Age of Seventh Dragon

Age of Seventh Dragon is a web-based strategy game. You're probably familiar with these style of games. They're completely browser based. There are plenty of these out there and while you could just as easily play one in English, this one has a couple of interesting features and of course its in Korean which always gives us an opportunity to pick up some vocabulary. The first thing that works to our benefit is that since these are browser based you can copy and paste just about everything and run it through google. Google doesn't do a bad job translating most of it. It is all fairly easy to understand. The game is run through a small portal called "Webgamech". I haven't tried the other 2 games yet but they may be web-based as well. This also means you can play them easily at work if you want. There isn't anything to install, but you'll need an account. This one doesn't let you use your ARC, so time to order pizza again and call your friend. I'll wait....okay I assume you've got an account now.

Head over to the website and click the big game start button and the first thing that will happen is you'll be asked to log in again. Once you've typed your password again, you will be asked to choose a server. There are currently 5 servers. Number 5 is the newest and currently has a little "new" icon beside it. You can have a game on all servers, so don't worry about making a permanent choice. The other servers are just more established which makes it more difficult to get started. Even the new server is a little crowded already. After you pick a server, if it is your first time, you'll be presented with the game set-up screen. This screen will let you type your Lord's name, pick your race, starting region, and if you have a coupon enter it. I have no idea what the coupons are. Now that you've set all that, click on the button at the bottom and your game will start. You'll be presented with an option for a tutorial. It is all reading and in Korean. Some pictures, but I didn't see anything overly helpful there. You're better off clicking around until you get the hang of where everything is. First thing we'll see is the main game screen. This is the screen you'll do most stuff from. You can click the empty green squares to build something or existing buildings to upgrade them. Every building has tons of levels. The first thing you need to do is upgrade your farm in the lower left. You can't do anything until you do that first. To do that you can just click it and then you'll see a link in there for upgrading/building. As I mentioned earlier any time you want to translate something you can copy it and throw it in google, its fairly good at giving back something readable on these descriptions. Across the top of the screen you have choices for "City", "Hero", "Map", "Guild", "Market", "Ranking". The hero screen lets you put equipment on your heroes and see their stats. The map screen lets you view the world around you and interact with it. The other ones are fairly self-explanatory.

As with most games the point here is to build yourself up and take over the world. So far I've managed to put together a few buildings, a couple soldiers and attack some trees. I also took over a distant crystal mine. you can use the resources you have (upgrading them for big bonuses) and if you find resources on the map, take those. Every game I've been in all the resources are already claimed, but I did find 1 free crystal mine and took that. Non-resource squares let you send armies in to fight enemies of some sort and hunt for random elemental crystals. No idea what those do yet.

I've only scratched the surface of this game, but its completely playable without any Korean skill. All the actions are time based, not turn point based. So you don't have X actions per day. You can come back in a few hours after you've made some resources and do more stuff. Build buildings, attack squares, etc You'll see a countdown on the right of the main city screen about your actions. If you need gold, you can click the town hall and there is a link to gather 200 GP in taxes. When you make heroes and armies those will get listed on the main screen as well. The time required for attacks is based on how far away the square is. First you'll have to walk there, then your guys will attack, then they will walk back. You will get a message with a battle report (mostly readable). As I figure out more things about this game I'll post updates.


Jang-gi is Korean Chess. If you've played western chess at all, you can probably learn Jang-gi quite quickly. I learned to play it on my cell phone and in a couple of weeks of playing it on the subway I learned the moves well and could play a decent game against the second lowest level. It can sometimes be hard to find real opponents to play against, and if you want to play against a friend who is far away you might need an online venue to do that. Since Pmang even allows foreign sign-ups for people not in Korea, with a little fudging, you can play against people back home too. I'm not going to talk about the rules here, but more how to get the application up and running and annotate all the various options. If you want to read the rules you can read about it here and here

First up after you cruise to the site you'll get a menu with various town choices. These indicate a level of play. If it is your first time I recommend free play or the beginner level. After you choose one you'll get a couple pop-ups and the pmang installer will do its thing. As always if this is your first time to the site, you'll have to install a few activex controls. After choosing a town you'll get the main lobby. If you want to you can change the room, but unless you're meeting someone in a specific room you probably don't need to. There are various options including the ability to watch a game in progress. This lets you jump into any game which isn't limited to 2 players and observe it. While in the game you also have the option of rewinding it and watching the moves up to that point. You can report a room, but I don't know what that entails and it is probably unnecessary. Also you can create your own room. There is a chat at the bottom. If you click on create a room you'll get a little pop-up. You can pick a title for the room, set the limit on how many people can join, and set a password. The join limit is for limiting observers. The minimum you can set is 2, or you can choose 4, 10 or unlimited. I can't possibly imagine why you'd want to arbitrarily limit a game to X amount of observers but you can.

Once you're in a game you'll have a choice to set things like take-back, time limits, move limits, etc. You can also switch your horse and elephants position if you like before the game starts. I'm not exactly sure what 접장기 is. I believe you can also use the grayed out button to switch sides. In this particular game I think the room owner took his side and I was forced to play the other side. As well there are various buttons you can do things with down on the right hand side. They includes help (in Korean), options, invite another player, and screenshot. If you are watching a game you will see controls under one players name where you can back up moves or move forward to see current moves.
Of course I won't be posting a video of this because it is a board game. Not very exciting to watch. The interface is fairly simple to use and if you're interested in playing Janggi this is probably a good choice. I tried to play it on Hangame but that site required some strange verification process before you could start, I think because on hangame you can play for real money. I couldn't do the verification because my Korean cell phone is not in my name a friend helped me create the account and I used my foreign ID to create the hangame account. The names don't match. I'd have to make a new account using my friend's ID.

If you have an SK cellphone and want to play Jang-gi on the go, I recommend World Chess/Janggi 2. It includes western chess and Jang-gi in one game. Practice games of various levels and tournaments. If your phone is bluetooth enabled you can play a bluetooth game against a friend who has the same.

Metal Rage

After a bit of a hiatus, I'm back with a new game. This is another shooter, but this one comes in the form of giant robot fighting. Metal Rage is run by a very small portal called GameHi. Unlike other portals they don't really have a main page. The site basically consists of three sub-sites for the three games they have a customer center if you try to go to the main GameHi website. They have an MMORPG and Sudden Attack, another FPS. This site will require you to have your Korean friend sign up for you using their ID. So I won't be walking through the sign-up. Even though the name field is very long, attempts to use my Foreign ID resulted in it telling me to choose "Under 14" when I had chosen adult, then after choosing "Under 14" I was met with an error that said there was a problem with the name.

The website is pretty easy to navigate. After you're logged in, click game start. It'll install a couple activex controls. After those are installed it'll direct you to the client download page. Click the download link and you will get a pop-up. Click "확인" and you will get the installer. Like many installers before it, you can change the folder if you really want or just hit "젼송시작" and let it do its thing. After it downloads 100% that button will change, and you can press it again to install. Once it's finished installing you might want to delete the setup file. This isn't done automatically and it's around 1.1 GB.

The menu is fairly simple and not much needs to be touched. I went to the options and maxed the resolution. Again on my laptop with max resolution the game ran and looked great. I didn't get any slow-ups except when I was taking my fraps video. The inventory/store button is the same. One useful choice is the game type sort/filter. This one presents a drop-down menu that lets you pick the game type and sorts based on that. Very handy for finding a specific type of game. All my photos and videos are from deathmatch. The cards are some kind of buyable/reward object. I haven't completely figured them out. I have 2, they look like weapons, but I can't find them in the store.
The store/inventory is fairly normal, except it also lets you choose which four mechs you want to take on a mission. You have many choices but you can only have four at a time in your bay. To swap them just select one that isn't in the bay and double click it and it'll be moved to the bay slot. From there you can buy new weapons, choose which ones you want to take, etc. There are a lot of choices here and you could probably spend quite some time setting mechs up. I might get into that later. I swapped out a couple mechs after a match or two just to try them and jumped into some games.

Gameplay is standard FPS fair. Move. Shoot. Die. No headshots that was nice. The repair mech is also the turret builder, so you get a two for one deal here. There is a sniper mech, also a mech who can immobilize and turn into a giant cannon with a shield, and many other interesting abilities and guns. I quite liked this one, and I expect to play it quite a bit more. Currently its in open beta, so there is a chance some things might change.