In a Free Apps Arcade first, we are going to cut right to the chase: Parallel Kingdom is one of our favorite iOS games of all time. And we can tell you that without hesitation, because we have been playing it since its launch day back in late 2008. That's right, we were harvesting berries, hunting monsters, and claiming territory almost a year and a half before the iPad was even announced. We are such Parallel Kingdom hipsters.
Parallel Kingdom is an augmented reality MMORPG that sets its universe on top of a world map. Your position in the world is determined by GPS location, so your range of motion is limited to your actual physical location. The core gameplay is typical of any RPG. You fight mobs, harvest resources, collect weapons and armor, and gain levels. However, Parallel Kingdom also pits you against other players in a quest for regional domination. Players have the opportunity to claim areas by planting flags. Peaceful play prevails in loosely populated rural areas. But make your way into a city and you'll be confronted with all-out territorial warfare.
We could go on to give you all of the gory details about specific weapons, enemies, items, and the like, but instead we're going to tell you a story. Gather 'round, everyone!
It's a windy Southern California day in 2010. We're in Parallel Kingdom, innocently collecting berries and minding our own business. Out of nowhere, a player appears and starts pounding on our flag. We retaliate and are quickly defeated in combat. We respawn just in time to see him making a run for it. Has he no honor? Ordinarily we would cut our losses and give up. But not this time. "**** it. Get the keys." We hop into the car and give chase, navigating our neighborhood streets in pursuit of our foe. Suddenly, we find him. As the game map updates to reveal our new position, we have about 10 seconds to stare in awe at the magnificent kingdom of flags that lies before us before we are promptly struck down by our rival...again. An instant later we receive a private message: "Be gone." At that moment, a lifelong rivalry was born. This! Is! Parallel Kingdom!