Agar.io is an MMO (massively multiplayer online) game, where you strive to absorb other players (who also happen to be controlled by real people!) without getting absorbed yourself. It is a simple, yet ultimately complicated concept that entices players in with its colourful skins and vivid colours. The basic objective is incredibly difficult at times, with atrocious large players annihilating small servers, making it chaotic - which, in turn, adds all the challenge and fun to the game.
Note: all scores are out of 20. The final total is out of 60.
To me, Agar.io reflects life - you are a helpless small organism who tries to stay alive, which is the basic definition of a human being. It is colourful, yet dangerous, as aforementioned. Agar.io's basic controls have lead to many skilled players - who have gone on to maintain their own YouTube channels, notably 'Jumbo', who currently sits at almost 1 million subscribers and retains over 1 million views on each video - unearthing different tricks, which their viewers carry with them. Technically speaking, Agar.io is possibly the most simple game you will ever meet, with three different controls requiring only two input devices - space will split you to kill other players (bearing in mind that you need to be visibly larger than them in the first place), 'w' will eject small pieces of mass, very fittingly nicknamed 'food', and, of course, the mouse will control your cell's direction. It is addictive, so I would implore you to avoid this game if you usually fall victim to games such as the notorious 'Candy Crush Saga'.
Moving on to my main thoughts: it is an energetic and upbeat game, which purposely puts trolls and other forms of deliberate internet bullies at bay, letting you express yourself through only 12 characters in your name. Of course, this has upsides and downsides! However, I can definitely see why they would choose to do this. It can be tedious at times, with you getting constantly reduced to smaller sizes - larger players may get heavy scores, but they have to play consistently and steadfastly: you can make good progress, albeit rather slowly. It is like a war, in a way: you need to play strategically and amalgamate patience with strategy. Likewise, you need a lot of time on your hands - a lot. I'm telling you, from someone who is accustomed to playing this game. Anyway, let's get onto the main ratings:
16 is an admirable score, for someone as surly as me, to say the least. :P It has its own Reddit page, which has gardened over 100 active users, and, as previously stated, has a booming YouTube community. Its YouTube community is very structured; imagine a city arranged into particular areas very precisely - it is like that. It has its Spanish side, and its English side, both a good distance away from each other, yet in the same community - or "city" - since they both do the same things. The game's developer, Miniclip, has its own official Agar.io YouTube which shows off all recent highlights, which is quite original and very engaging. It also has its own clans (bearing in mind that they are unofficial), who focus on particular aspects of the game - soloing and "teaming", which I'll get onto later.
The downsides of the community are simple: a very small minority of Agar.io's players like to harass others (but not in a dastardly way, of course, otherwise this score would be significantly lower), through stealing their mass, etc. It annoys me when this happens, unfortunately quite frequently. But, again, it's not evil, it's just very annoying. :P
The community can also be a disease, with users complaining about servers being defective, etc. Of course, this is always annoying to see: people ranting about very minor delays, etc. :P
A final, minor negative: the Miniclip community support can be appalling, but exceptional at times. Occasionally you'll get an automated response that has no relevance to anything (after a good amount of time, too) - but then you'll get a detailed response, thanking you and linking you to resources that are likely to help in the coming future.
- Very helpful Reddit posts and administrators
- A very vast and orderly YouTube community
- In general, very detailed help pages and a great official Agar.io YouTube channel, showcasing all recent highlights and happenings in the Agar.io world - this is particularly admirable, with people working specifically to show the great work of others in update videos, etc.
- Community may make a big deal about minor issues
- A small selection of trolls
- Customer service can be terrible at times
Agar.io's design is very well-planned. It retains the simplicity of classic games like chess, yet the big colourful designs of some of your favourite landmarks and websites, *ahem*, the Fan Creations Wiki. It also gives you very helpful, optional tools to assist you in your gameplay - or, if you prefer a darker theme, there's a dark theme, too! The optional tools it gives you are particularly helpful because some reduce slowness: removing skins is a perfect option for any slower computer, and having the option to see the size of each piece you're in, the 'Show mass' feature, is an optimal feature for any strategic player. It gives you a sense of freedom, but with restrictions to limit your changes; this is what I like to see in websites, or, particularly, games. It lets you customise your gameplay, in an appropriate way. There are also several different game modes, including one that allows you to find your friend and play with them! Another function that I like, that the multiplayer is taken even more broadly outwards.
The only notable flaw with its game design is more about its mechanics; I've already discussed the game's simple mechanics, but not the negative ones. Agar.io is infamous for having bots - small cells that are not actual players that go in a specific direction, heading towards the person who added them to the server. It makes the game lag (adds slowness), and makes it unfair. However, this doesn't really detract from the game, because it happens in one specific game mode, and rarely results in lag, but it is a cause of it. The thing that mostly agitates me about bots is that Miniclip is receiving funding from in-app purchases (or microtransactions) and even donations, so why can't they invest a little bit of time and money in removing them?
- Simplicity that still retains great use of colour and skins
- Freedom to customise, but is still limited to restrict your modifications
- Different game modes so that you can enjoy your experience even more
- The option to play with your friends
- Very nice, simple mechanics so that people aren't stuck asking "What's the controls?"
- Bots - add a level of unfairness and minor lag
Level of entertainment (13)
The game is very fun, and you can play for hours on end - if you know what you're doing. You see, for newer players, Agar.io can be very tedious to play, being constantly devoured by larger players. Although this adds the challenge to the game, it definitely reduces the level of entertainment - you see, if you're very new to Agar.io, you'll get killed easily, right? And it's definitely not fun to kill someone without any challenge, right? Well, this is my point. My idea is that Miniclip creates official Agar.io servers that are designed for training newer players. There are several unofficial servers out there (which I won't list), but since they're unofficial, I don't count them. This is Agar.io's main problem - there is an evident hierarchy between teamers, skilled, larger players and new, smaller players. In party mode (the mode in which you can play with your friend), most servers are ravaged with teamers - groups of people who help one another to get larger and larger, to the point where they are grasping the number one spot. This feature is practically an actual mechanic, because, when teaming was big, it became a thing on FFA servers, where you are specifically supposed to solo - because of this, the Miniclip team resorted to enforcing bans on teaming, which specifically targeted aspects of teaming. Teaming is fun, but not when you are the one being subjected to it. It removes the game's level of consistence and stability, and instead replaces it with big, disorderly messes. Agar.io is a blast for skilled players, but is very tedious for newer ones. This is Agar.io's flaw, and I can definitely empathise with players who aren't as used to the game - I wish there would be a way to fix this, but unfortunately, that's the way it is. When life gives you lemons, you make lemona- wait, you know what? I hate these stupid lemons! Who wants lemons, anyway?!
- Attains a good challenge that is very engaging at times
- Unfair for newer players
- Teamers - one word, teamers. I hate them all.
Total score: 48/60 (80%)
Conclusion: needs to work on building up a fair system, particularly in FFA servers. Lag can also be a problem, even with its optional changes, and is definitely the most irritating: a crucial issue that is keeping Agar.io down behind its true potential.
Thanks for reading! --DRAGONLEAF5678 23:22, December 24, 2015 (UTC)
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