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Torn City

Torn City, or just Torn, is a text-based MMORPG that focuses on crime in Torn City, a city riddled with violence and underground dealings. Considered to be a long-term game, Torn allows players to slowly build up their character in whatever fields they choose, from being a drug dealer, or kingpin to business owner; it offers limitless player choices.

Publisher: Chedburn Networks
Playerbase: High
Type: Text-based MMORPG
Release Date: November 15, 2004
Pros: +Massive amount of content. +Long term playability. +Active community.
Cons: -Slow pacing. -High learning curve.

Play Torn

Overview

Torn Overview

Torn (previously known as Torn City) is a free-to-play text-based MMORPG centered crime in the fictional Torn City. One of the primary draws of Torn is the ability to play your character however you desire, with the aim of becoming the best in whatever you choose to specialize in. The game offers a massive variety of actions to take, including selling fake horror DVDs for a quick buck, training in the gym to boost your stats, taking courses to sharpen your ability in subjects like Law or Computer Science, getting employed at a Casino or Grocery Store, and many more. It is considered a long-term game due to its limiting stamina system, that allows players to take a certain amount of actions every day until their energy, life, and nerve refill—which can be supplemented by the game’s newbie instant refills or by premium currency. The game’s premium currency is notable for applying primarily to refilling stamina bars rather than buying overpowered equipment or experience, giving the game a more level playing field between paying and non-paying users. The system fosters a greater sense of competition (and teamwork) making achievements in this game feel like real accomplishments.

Torn Key Features:

  • Text-based Gameplay – Access the game anywhere that offers an internet connection, requiring no download or special plugins to play.
  • Lots to Master – While not for everyone, the game caters to a hardcore audience of players because it takes patience and skill to succeed.
  • Focus on Player Choice – Choose between the seemingly insignificant, from deciding to search for money in a movie theater rather than a dumpster, to increasingly weighted decisions such as stat allocation or your future career.
  • Highly Customizable – Pick between three core paths: Fighter, Criminal or Executive, that start you off but don’t limit you in what you want to do.
  • Join Factions – Join the game’s version of guilds, Factions, and duke it out against other factions, running organized crimes and gaining respect to become the most respected Faction in the game.

Torn Screenshots

Torn Featured Video

Full Review

Torn Review

By Margo Sikes

I was surprised to discover that a text-based MMORPG could feel both modern and fully-featured, giving the player complete freedom and a positive social experience that only sandbox MMOs can offer, such as Mortal Online and Ultima Online. Torn has a huge population, thanks to its ability to keep players interested with its focus on social interaction and limiting gameplay, forcing players to come back the next day to continue leveling and customizing their character.

George's Missions

Torn begins with a series of graphics that introduce some basic features of the game, such as its sandbox nature, its crime-based theme and a recommendation to meet George to complete the tutorial missions. After clicking through the introductory images, the player is sent to the game itself, which primarily includes a left-oriented sidebar that details your character’s currency, stats and energy, as well as a series of links to places that the player can visit; this will become your hub of operations for the entirety of the game. The first page open is George’s Tutorial Missions, which are a series of missions that take players through the basics of the game, using flashing text and visual cues to get players used to the interface. Torn has a decent tutorial—it’s not painstakingly long, nor is it so short that I felt like I had no idea what I was doing when I finished it. Players are also given free refills as newbies, which allows them to quickly fill their Energy, Nerve, Happiness, or Life bars to full, which deplete as players perform different actions within the game.

Gaining Experience

As introduced in the tutorial, every action in the game progresses your character forward, which includes getting an education, training at the gym to boost your stats, performing petty crimes to collect money, or assaulting other players to mug, embarrass, or hospitalize. Strategic decisions are a must in this game to get anywhere near the top rankings, thanks to its relatively slow regeneration of resources and high cost on most activities. Players must choose their activities with care, and with so many options available, it is hard to know what to do. Plus, experience is hidden from the player, making it difficult to know what is worth pursuing. While Torn's tutorial introduces the game’s UI elements, map, and general gameplay, it does not tell the player what the quickest way to progress is.

The barrier for entry into the game’s rankings and boards is quite high, thanks to how long some players have been playing, and likely requires a guide if new players want to ascend quickly. Part of the difficulty curve is also Torn's time element, which forces players to be patient and come back later to accomplish anything, especially since a character’s job only pays once daily, and education takes over a week to complete individual courses.

Unlimited Choices

As players become more familiar with the game, more options arise that allow the player to become more autonomous. A player can own a store and hire other players to sell items, take a job at a player-owned company for high pay, or buy an expensive property—deck it out, then rent it to players for extra cash. As they take more college courses, more crimes open up to them, allowing them to make more and more money to buy better equipment to perform more crimes. Players can avoid crime completely and focus on turning their store into a legitimate business, or hire other players to do crimes for them.

Within the game's paths are a massive amount of options. Want to be an assassin? Pick from a huge amount of guns and armor to equip and pursue bounties. Want to own a business? Tap into the massive player base and work with friends to start an oil corporation, a strip club, a candle shop, or a multitude of other company types. Want to become a hardened criminal? Visit other countries and perform increasingly dirty crimes, eventually opening up the ability to deal stolen items out to new criminals.

Organized Crime with Friends

Factions are the game’s guilds, which offer a way for players to band together to achieve their goals as a group. They also offer a way for new players to get help from more experienced players, which includes the potential for character boosts, group housing, and friendly advice. One of the purposes of joining a faction is to commit organized crime, which offers cash benefits and increases the amount of respect the Faction has, which is the experience bar that determines which abilities are available to the faction, as well as its standing on the leaderboards. The Factions of Torn are somewhat reminiscent of strategy MMO guilds like those found in Clash of Clans and Game of War; their focus is on topping leaderboards, warring with other factions for ranking and glory, putting individual members out of commission in an attempt to secure the win.

I joined a faction titled WildDestroyers, which then declared war on a faction titled The Vibrating Killers, to challenge their ranking and steal their spot on the leader board. The Vibrating Killers contained only one member: an active level 44 player living on a private island, the most expensive property in the game. My faction leader was level 5 in comparison, reigning over a group of level 2's and 3's. I attempted to attack the enemy leader with my new faction pride, but their 2000 health points versus my 100 made it too intimidating to pull the trigger. With exception to my own, it appears that most factions do know what they're doing, and new players should take care in selecting their faction on the game's recruitment forums.

Mug and Hospitalize Your Foes

The PvP of Torn is both solo and faction-based, and can be initiated either through the game's search menu or by finding a player in one of the game's buildings. Clicking on the player's name brings you to their profile, which allows for a series of actions to be taken, such as attack, place bounty, or message. Attacking a player takes you to a screen that shows two X-ray bodies next to each other. Once you begin the fight, each player's inventory is shown, and players are able to click on each equipped weapon to initiate attacks. The attacks randomly hit the enemy at different body points, more damage being dealt to certain points of the body. Stats come into play and give the battles a strategy element, as melee weapons are more effective against players with high dexterity, because they have a higher chance to hit than ranged weapons. Guns, on the other hand, consume bullets which can be purchased from the ammo locker and it is important to note which guns you have equipped, as many types of ammo exist.

Once you have won the fight the enemy is at your mercy and you are given the option to leave, mug, or hospitalize. Leaving them gives experience and puts them in the hospital for 30-40 minutes, whereas hospitalizing them sends them there for 3-4 hours. Mugging, on the other hand, rewards the player with 1-10% of their held cash which can be increased with Merits, the game's skill point system.

Donator Status

Unlike many other free-to-play MMORPGs, Torn does not allow premium members any special game-breaking benefits. The primary function of the game’s premium currency, Points, is to refill player bars, allowing them to perform more actions in a single sitting; it speeds up gameplay for players spending real money. Players can also sell premium items for in-game cash. You cannot buy experience or equipment, however, meaning that a great amount of effort is still involved in playing the game regardless of the player’s premium currency funds. Torn also offers a subscription service that gives players a special subscriber icon, access to daily prize draws, seasonal gifts, character upgrades and monthly point deposits. This is in great contrast to many pay-to-win MMORPGs such as Felspire or Lord's Road, that allow players to literally buy levels in some cases. Torn's premium shop is respectable, offering good benefits for players who choose to pay but not giving them an unfair advantage that is so often prevalent in free games.

Final Verdict - Great

While certainly not a game for everyone, thanks to its lack of graphics and long-term time investment, Torn shines in multiple categories, including uniqueness, polish, and community. As my experience with text-based games is limited mostly to one or two less-than-ideal experiences, I didn't come into Torn expecting very much, and was surprised at how much the text itself was able to convey a living game world without the need for 2D or 3D avatars running from place to place. It still manages to feel modern even though it is a text-based game. My one complaint is that Torn requires a lot of patience, which may turn off players who are more used to having their levels handed to them. Overall, it's an interesting, unique game worth checking out for fans of sandbox games and crime themes.

Videos

Torn Videos

Links

Torn Online Links

Torn Official Site
Torn Official Forums
Torn Wiki (Database / Guides)
Torn Reddit

System Requirements

Torn System Requirements

Minimum Requirements:

Operating System: Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10, Mac OSX
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Equivalent
Video Card: Any Graphics Card (Integrated works well too)
RAM: 512 MB
Hard Disk Space: 100 MB (Cache)

Torn is a browser-based MMORPG and will run smoothly on practically any computer. Any modern web browser should run the game smoothly, as it is text-based and only requires images to load.

Additional Information

Torn Additional Information

Developer: Chedburn Networks
Publisher: Chedburn Networks

Designer: Joe Chedburn

Release Date: November 15, 2004

Development History / Background:

Torn was developed and published by Chedburn Networks, company of designer, Joe Chedburn. The idea for the game sprang up in Chedburn's head at the age of 16, and has since become immensely successful, turning him into a millionaire at the age of 21. Torn makes around $80,000 dollars a month through its premium subscriptions and purchases, and has surprised many tech entrepreneurs who doubted that a graphic-less game could ever be profitable. It is developed primarily for an English-speaking audience, its game chats and forums being English-only, although individual faction's private forums are not moderated, allowing for non-English speakers to play as well. It attracts nearly 20,000 players daily, and is constantly being updated by its original developer, with news coming out on the game's weekly newspaper, the Torn City Times.

  • gumby

    Looks interesting, but text-based MMORPG's will always attract a specific audience. Don't think this game could come out today and do as well.

    • royal_kitsune

      As someone that plays this gane i would have to disagree the game is cchallenging and not for the gimme gimme this that and thatt crowd but if you like a game that rewards you for time investment. this is your game! The community this game has is awesome as well 🙂

  • SurfrDude

    This game is fantastic !

  • Aretilda

    I'm obsessed with this game.

  • Cursed

    your energy refills fully every 5 hours or so, but there are so many other things you can be doing in that time

  • Bert de Jong

    Terrible community, after 2 days of playing a lvl74 guy named bloodbaine but me 12 times!! on the bounty list putting mei n the hospital for 4,5 hours after every hit making me unable to play the game for 2,5 days. Needless to say i was done very quickly with it and never ever seen such a terrible and awfull online community in a mmo/rpg

    • Jan de Boer

      I agree with you, it takes time to level and make money in torn but saddly the community of "older" players is only working against you

      • Dema Vahi

        Not quite true....
        Who do you think is buying the drugs you are importing?
        Who do you think is paying the salary from the company job you are working (quite ineffectively as well, since a newbie has very little stats)?
        Who do you think is paying you the money for losses?
        Who do you think is paying the prizes for all the contests in the fun and games forum?
        Who do you think is paying for the training factions?

        Need I go on?

        But yes, be a dick to people, and people will be a dick to you.

    • KoreanCherryBoy

      You can't be attacked by high level players until 10th day. Keep playing and please stop spreading false infomation.

    • SurfrDude

      Maybe that has something to do with the way you approached the community? There is usually a reason why you get the "bad" treatment... act like an ass and be treated like one 🙂 I kind like that aspect of this game - It makes it even more "realistic" 😉

    • MissP

      Most people don't just bounty others out of nowhere. 9 out of 10 times it is because those getting bountied run their mouth. The fact that you think you have knowledge about how the community is says enough. Bounties are usually a reaction, not an action.

  • BreannaJoy

    I wish games like Torn wouldn't call themselves text-based. There should be a more accurate description for them.

  • WiZ

    This game is a complete joke
    I came looking for a actual old school text-based rpg and instead i got a shitty version of a phone game. I was only able to hit level 11 after a few days and met a huge wall just because I insulted Donald Trump in the forums.
    A player saw my post in the forums and put a bounty on me. Now remember that a forum is a place where people speak about a topic and the topic was what the people of Torn think of donald trump becoming president.
    What a bounty does is mark the player for all of Torn to see but the issue with this is after the player with the bounty has been attacked they are in the hospital for 4-5 real time HOURS! And because EVERYONE of Torn could see my bounty (high levels and low levels) the player with the bounty will constantly be getting attacked every single time they leave the hospital.
    When I told the Devs about this issue they said "It is working as intended" and just gave me some meds. But after I used the meds to be released out of the hospital I was put right back in by a level 60 player. What this means is that people that are just starting out the game not only have a high chance of getting bountied by the terrible community just because it is cheap to put a bounty on a low level also will be unable to play the game until the bounty comes off.BUT the person that put a bounty on me continously resets the timer EVERY DAY making me unable to play unless I want to stare at the clock after every 4 hour mark. DO NOT PLAY THIS GAME.

    • Dema Vahi

      There is a maximum of 10 bounties that a player can put on your head at any given time. So med out, ride it out, and come out alive on the other side. Yes, it is a pain in the ass. Trust me, I've been there. I once spent about two weeks in the hospital. Only waiting for my energy to be full, then med out, train and...bam...back in the hospital. Nope, it ain't easy. But it is a challenge which can be overcome.

  • SurfrDude

    I have been playing this game for years - Excellent community of people. Tons of stuff to do and constant improvements of the game itself - There is no better RPG game out there - Check it out !

  • MissP

    The game is free to play, no-one forces you to pay for anything. There are loads of things to do besides spending your energy. Doing crimes, playing casino games such as roulette, high/low, but you can also play poker with other players or use the chatboxes to interact with other players. There are monthly competitions people can join. It is more than just spending energy.

  • Yomen

    "because I'll never get that person's words out of my head"

    Please repost when you have actually had some form of difficulty in your life. It is a game, that is based on killing, crime, mugging and selling using drugs. What was it you expected?

    The admins knew exactly who was messaging you, and you were being laughed at behind your back for being a whiner. They know where every email starts and originates.

    It seems to me that you obviously did something, because otherwise you weren't worth the TC cash to put bounties on. There is more to the story than you say here, and anyone who has played the game for more than a month knows your story is nonsense.

    • C

      That's BS. I played for about 120 days. Got to level 17. Became a donator and attempte to chat with a high level player to learn more. Once i politely told this player I wasn't interested in marriage she treated me the same way. Multiple bounties. Unable to play, admins not interested. Forum called me a whiner. I quit. Do not recommend wasting time on this game.

  • Brett Murphy

    This game is run and dominated by the majority of players who have been around for almost a decade. The mods are lazy and don't want to upkeep it much, they won't even consider a second server because they don't want to do extra work - Most new players quit in the first few weeks. Do you like fighting people? Okay there's a list of inactives you get to fight. You'll be doing this for a few years (because of how many people quit the game after realizing the above) and then when you finally do get the opportunity to kill one of the egotistical no-lifers that bad mouthed you in general just because they could - Well, you get to kill them because they went inactive too. If you want to attack unarmed people who can't fight back, or listen to yourself speak because of your huge ego, then this game is probably for you. If not, wait for the game to die and them to announce a second server when it will be much better.

    • Lewis Bell

      You Really just talking a load of bollocks the game has a total of 10 servers and a full time development team, just because you get butthurt when it didnt go ur way doesn't mean u spread lies

  • ryan egger

    Do not play Torn City, they made the game fun but in the long run will actually just take your money. I really like this game and supported the concept. So I invested real money through the donator house, come to find out months later that the admins will just strip you of your TC cash you have made and put you in debt in the game. The obvious thought behind this is to get more money from the person who invested but this thoroughly gave me perspective on how these admins "protect" their game and customers. Again if you play do not put money on the game for they will make up a reason to take it from you. I have put about $450 into the game for DPS and with the nonsense these admins pulled my account looks as if its -$800, as if I was just going to buy out of the hole they put me in. So in the end they actually took the money I invested and want me to put more money into the game as if nothing happened. 0/5 review due to administration and thievery.

    • Dema Vahi

      Something tells me there's more to this story than you are currently sharing with us.

      • Lewis Bell

        A large number of people had money taken off them for insider trading on the stock market as they spent billions on stock that then increased tenfold with an update

  • mark

    what to say about this game........ well, its not easy to start, there is a lot to learn about the game mechanics. BUT there is a lot more to learn about the way you speak to ppl. I have read all the previous comments and each story has told only half the truth. Torn IS harsh and can be unforgiving BUT use a little commonsense with the way you speak to ppl and you have no issues. Ppl seem to think that with net anon they can speak any way they want to ppl and then whine when the backlash starts. I know Bloodbaine very well in game and he only bounties ppl that have treated him with disrespect, MaxHeadRoom is another, he bounties ppl that are basically annoying. Collete will bounty you for all of the above simply because she has a pathologically low tolerance for morons. BUT the simple fact is that there are higher levels above you and if you cant be polite you will get stomped.

    AS for the game, the GIMME GIMME attitude will get you nowhere fast, it takes time and actual effort to get ahead but once you do it gets easier. It can take years to get this good and you will get knocked about along the way. Because its a browser game it can be played anywhere... a quick 5mins or there or having it on in the background whilst you work. And that is the beauty of it, you get out what you put in.

    TORN IS A MARATHON NOT A SPRINT.

    As for you butthurt whiners, try thinking about your own attitudes before blaming others for their reaction to yours.

  • mark

    absolute crap, harrassment is taken extremely by the staff and they investigate properly. your player character also has certain features that allow you to block messages. You CAN report anon messages and anon cash sends, obviously the staff can see the sender.

  • Dema Vahi

    Torn is an awesome game. I have been playing it well over a decade (with a few hiatuses, but still). And newbies have it so much easier now than in the past. I mean, back then... on a good day you'd make $500 from crimes. Now, a newbie can just sell a "loss" and get 500K or more just by doing one attack.

    The game is developing as well, we've just had a total redo of factions and territories. Some people have difficulty adapting, but hey, that's life.

    Now, the reason I am here is that someone made a thread pointing out there's some negativity here. And indeed, there is.

    I've read the reviews, and basically it comes down to the same: newbies are getting bountied to the point of leaving the game. You'd almost think we, old players, are out on a quest to bully you all. Of course, it is not quite like that.

    You see, there's two kind of new players. All players start playing the game, and discover there's oldtimers around with a lot of power and wealth. That's where the split comes. You have the players who take this as a given and play the game wisely. They make friends with others, learn from others, and do quite well.

    And there are those, who run to the forums on their second day, and complain about things. They tell us how stupid everything is, and that it isn't fair that they are poor while others are rich. They start discussions which nobody wants to talk about, because we've seen the same thing a million times before. And when people tell them what things are like (don't beg, get a job, read the guide and play the game), some throw a tantrum and get really disrespectful.

    Now, Torn is a game of crime. It's not FarmVille, where you grow crops and visit neighbour farms to water their crops. No, this is a game of power and violence.

    Imagine you are new in a town, and you see a gang of strong warlords, heavily armed with machine guns. You have a slingshot. Are you going to attack them, insult them? Or are you clever enough to figure that this might not be a smart thing to do? Well...some players aren't that smart.

    And that is where the likes of MaxHeadRoom and Collete catch on to you. Granted, they are psychopaths. Collete has even announced how it is her/his mission in live to clean the Torn Streets of rude newbies. And she does. She's actually quite effective.

    But... she does this ONLY when provoked. If you learn, if you show respect to people, if you show a dedication to play the game and not expect people to hand it to you, then you will be fine. But if you run around insulting people, yes... then you're a goner. If you learn your lesson along the way (you know, the same lesson your mom taught you about being polite and respectful to people), the bounties usually stop.

    (Note: I actually very much dislike Collete in the game, but that does not change the fact she only targets people who are being a dick).

    Personally, I have done the same to one player. Not really my style, but hey... there's a maximum of crap I am willing to tolerate. If you step over the line, I am going to act. It really is that simple. And since a bounty is so much cheaper than doing it myself, a bounty it is.

    So, in short: Torn is an awesome game. Just don't be a dick. Because nobody likes that.

  • Dema Vahi

    Sexual harassment is an absolute no-no, and it is dealt with severely. But you do have to report. And admins DO have all the info. Admins can see where anonymous mails came from.

    I won't deny there are nutcases in Torn. Because ...yep...there are... but stuff like this is taken seriously, all the way up to the owner of the game.

  • Dema Vahi

    Isn't every game in some way based on limited resources? Travian requires you to have grain in order to be able to do something. The many social games all have some form of time-related limitations too. So what's the problem?

  • Z_junior

    Brilliant game, it is rather sad when BodyBagger [99177] attacks me and loses but apart from that it's pretty fun. Big thanks to Champion [1927067] for making it so enjoyable and being a great best friend (don't mess with him - he's under my protection)

  • Jimmy DeLury

    Awesome game, starts out a little slow. Would be very beneficial to check out the forums and IRC. The forums offer many tutorials and guides on multiple aspects of the game and are very helpful to new players. Just be respectful and mindful of what you do and say...and everything should go well for you until you get a grasp of the game.

  • Plattling

    You need a lot of knowledge about coding or you will be left behind in this game. You're basicly competing with scripts rather then with other human beings. If you can not code you won't be able to play this game properly.