good starting point for high quality blogging, I will add links to some of the blogs that are considered the "best" according to different blog lists around the net. However I would also like to add links to blogs written by followers of this blog.

Feel free to come by and check out this new blog - especially if you are an improving blogger like myself.

Best wishes

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Is there a Radio Station Playing Nothing but Fantasy Music?

urely that sounds too good to be true...

But as a matter of fact there is!

Radio Rivendell is the name of this station, dedicated to playing only music suitable as background when you're playing RPGs, MMORPGs or just wish to feel a breeze from another world for a while. It's actually a great soundtrack for writing fantasy-related blog posts as well.

This is how the channel describes the music being played on the website:

The music that is being played is mainly from fantasy films such as Lord of the Rings, Conan, Willow and such, but it also features music from well known computer games such as Warcraft, Baldur's Gate, Dungeon Siege and many more.

The actual site can be found here:

But of course I couldn't resist adding a banner making it able to play the station directly here at Fantasytree. It can be found at the top of the page.

I must say that so far I am impressed by the high quality, beauty and atmosphere of the music being played.

Hopefully you will enjoy this music as much as I do.´

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Upcoming Movie - Inkheart (2 days left!)

n two days another film version of a popular family fantasy novel will hit the theaters. This time it's Cornelia Funke's Inkheart that will make children and parents alike filled with awe. The movie stars Brendan Fraser, known from the three Mummy films as well as Journey to the center of the earth.

Inkheart is the story about Meggie, whose father Mo has the ability of making fictional things and sometimes even characters come to life - by reading about them aloud! The problem is however that the evil Capricorn has discovered this unusual talent and wants to use Meggie's father in order to gain riches and power for himself.

A marvellous adventure awaits...

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Vote on Your Main Interest and Follow this Rapidly Growing Blog

ust added a poll where you are able to tell me what you find most interesting of the things I write about. In other words, what I should focus more on in the future.

Just pick one of the subjects in the poll and click VOTE.

By doing so you will help me in making this blog as interesting as possible.

I have also added the "Followers" gadget in the left side of the screen. Feel free to become a follower of this blog and thereby making your name (and profile) visible to every reader.

Come and join me in making this a blog that is everything we have ever dreamed of.

Best wishes

Monday, 19 January 2009

10 Most Popular Fantasy Movies

oday I'm going to take a look at fantasy as a genre when it comes to movies. I will do this by presenting the 10 most popular fantasy movies at IMDB (Internet Movie Database) right now. Hope you can find a movie that you've missed. Better start warming that popcorn...

(The number in brackets after placement shows the rating the movie received from the users - out of a possible 10)

1. (8.8) Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

2. (8.8) Star Wars (1977)

3. (8.8) The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

4. (8.7) The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

5. (8.6) It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

6. (8.6) The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

7. (8.4) Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (2001)

8. (8.4) Laberinto del fauno, El (2006)

9. (8.4) The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

10. (8.4) Sjunde inseglet, Det (1957)

I'm happy to see that my two favorite film triplets almost have 6 out of 6 movies represented in the top 10 ("Return of the Jedi" - Star Wars VI - is on an honorable 12th place). Other than that there are three movies I still haven't seen - number 5, 8 and 9. Shame on me. Will surely be interesting to see how far up the upcoming version of "The Hobbit" can get.

The Two Kings of Epic Fantasy Metal!

pic fantasy metal, is there really such a musical genre? There sure is. Two of my favorite power metal bands have taken their leaning towards fantasy and epic storytelling one step further. I am thinking about the German band "Blind Guardian" and the Italian band "Rhapsody of fire" (earlier just Rhapsody, but they were forced to change the name due to already registered trademark issues). I will recommend one really good album by each group.

The natural starting point for a fantasy lover, especially if you are also a fan of J.R.R. Tolkien, is of course Blind Guardian's "Nightfall in Middle-Earth". A concept album based on Tolkien's "The silmarillion", including breathtaking metal tunes as well as segues where different scenes from what Tolkien regarded as his most important work are depicted through narratives and atmospheric sound effects. The entire record actually starts with the sound of a medieval battle!

On then to Rhapsody's (this was before they changed the name to "Rhapsody of fire") "Symphony of enchanted lands". Taking the word "epic" one step further this marvellous album includes more orchestration, more neo-classical parts, more "Emerald-sword-wielding-hero fighting-immortal-demons-beyond-the-gates-of-infinity" (some would say more cheese, but since I'm such a fantasy geek I actually find it all quite enjoyable). If your looking for a rediscovery of the little Dungeons and dragons-heart pounding somewhere deep within you, you have here the perfect soundtrack for that nostalgic journey. This album is actually just one part in the epic story "The chronicles of Algalord", spread over several albums. Fantasy sweets, don't you think?

Blind Guardian are musically slightly more progressive (and a bit more challenging), while Rhapsody have been described as "Epic Hollywood metal", which sometimes make me think of them more like a concept than an actual band. On their latest album, "Triumph or agony" they have one track that is more than 16 minutes long (!) and features a whole bunch of actors performing spoken narratives among the different musical parts. One of these actors - also present on the album before, "Symphony of enchanted lands II" - is none less than the legendary Christopher Lee ("The man with the golden gun" in the James Bond classic, as well as Saruman in the Lord of the rings trilogy).

Labels and genres apart, I consider these two albums true musical masterpieces, and if you are curious about what "epic fantasy metal" sounds like you just HAVE to check them out. Two wonderful journeys through magnificent lands await you.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

10 Best Selling Fantasy Books Right Now

will try to help you stay up-to-date with the current fantasy book market by presenting lists of the best selling fantasy books at the moment. Hope this will help you (and me) to find something to read and be enchanted by.

1. Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Saga, Book 4) by Stephenie Meyer

2. Sookie Stackhouse Box (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood) by Charlaine Harris

3. From Dead to Worse (Southern Vampire Mysteries, Book 8) by Charlaine Harris

4. Dead and Gone (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 9) by Charlaine Harris

5. Bone Crossed (Mercy Thompson, Book 4) by Patricia Briggs

6. Betrayed (House of Night, Book 2) by P. C. Cast, Kristin Cast

7. His Dark Materials Trilogy (The Golden Compass; The Subtle Knife; The Amber Spyglass) by Philip Pullman

8. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

9. White Witch, Black Curse (The Hollows, Book 7) by Kim Harrison

10. Dead Until Dark (Southern Vampire Mysteries, No. 1) by Charlaine Harris

(List from

Friday, 16 January 2009

Shadow of Legend: Going from Level 1 to 10 without a Fight!

Type of review: First impression
(Read OnRPGs full review of the game HERE)

Type of game: MMORPG, F2P (Item shop)

State: Open beta

ever before have I been able to gain 10 levels and a LOT of new equipment without fighting at least some low level enemies. Not until I gave the new MMORPG "Shadow of legend" a go. As a sort of "beginner's quest" the only thing you have to do (at least if you have chosen to play a combatant - I assume it's the same for every class) is to go from NPC to NPC in order to receive a new requests to go see a person, something that is really easy thanks to the autotracking feature. Simply click the NPC you want to go to and a route is automatically drawn on the map and your character goes there by itself (reminds me of the way Talisman Online and Myth War II is being played).

What first made me download SoL however, was the fact that it had a very detailed background story (five pages!) and chronicles about different events during the history of the world more than 10 pages!). Not usual for a F2P game to rest on such an elaborate ground.

Since this game has been developed also for users playing on their mobile phone, the 2D graphics are rather simple albeit detailed. This brings a sort of nostalgic feel to the game as you actually feel almost like playing a game from the good old Baldur's Gate era.

So far I am really pleased with what I have experienced in SoL (currently at level 11) and I will keep playing it in order to see whether this first impression lasts. If it doesn't I'll surely let you know.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Browserbased MMORPGs

rom time to time I find myself playing browser-based MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online) games. I will try to tell you when I discover new good browser-based MMO games. I'm especially fond of MMORPGs. (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games, games like Wow, World of Warcraft). The most famous - and I believe most popular - browser-based MMORPG is Runescape.

Browser-based means that you don't have to download any client to play the game, you are able to play directly in your browser.

I also play many online MMORPGs that are free to play but you have to download a client. I hope I can help you through the MMORPG jungle and help you find the games you're looking for.

Don't forget to visit Golden Leaves - The Fantasytree Store below

Find Fantasytree recommendations and see what other readers recommend at the bottom of this page...