Parallel Kingdom was a mobile location-based massively multiplayer game that placed a player in a virtual world on top of the real world, based on the player's GPS location. Parallel Kingdom was the first location-based RPG for the iOS and Android platforms. The game was developed by PerBlue, a privately held mobile and social gaming software company founded in 2008 and based in Madison, Wisconsin. In 2011, the game's user base surpassed 1,000,000 players worldwide. The game closed on November 1, 2016.
|Release||October, 2008 |
|Genre(s)||Role-playing video game, MMORPG|
The game was set in a virtual world or "Parallel Kingdom" where users claimed their territories based on their GPS location or by making friends who could invite them to travel to new places. Parallel Kingdom was a freemium game, meaning it was free to download and play, but players had the option of purchasing premium content.
Parallel Kingdom is a territorial RPG with a diverse range of ways to play. In order to travel around the world, a player has the option of using GPS to relocate through their phone or to build in-game flags on unclaimed areas. It has many features that allow for players to focus on various types of gameplay or to choose a unique combination of styles, such as PvE, PvP, Merchant, and Socialite.
The PvE side of PK has many different features to it. Players can find a diverse range of NPCs to interact with. NPCs have many behaviours: some are docile, while others will attack you (or anything that happens to get too close) on sight. Some can only be found alone, while others are always in packs. NPC difficulty is determined by a player's equipment level, meaning a player should be able to fight against monsters tailored to their equipment level. However, some enemies may have been spawned by another player in the area; these spawns may potentially be unsuitable for some players. Players choosing to play PvE have the choice trying their luck at exploring Dungeons. Dungeons are challenging themed areas that require a player to go through each and slay the boss(es), which in turn will give them a special reward. Some PvE-oriented players can even choose to avoid fighting altogether, choosing instead to explore or harvest and gather materials, such as wood and stone.
PK's PvP gameplay has many styles to enjoy. Players can choose to duel one another, either in controlled city duelling arenas or anywhere outside in the world. Fighting in the open has some risks, though, as players lose a backpack and 3% of their experience upon death in addition to waiting 15 seconds before they are respawned. Players may also build a variety of buildings, such as Kingdoms and Flags, and can also claim limited resources such as Stone Mines. The nature of limited resources, including land, makes land a commodity, which is often the subject of trade and warfare throughout the game. There are many ways to fight one another, such as kingdom warfare, flag burning, and brawls.
Players can also choose to focus on Merchant or Socialite gameplay. PK has a large number of items available to gather and collect in-game, with features such as Trade Posts that allow players to buy and sell their items for currency. In addition, players have the ability to communicate through a variety of ways such as Map Chat, Kingdom Chat, Private Messages, and Global Chat.
Parallel Kingdom has gone through five major iterations, known as "Ages", each of which introduced new features and gameplay mechanics. The final Age, Age of Ascension, was released on February 12, 2013, and featured the introduction of an immersive Sky Realm.
Parallel Kingdom was nominated for four categories in the 2009 Best App Ever Awards: Best MMO, Best Augmented Reality Game, Most Creative Use of iPhone Hardware, and Best Use of Location Services.
Parallel Kingdom was a finalist in the Mashable Awards 2011, under the category of Best Mobile Game.
In 2011, Parallel Kingdom partnered with PlayMob in "Food For Good". PK players could use the in-game currency, Food, to purchase real food for children suffering from droughts in Kenya. The initiative resulted in 2500 meal vouchers for SOS Children, said to be the world's largest charity for orphaned and abandoned children.
In June 2012, Parallel Kingdom partnered with PlayMob in "Save a dog, Feed a cat, Buy a hat". PK players used in-game currency, Food, to purchase in-game limited edition hats. Each hat purchased resulted in a cash donation made to cat and dog charities.
In November 2012, Parallel Kingdom partnered with PlayMob, again, in the event "HELP USA". PK players used in-game currency, Food, to purchase in-game limited edition turkey hats. The Parallel Kingdom community raised enough for 500 meals to be distributed by HELP USA.
Decline and closingEdit
The final content update of Parallel Kingdom arrived on December 16, 2014, bringing a winter event and the final set of in-game "swag". The game was then left with minimal developer support for the next two years.
On September 30, 2016, the developers announced that Parallel Kingdom would be going down for the final time after its eighth anniversary, at noon CST on November first. The article, in part, stated, "After 8 amazing years, we must say goodbye to an incredible world full of incredible people that kept it alive much longer than we ever thought was possible. Like you, a lot of us at PerBlue knew that closing Parallel Kingdom was an inevitability, but we all hoped in the back of our minds that the day wouldn't come."
- "PerBlue - Mobile and Social Gaming". perblue.com. August 29, 2012.
- "CrunchBase Profile". Tech Crunch. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
- "Parallel Kingdom's Farewell". Parallel Kingdom. Retrieved 2016-10-04.
- "Parallel Kingdom - Overview". PerBlue. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
- "Parallel Kingdom - Get Food". PerBlue. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
- "Stake Your Claim". Parallel Kingdom. Retrieved 26 November 2012.
- "A Parallel World Awaits You". Parallel Kingdom. Retrieved 26 November 2012.
- "Getting Social". Parallel Kingdom. Retrieved 26 November 2012.
- "Age of Ascension Launch! Release Information and Additional Features!". Parallel Kingdom. Retrieved 2016-10-04.
- "2009 Best App Ever Awards". Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- "Mashable Awards 2011 Finalists Announced". Retrieved 17 September 2012.
- Jon Jordan (5 October 2011). "Parallel Kingdom's players buy 838 Soup Can Hats to fund Kenyan famine charity". PocketGamer.biz. Retrieved 17 October 2011.
- "Save a dog, Feed a cat, Buy a hat". parallelkingdom.com.
- "Dogs Saved, Cats Fed, Hats Bought! And the winner is..". blog.playmob.com. June 19, 2012.
- "Thanks for Giving, and Other Community News!". parallelkingdom.com. February 2012.
- "Let it Snow! Winter Wonderland Relic Event!". Parallel Kingdom. Retrieved 2016-10-04.