Rift's mobile app adds guild chat, mini-games, and invasion alarms


High school reunions, terrible plays, and the trunk of a murderer's car all have one thing in common: they're places we'd rather be playing Rift. The new free mobile app from Trion Worlds brings these and other on-the-go moments a little more Rift from the convenience of your phone, with some pretty novel features.

The backbone of the Rift app is the ability to chat with your guild in real time. Browse over a list of your current characters, select one, and seconds later you can see (and respond to) what people are saying about you while you're at work. You can also see what guild members and friends are online, send them private messages, and make entries to the guild wall--an exclusive message board for your guild.

As I was chatting with my guildies today, I noticed that items and player abilities were being linked within the app. I clicked one and my phone immediately loaded up a picture, akin to the game's tool tips, showing me the item's stats, icon and designated equipment slot.

If playing games is more your thing, the Rift app also contains two mini-games that mimic scratch tickets, giving you the chance to win in-game rewards. I played a few games of each (tic-tac-toe and matching three of a kind) and earned various rewards, including crafting mats and collectible artifacts. It costs 1 token per game, and I started with six credits, but easily played 12 games thanks to the free replay bonuses given out as prizes. If you're in an extra large line at the DMV, you'll be able to scratch a few more games than that, as you regenerate one credit ever hour.

Another feature allows players to see what invasion events are happening at any given moment in Telara. So if that DMV line takes so long that you run out of mini-game tokens, you can at least see what events you're missing out on, close your eyes, and pretend you're there battling back baddies. Even better, the application has a customizable alarm system that can notify you the second an invasion strikes in a particular zone during a specified time.

Sure, MMO mobile apps may not make for the most productive work days, but this one does a great job of keeping you connected with the game world and your in-game family.