The world of MMORPG's includes quite a few genres, such as traditional RPG fantasy-fests like Ultima Online and EverQuest, sci-fi and space strategy games such as Star Wars Galaxies and Anarchy Online, along with historical wargames and other sub-genres. Over the past few years, the number of MMORPGs has grown significantly, and it has become quite a popular gaming environment. Disney's ToonTown Online jumps into this crowded arena with a slightly different take on the standard multi-player online game, along with targeting a wider demographic.
True to its name, ToonTown Online is a toon-based MMORPG, involving many of your favorite Disney characters like Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and the crew. The game and its world are far removed from traditional online games, and rather than some post-apocalyptic environment, ToonTown Online is lush, full of color, and creates a sense of joy, rather than doom. Obviously, this game is being targeted at a younger demographic, along with wooing parents concerned with what online games their children play, but ToonTown Online actually has quite a bit of game hidden inside the cartoon exterior, and can be enjoyed by kids of all ages.
The opening scenario is pretty standard fare, and borrows greatly from Who Framed Roger Rabbit. ToonTown Online depicts a happy-go-lucky "Toon" environment that is being invaded by corporate baddies, the robot Cogs, who are taking over buildings and territories in ToonTown. Naturally, it's your job to rise up against this Cog offensive and join with your fellow Toons to stop the corporate invasion. The story may not win a Pulitzer, but it does create an atmosphere of us-vs.-them, and a real sense of Cog presence both in the streets and in terms of Cog-occupied buildings.
These Cog buildings are gray and drab, and really play up the corporate angle compared to the more cheery and colorful Toon environment. The Cogs are also separated into four distinct groups: the Lawbots, Sellbots, Bossbots and Cashbots. These terms have obvious real-world connotations, and within each there are sometimes-humorous sub-groups such as the BackStabber, Cold Caller, Ambulance Chaser, Big Wig and many others. The name is not the only comedic angle, as each of the Cogs looks the part, such as the Money Bags featuring a sack of cash for a head, and the Bloodsucker sporting Dracula fangs. The overall game atmosphere is quite good, and you can tell that the designers worked hard to provide individual traits and graphics for each of the Cogs.
ToonTown Online System Requirements:
Microsoft Windows 98, ME, 2000, or XP
233 MHz or faster CPU
128MB RAM memory (256MB Recommended)
100MB free space on your "\Program Files" hard drive (most likely C:)
A video card with 3-D acceleration, at least 8MB (32MB/AGP card is recommended)