Fantastical Intentions is a new feature featuring Hannah (me!) of Once Upon A Time and Jacob of the fabulous fantasy-sf blog, Drying Ink. We plan to intermittently host it between us every now and then with a new fantasy related topic. If you’d like to join in, feel free to write a post of your own and leave your links in the comments or just leave a comment. We’d love to hear from you!

Okay so yes, last week we slacked. Mock away. But we’re back this week with the topic of: Gaming Worlds. Now this is a fairly broad topic, even if we are focusing more specifically on fantasy games, because there are so many different games that could come under the fantasy bracket and RPGs are just one of them.

My pick this week is perhaps an obvious one, after all, if you know me, but I did deliberate a little…

World of Warcraft was my first roleplay game outside of movie/book tie-ins. As much as I loved my Chamber of Secrets game, I never felt like I was really a ‘gamer’ until my ex got me interested in the world of Azeroth. After 5 years I’m still Horde on my initial server, despite desperately wishing I could end up Alliance on a nicer and less dead PvE server, and this is where I met my boyfriend of 4 years now.

I wanted to go for Rift, or Age of Conan, or Lord of the Rings Online but as much as I tire of Azeroth, it was the first game I played and I’m still playing it now. I logged in last night to run through the new 5 man dungeons and I still love the beautiful surroundings and the lore behind it. I like hating Gnomes and Garrosh, and I like collecting mini-pets and taking screenshots of beautiful things and silly things. It is a world that keeps growing and developing and I do love it.

Jacob’s pick is something a little different. I love it!

Currently, I don’t play many games – but I used to! So, for my favourite fantasy gaming world, I had a bit of a problem: many games are great fun to play, but don’t have a great deal to appreciate in terms of originality. But there were still plenty of pick from, from the beautifully drawn – but hilarious – scenes of World of Goo, to older RPGs like Golden Sun and modern puzzlers like the ubiquitous Portal. Despite my love for all things Portal, however, I’m going to have to go for the outside choice: World of Goo. You might not call it fantasy. I do – it’s a world where (delicious) goo balls are used to fuel a power source, beauty works like gasoline, and the internet really can be circumnavigated by goo balls.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. What is World of Goo, and why did I choose it? Put simply, it’s an indie puzzle game, which involves building goo balls into ever more convoluted – and precarious – structures. Wait, come back! It’s better than it sounds! It’s full of the rather hilarious comments of the ‘Sign Painter’, some amusing events (and some outright parodies), and a healthy dose of extreme difficulty. It’s also a lot of fun, the storyline especially, which is insane. In a good way. I chose it because this combination of challenging puzzles, referential – or simply crazy – humour, and very nice aesthetics is exceedingly rare, and World of Goo is my personal favourite when it comes to the mad and eclectic.

What about you guys? I know there are some gamers among you.