Realm of the Mad God

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Realm of the Mad God
Realm of the Mad God title screen New.jpeg
Title screen in December 2012
Developer(s) Wild Shadow Studios
Spry Fox
Publisher(s) Deca Games [1]
Distributor(s) Deca Games
Platform(s) Adobe Flash
Microsoft Windows
Release date(s) Adobe Flash
  • WW: June 20, 2011
Windows & Mac
  • WW: February 20, 2012
Genre(s) Massively multiplayer online roleplaying game
Mode(s) Multiplayer

Realm of the Mad God is a massively multiplayer online shooter video game created by Wild Shadow Studios (acquired by Kabam in June 2012, and later sold to Deca Games in July 2016) and Spry Fox. It was in public beta from January 2010 and the browser version launched on June 20, 2011.[2] On February 20, 2012 the game was made available on the digital distribution platform Steam for Microsoft Windows and OS X.[3]

The game has been described as a "massively-multiplayer cooperative bullet hell shooter" with an 8 bit pixelated art style.[2] Players control characters who have been transported to the realm of Oryx (the titular Mad God) to become food for his many minions and abominations, which the players must dispatch. Central to the design of the game is the fact that character death is permanent. Upon death, the player's character is lost along with all carried equipment, although the player may store a number of items for safekeeping in a limited capacity vault away from danger. Different character choices in class also help make the game more diverse and help to support teamwork.

The game is free-to-play with optional in-game micro-transactions. Items which can be bought with optional transactions include in-game equipment vary from high-level equipment, pets that provide aid to the player (by attacking enemies, paralyzing enemies, healing the character, restoring the character's magic points, and acting as a decoy) increased storage space, and aesthetic features such as skins, cloths and dyes.[4]

This game client is written in Flash and can be played in-browser on the official site, on Kongregate, or it can be downloaded from the Google Chrome Web Store. Realm of the Mad God is also available on Steam.[5]


The game consists of players shooting projectiles from their weapons and destroying enemies to earn experience, fame, and equipment. A character moves around using the WASD keys (though other controls can be chosen) and uses the mouse to aim and clicks to shoot.[6] Contrary to usual practice in MMOs, the experience for killing monsters is awarded in full to each player present, rather than split. This, along with the possibility of teleporting to any player on the map instantly and a cooldown of 10 seconds to teleport again, makes it very easy and attractive to team up.

After a certain amount of experience has been earned, the player levels up and their attributes are raised, allowing them to become stronger, fight more powerful enemies, and unlock more classes. The maximum level a player can achieve is level 20. The player can then gain "fame" on their character, which eventually grants permanent stars that indicate accomplishment and if enough is earned may entitle one to a place on the game's leaderboards upon death. Character death is permanent, meaning that the character's items and statistics are lost.

Players begin their game sessions in the Nexus, a safe haven which can be teleported to at any time. In the Nexus, players may buy consumables using gold purchased with real-life money or they may trade with another character. Another currency is fame, gained when you die. The player enters realms (i.e. game map instances present on the server). Each of these realms are named after powerful monsters in the game (i.e. Medusa, Djinn, Cyclops, Beholder). The capacity of each realm is 85 people at once, and a full realm cannot be entered until a player in it dies or leaves. However, if many players enter a realm at the same time, it can exceed 85.

Players fight a monster in game. HUD elements such as the inventory can be seen on the right-hand side.

During gameplay, the player is directed to "quest" monsters indicated by a red marker at the edge of the game window. As they level up in the realm, they are guided from the "Lowlands" areas at the edges of the map, through the "Midlands" and "Highlands" to the more difficult "Godlands" in the center of the map. The Godlands hosts powerful monsters known as the Gods of the Realm. Completing certain quests allows "event" bosses to spawn, which can be killed to obtain higher-tier loot and open portals to the rarest dungeons.

Killing high-level monsters can grant the player permanent stat boost potions, which are rare and exist in eight variations that correspond to the major attributes (life, mana, vitality, wisdom, defense, dexterity, attack, and speed). Consuming stat potions allows the player to improve their characters stats after reaching the highest level, which can be done until the attribute is maxed out (indicated by its text turning gold). Upon death, the size of the grave left behind corresponds to the number of stats maxed. Items could previously be retrieved from graves, but this functionality was removed as it led to players luring others to their doom to loot their graves.

The 14 classes currently available are Wizard, Priest, Archer, Rogue, Warrior, Knight, Paladin, Assassin, Necromancer, Huntress, Mystic, Trickster, Ninja, and Sorcerer. Players begin with only the Wizard class unlocked and successively unlock the remaining classes as they gain experience with each class.[7] There are 8 main stats, defense, attack, speed, dexterity, vitality, wisdom, mana, and life. Each class has its own weapon, armor and ability specifications, base statistic averages and statistic caps. For example, Warriors, Knights, and Paladins have high defense and are the only ones that can use swords and heavy armor, while the Assassin, Rogue and Trickster have the highest potential movement speed and dexterity (rate of fire) statistics and can only use daggers and hide armor.

Items are classified into tiers, with higher tier items having better stats. Tiers range from T0-T12 for weapons, T1-T13 for armors, T0-T6 for rings, and T0-T6 for abilities.[8] Some items are un-tiered, giving them a special classification. These items are typically unique, with examples including limited use items, powerful weapons, armor, rings, abilities, and April Fools' Day accouterments. The best items appear in special bags, known as White bags, Purple bags, Cyan Bags, or Potion Bags. These Bags will only drop for players who have delivered a certain percentage of the monster's damage, and can only be seen and picked up by the player it dropped for. Un-tiered (UT) items are currently "Soulbound" which means it is unable to get picked up by any other player or traded to another player.

The game features guilds, each allowing for a maximum of 50 players. A guild costs the founding player 1000 fame to name and create, and has a guild hall which can be accessed by members of the guild. Upon a member's death, guild fame is earned proportionally to the amount of fame that the player earned. Guilds can buy upgrades such as larger guild halls and cosmetic features with the guild fame.[9]


The game was originally created by Alex Carobus and Rob Shillingsburg, founders of Wild Shadow Studios, for TIGSource's "Assemblee Competition" in October 2009, which limited the competitors to a very small sample of art resources.[10] The developers described the aim of the game was to "shake things up by breaking as many MMO ‘rules’ as we could"[11] It was noticed and received a good response from players,[12] prompting the developers to work on a full game. The game was finally launched in a beta stage on January 10, 2010.[10]

Following the initial launch, Spry Fox joined the development team, helping bring the game to a full release out of beta on June 20, 2011.[2]

To help fund the game's development, optional microtransactions were added to the game, drawing a mixed response from players.[13] The developers defended the microtransactions, saying "they seemed like the most convenient, customer-friendly way to pay for the game... those that passionately love the game, can spend as much as they want, helping us to grow the game over time."[11]

The game has been receiving updates "every few weeks" since its release, with additions including "dungeons, new character classes, hundreds of items and monsters, bank space, pets, clothing, guilds" and more.[11]

On February 20, 2012, the game was made available on digital distribution platform Steam.[14]

After a year of post-release game development, Wild Shadow Studios were acquired by Kabam in June 2012, with part of the deal being that Spry Fox sold their stake in the game to Kabam.[15] Wild Shadow co-founders Alex Carobus and Rob Shillingsburg both left to pursue other opportunities after the acquisition, while Wild Shadow employee Willem Rosenthal stayed on the development team through the transition until June 2013.[16][17]

On June 23, 2016, Kabam announced that they would be transferring Realm of the Mad God to Deca Games on July 15.[18]


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 85.6%[19]
Metacritic 82/100[20]
Review scores
Publication Score
Eurogamer 9/10[21]
IGN 8/10[22]
PC Gamer (US) 89%[23]
RPGFan 78%[4]

Realm of the Mad God received generally positive reception from critics, with a Metacritic rating of 82/100[20] and GameRanking rating of 85.6%.[19]

IGN gave the game a score of 8/10, stating that "this unusual free-to-play MMO hybrid is worth every second of your spare time", criticising, however, the controls, saying "it's a shame that the controls aren't as tight as they should be for the arcade-style shooter gameplay."[22] Eurogamer gave a rating of 9/10, calling the game "superb" and "the perfect game for people who love the idea of raiding, but can't afford to invest the time all MMOs require before the really good stuff",[21] and PC Gamer described the game as "Unrepentantly simplistic and fun", and "one of the most distinctive multiplayer experiences around" in their 89% score review.[23]

RPGFan criticised the simplistic nature of the game, saying "the game currently feels a little bare-bones", adding, however, that "with almost no downtime, a true sense of cooperation, and constant challenge, RMG is an MMO that never grows stale" scoring the game 78% overall.[4]


  1. ^ "Deca Games". 
  2. ^ a b c Edery, David (June 20, 2011). "Realm of the Mad God". Retrieved March 29, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Realm of the Mad God on Steam". Retrieved March 26, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c Richardson, Bob (March 4, 2012). "RPGFan Review - Realm of the Mad God". Retrieved March 26, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Steam News". Steam. Valve. February 20, 2012. Retrieved May 21, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Controls and Commands". Retrieved February 17, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Classes: Realm of the Mad God". Retrieved February 17, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Equipment: Realm of the Mad God". Retrieved March 29, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Guilds". Retrieved March 29, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b Meer, Alec (February 13, 2012). "IGF Factor 2012: Realm of the Mad God". Retrieved March 29, 2013. 
  11. ^ a b c Meer, Alec (July 12, 2011). "RPS: Realm of the Mad God Interview". Retrieved March 29, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Realm of the Mad God Interview with Alex Carobus". October 19, 2010. Retrieved March 29, 2013. 
  13. ^ "dear Kabam (micro-transactions):Realm of the Mad God Forums". December 11, 2013. 
  14. ^ Priestman, Christ (February 21, 2012). "'Realm of the Mad God' Hits Steam". Retrieved March 29, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Goodbye Realm of the Mad God". June 18, 2012. Retrieved March 29, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Willem and Alex Q&A". June 18, 2013. Retrieved August 21, 2013. 
  17. ^ "A Fond Farewell". June 21, 2013. Retrieved August 21, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Important Update about Realm of the Mad God". 
  19. ^ a b "Realm of the Mad God for PC – GameRankings". GameRankings. Retrieved August 9, 2012. 
  20. ^ a b "Realm of the Mad God for PC Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Retrieved August 9, 2012. 
  21. ^ a b Stanton, Rich (April 2, 2012). "Realm of the Mad God Review". Retrieved March 26, 2013. 
  22. ^ a b Meunier, Nathan (March 5, 2012). "Realm of the Mad God Review". Retrieved March 26, 2013. 
  23. ^ a b Thursten, Chris (April 28, 2012). "Realm of the Mad God review". Retrieved March 26, 2013. 

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