Saturday 28 July 2012

5 Awesome Free-to-Play Online Games for Girls

"You play like a girl." The line commonly used as an insult is soon to be obsolete in the online gaming world as studies carried out by Trendstream and Lightspeed Research have come to a conclusion that when it comes to online games, women spend more time playing them than men. What a wonderful discovery to shatter long-standing stereotypes of the almost nonexistent female gaming community.

However, it will still take a while before game publishers actually start to produce games that are more catered towards the female population. Don't get me wrong; there are really girly online games out there, one of them being a Hello Kitty themed game that will please many Hello Kitty fans while the rest of us look on in bewilderment.

On the PC, as free-to-play online games are increasing at an amazing rate, it becomes slightly difficult for the average, casual gamer, let alone a female one, to navigate the vast world of online gaming. So let's take a look at some of these free games that are appealing to the casual female gamer.

Dragon Nest

Dragon Nest is a 3D fantasy MMORPG developed by Eyedentity Games and originally published by Nexon in Korea in the year 2010.The cute anime visuals coupled with an amazing fast pace combat system is a deadly combo when you are in the mood for kicking some monster asses while looking adorable.

The graphics in Dragon Nest are vibrantly colorful with visuals of anime-style cuteness or chibi-ness. It is a nice refreshing change from the normal, gritty fantasy games that are available which in this case, may appeal more to the female gaming community.

As the player, you are given 4 different classes to choose from (note that the classes are gender locked), each with a set of 2 more specialized sub-classes that you will have access to once a certain level is reached. These classes are pretty basic, consisting of: the warrior, archer, cleric, and sorceress each with their own specific set of skills.

There is nothing new in the MMO style of the game where you have several towns and dungeons to carry out quests. With multiple difficulty settings for each dungeon resulting in better loot and higher experience gained the more difficult the setting.

The combat system is what truly shines in this fast paced anime themed MMORPG. It's flexible and dynamic with no targeting. This means that you have total control of your avatar to aim your attacks and to dodge your enemies.

Wizard 101

Calling fans of the Harry Potter series and all things magical! Wizard 101 is a unique MMORPG where players can take the role of a student wizard enrolled in Ravenswood Academy, a school for aspiring witches and wizards. While the graphics of this game may appear to be more geared towards the younger population with its cartoony graphics and bright, vibrant environment, its attractive and easy to learn gameplay has its appeal for older gamers and fans of MMORPGs.

Character customization is simple with limited choices of choosing your avatar's appearances. Players are sorted into their respective schools of Magic through a series of personality questions to determine their right fit for the schools. There are 7 Schools of Magic to be placed into with unique elements. There's the fire, ice, and storm school which are predictable but there are also the life, myth, death, and balance schools which adds an interesting edge to the playability of the game.

The gameplay and combat system of Wizard 101 is simple and elegant. Combat is in card-style format which is turn based and with each spell costing you different amounts of power points. Surprisingly addictive quests and mini-games are littered around the world of Wizard City that range from defeating boss mobs, to puzzles and simple shooters. All in all this game is fun and compelling, erring on the casual gaming side. A slight downside would be that you would have to pay for an account in order to have access to higher levels and areas of the game.


Parkour. Does that word sound familiar to you? Girls, if you've seen the Prince of Persia movie and was not distracted by Jake Gyllanhaal and was more aware of his running about on rooftops, scaling walls with some added acrobatic flipping-around-in-the-air type of movements, or the amazing opening chase scene with Daniel Craig in Casino Royale you've got your glimpse into the world of parkour. Check out this cool video of some parkour girl power on Youtube for better reference:

For the rest of us who are unable to do that in real life, FreeJack can be the alternative to the virtual world of parkour. It is a fast-paced MMORPG racing game without wheels. An urban footrace game with obstacles littered about for your avatar to perform parkour-like tricks to overcome them. While you only have 4 characters to choose from, that becomes insignificant once you start playing the game.

The game modes available are divided into 3 categories: Versus, Missions and Laptime. You will begin the game with an extensive tutorial section on all the important controls and skills needed to learn in FreeJack that is essential for newbies to survive in the game. The gameplay is fast-paced and requires good reflexes and accurate timing that gets your adrenalin pumping throughout the game.

The 'Versus' mode that can house about 8 players at a time, is essentially the best part of FreeJack. With as many as 10 different environments to choose from, players are able to choose between individual and team battles to battle it out. Executing perfect maneuvers through obstacles? You get rewarded with more skill points, or SPs, giving you access to convenient items and dashes.

The graphics of this game are anime-inspired with highly detailed and vibrant environments. The sounds and music are remixes and club beats that lends to the atmosphere of the fast-paced urban jungle environment of the game.


FarmVille, the reigning champion of farming simulation on Facebook with a community surpassing 80 million players. This 2D browser based MMO application is a game about crops. You, the player, acts as the farmer; plowing plots of land, planting seeds, and harvesting your crops.

Patience is the key skill here as each crop grows at a different rate. You will have to return once the growing period has passed, to harvest your crops. If you do not harvest them in time, your crops will wither and die. Growing and harvesting earns you more money and experience that you can use to purchase more seeds, buy buildings, decorate farms, and ultimately, level up.

Of course, as a Facebook app, Farmville keeps things social by including social features such as making the animals and trees that you want obtainable only through gift-giving with other friends. You can also visit the farms of your friends to help them out in certain things once you are done with your own crops.

FarmVille also keeps things interesting by coming up with new content on a frequent basis, encouraging you to expand your farm and crops with new items and buildings. With such a simple, family-gameplay style, it is no wonder that this game is embraced by young and old alike - a highly addictive game that everyone can enjoy!

Tetris Battle

Remember playing Tetris back in the old days? Facebook's Tetris Battle is bringing it back with new and improved graphics making it more colorful and cartoonish, creating a fun and pleasing twist to this old-school game.

Its new gameplay have you battling it out against your friends or random people playing Tetris all over the world. When playing against your opponents, your cleared lines will be given over to your opponent's, increasing their lines, thus making it harder for them to win. It does have its nail-biting situations when lines are being exchanged back and forth and a poorly placed tile could make the difference between victory and defeat.

There's also a ranking system among you and your friends that allows you to show off your bragging rights with your number of victories. A downside to this game is the fact that for each Tetris battle, you use up some energy points that can only be replaced by time, waiting from 5 to 30 minutes for the energy bar to recharge so that you can play again. One alternative is to have your friends send you energy boosting gifts that help increase your energy bar immediately.

Exhaustive List? Well, It's just the tip of an iceberg...

Of course, these games are just the tip of the free-to-play online gaming iceberg. I have also not touched on the more violent, hack-and-slash type of games that are also appealing to some female gamers. If you have any more suggestions about what sort of free-to-play online games that would be appealing to the general female population, do drop a comment on this post!

About the Guest Author:

Residing in Kuala Lumpur, Rachael is passionate about gaming, reading, sports and chocolate chip cookies. She is currently working at, a fast growing online shopping mall and video game store in the country. The new game, Watchdogs, is coming out soon and Rachael can't wait to play it!

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