Maple Story is an anomaly in the current MMORPG market. The graphics consist of flat, 2D images on a sidescrolling field. Its characters are cute anime caricatures, rather than the grimy orcs, hulking warriors and top-heavy elf women we've come to expect from the genre. But perhaps its biggest differentiating factor is that it's a 100% free download - at least, according to the ads and the website.
Starting up in Maple Story is as simple as hopping over to the Nexon website, registering and downloading the game's software. Since Maple Story is a pretty simple title, it should still perform well on a PC that's not top-spec. Once you boot it up, you'll be prompted to create a character from very limited options that you'll be able to change down the line.
From there, gameplay is easy to dive into. You run and jump around the 2D environments, pounding on enemies and snapping up the loot they drop. You can form parties with other players, take on dungeons, set out on quests or go shopping in towns. When you gain levels, you can boost stats and skills, and eventually change into different classes - Magician, Thief, Warrior and Bowman - and various subclasses of each.