I first played Kingdom of Loathing several years ago, when it first came out. It was all the rage among my nerdy community of Internet friends and, steeped as we were in the lore and mythology that goes along with said communities, all the inside jokes in KoL were heartily received. The beauty of the game was its ironic simplicity, particularly in the face of the ever complex MMORPGs that were becoming popular at the time. For someone like me, who enjoyed throwbacks to an earlier time, when the Internet was a "text-based medium" (har har), the stick-figure drawings and simple interface were charming and welcome.
We quickly got into the game and, as I played for purposes of class, I remembered how truly addictive it is. The hook, in this case, is to see what quirky, fun inside joke lies around the corner; it's certainly not cool graphics that brings one into the game.
The other great part of the game is that it's browser-based, making it accessible from just about any computer with an Internet connection. No fancy software is needed, and it's easy to log in and play a few moves from, say, work - not that I am advocating this.
I chose to be a Pastamancer this time around, and I am tickled by the fact that the game has both Pastamancers and Saucerors, mirroring the classic RPG distinction between various kinds of magic users...oh, the list of references to the canon of RPG and geek culture goes on and on and on. This game is so clever.
Thanks for getting me cracked out again.