Strategy and satire make up for stick-man graphics in The Kingdom of Loathing.
The Kingdom of Loathing, or KoL as it is popularly known among avid gamers, is meant for those who get a thrill out of challenging puzzles and a satirical edge.
Kingdom of Loathing is a darkly funny, browser-based, multiplayer role-playing game designed and operated by Asymmetric Publications. The creators Zack “Jick” Johnson and writer Josh “Mr. Skullhead” are included in the operation of the web browser-based game. This player turn-based MMORPG makes up for its lack of graphical sophistication – with most of the game world drawn in a crude stick-figure style and hardly any animation at all — with clever writing and a bizarre, complex world that takes months to explore entirely. This is possibly also the only game where a player can get hopelessly addicted to goofballs and then ascend to a higher plane of existence within a brief span of 15 minutes.
The Kingdom of Loathing may not for everyone, but for more people than you would care to imagine, KoL is a surface-simple absurdist role-playing game packed with entertainment value. As a newcomer in a trade such as Turtle Tamer, Disco Bandit or the mysterious Pastamancer, a player will journey through a stick-figure world of horrible puns, excellent puns, intrigue and alcohol. Best of all, KoL allows only a certain number of turns per day, so players must eventually go outside or otherwise occupy themselves rather than spending hours grinding through such locales as The Sleazy Back Alley or The Misspelled Cemetary.
The game was released on February 23, 2003, but because a lot of content is still being added frequently, the game is still considered unfinished and officially remains in open beta. It is constantly evolving and gaining popularity among more gamers worldwide.
KoL has a characteristic surreal humor, word play, parody and references to popular culture which makes it ever in vogue. In KoL, players fight monsters for experience, meat (which is the game’s currency), and items, through the turn-based system. Players can also interact with each other through player versus player competitions, participate in the in-game economy by trading goods and services, organize themselves into clans, and speak to each other in many different chat channels.
Between 2006 and 2007 alone, the game hosted a player base of about 140,000 regular users and 190,000 active accounts, clearly demonstrating its popularity. The other remarkable feature of this browser-based multi-player role playing game is that it is financially free from advertisements and fuels itself basically from donations and the purchase of virtual goods without imposing any subscription fees like many other online games.
Gameplay in KoL involves fighting monsters, completing quests, gaining skills and stats, and accumulating items and meat. A player can complete a specific number of adventures each day as assigned, which is usually 40. The game day resets at a time called “rollover”, which starts at 9:30 PM MST, and lasts about 30 minutes, except on Saturdays, when it takes about an hour and a half.
Further adventures can be acquired by eating food, binging on booze, and spleen-damaging items. However, only a limited amount of each can be consumed each day, and drinking too much alcohol can put the character into a drunken stupor for the remainder of the day. During rollover, drunkenness, fullness, and spleen damage are all reset to zero. Although a player can accumulate a large number of adventures, the number is reduced to 200 at rollover.
The KOL Wiki – (Kingdom of Loathing Walkthrough)