Gaming is more than a way of life, it’s my job.
Josh Dailey has spent the last two years on the dark side of the gaming world, as a gold farmer. He doesn’t do it to cheat; he does it to survive. And with the launch of a mysterious new game, Avarice Online, his hopes for a better life finally seem within reach. Living in a Slab City trailer with his foster family is not the end of the line for him; he will see to it, if it’s the last thing he does.
The day the game launches, his life turns to shambles, leaving him desperate and at a new low. He must now put everything he has into dominating this new RPG. Too bad the makers of Avarice Online have other plans for their players—blurring the line between virtual and reality.
Join Josh and his new in-game friends, Gor and KILLian, as they immerse themselves in this new world, filled with NPCs who are almost too real, and where the challenges and rewards are greater than any of them could have imagined.
My Opinion: 280 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
The first 8% of the story is completely about the real world ‘woe is me’ life of the main character (MC), Josh/Magoton. He’s poor and has a crap home life but makes a living players online. He levels characters, farms gold, and will even spawn camp. The author clearly defines these activities as ‘cheating’ and those who pay for them as cheaters.
When the best, most realistic game ever comes out, Avarice Online, the MC is in a bad place. He’s saved from living on the streets by a mysterious benefactor that’s willing to give the kid a place to live in a fancy hotel and top of the line equipment to play the game in exchange for help with his mysterious plan.
Once in game Josh meets his benefactor and is told that all the money in the game is real money and that in a month, the players will be able to transfer their in game dollars to real banks making them rich potentially. For a poor kid like Josh this is a dream come true. The benefactor tells the MC he wants to rob the place the millions of dollars are held in game but needs specific boss monster parts to turn into keys to get to vault. He warns the MC that there are other people and game AI that are looking for cheaters and will do everything they can to stop him. MC agrees to help.
The game mechanics in story are solid and consistent throughout the story. There’s even a reputation system that is kind of cool. The MCs backstory is thorough and I understood who he was and where he was coming from. But the rest of the story is kind of a mess.
One, the real life ‘woe is me’ section goes on way too long and it gets a little repetitive emphasizing how crappy the MCs real life is.
Second, the game world itself is ambiguously described at best. It has fantasy elements. Farmers have wooden spears and town guards have swords. But at the same time, players can buy flashlights and hoodies at the local store. The world itself is not well described and it’s difficult to form a picture of the world in the reader's mind.
Third, the premise of the story doesn’t make sense. A game company has sunk millions of real world dollars in their in game economy and has that money just sitting there for a full month? Money not going to game development or earning interest in a bank or used as investment capital. And the game company has put it all in a place in game and coded the ability for someone to steal it all?
Overall, it just wasn’t an entertaining story.
Score: 4 out of 10.