We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Games software Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Free Realms review

FREE (in-game purchasing)

Manufacturer: Sony Computer Entertainment of America

Our Rating: We rate this 3 out of 5

Bright colours, busy screens, and some nice mechanics make Free Realms a great MMORPG for kids, but the intrusive upselling sours it. Read our Free Realms review to find out more.

Free Realms, a freemium MMORPG from Sony, claims "millions" of accounts, though how many of those represent regular players is anyone's guess. There are many different ways to play the game; whether the youthful graphics and intrusive upsells render it less playable is a matter of taste.

What makes Free Realms interesting is the wide range of dynamic play styles it supports. Whatever kind of task or microgame you're playing at the moment, your character's costume and skills warp to match it. The sheer variety of game modes, from fairly standard button-mashing combat to interactive cooking, means there's likely to be something appealing, at least as a diversion. See also: TOP 5 PC GAMES.

Free Realms is squarely aimed at younger players, and the graphic design might cause insulin shock in anyone over the age of 15. One can imagine the graphic artists were fired from Zynga and PopCap for being "too cute". Visit: GamePro UK.

Despite the name, Free Realms has fairly hefty limits on non-paying customers--for example, you cannot advance any job past level 5. Furthermore, it has the most obnoxious and in-your-face advertising and upsell attempts of any freemium game I've played. Games from much smaller companies, with far fewer financial resources, offer more to free members and are less intrusive about trying to collect cash.

Free Realms Expert Verdict »

Microsoft Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 7
  • Overall: We give this item 6 of 10 overall

Free Realms can be fun in a candy-coloured way, but it's like attending a charity event; whenever you start to relax and enjoy yourself, here comes the beg-a-thon... except instead of a date with a Z-list celebrity, you get a unicorn.

  • Unpleasant Horse for iOS review

    Unpleasant Horse for iOS

    The premise of this free iOS game is simple. You're a cute little horse with wings and a bad attitude.

  • Bejeweled 2 for iPhone

    Puzzle game makes a solid iPhone debut.

  • NFL Pro 2012 app review

    NFL Pro 2012 app

    Fun gameplay hampered by constant upsells.

  • Plants vs Zombies review

    Plants vs Zombies

    A zany, fun study of what happens when an irresistible force meets an an army of unmovable flesh-eating objects, Plants vs Zombies is a free to play game for Mac and PC that takes an original idea and runs with it, producing addictive, and oftentimes hilarious results.

  • Vanguard: Saga of Heroes review

    Vanguard: Saga of Heroes

    Vanguard is an immense MMORPG that has languished for years due to a poor launch. Here's our Vanguard: Saga of Heroes review.

IDG UK Sites

Best camera phone of 2015: iPhone 6 Plus vs LG G4 vs Galaxy S6 vs One M9 vs Nexus 6

IDG UK Sites

In defence of BlackBerrys

IDG UK Sites

Why we should reserve judgement on Apple ditching Helvetica in OS X/iOS for the Apple Watch's San...

IDG UK Sites

Retina 3.3GHz iMac 27in preview: Apple cuts £400 of price of Retina iMac with new model