Want some Command & Conquer goodness while Facebooking the night away? Get some!
Tag - facebook games
Maker of Facebook wall spam Zynga recently released the trailer for its upcoming brand new social game: Adventure World. The game is coming very soon. But even sooner than the game is the speculation around the importance of Zynga’s IPO and how the game can make or break the IPO’s timing as well as its success. Is this game carrying more weight than it should? Find out more at OSG1
Civ World is a gaming that I really wanted to like. Certainly Civilization has been one of my favourite series throughout the years, and even the latest version, Civ V, was brilliant. The main weakness of Civilization, in my opinion, has been the difficulty of multi-player. It still mostly relies on the players to organize themselves. By taking the game to Facebook, Civ World commited to fully embracing multi-player. Unfortunately, a lot of the original series’ appeal was lost in the process.
Travian just hit 400k fans on Facebook, which is cool. At the same time, Empires & Allies already has 400k. It’s interesting that there’s still such a separation between these two markets. Travian players have been playing browser games for years before Facebook ever showed up, and they haven’t really embraced Facebook. At the same time, the millions of Facebook users are just now being introduced to strategy games.
As I mentioned, last week Zynga launched their first strategy game, Empires & Allies. I’m hoping that they’re going to be introducing a whole new generation of players to online strategy games, and want to welcome them! But, they’re going to need some help. So, I’ve decided to put together an Empires & Allies strategy guide. This will walk you through each of the battles, leading all the way up to Raven himself. I’ve added the first campaign today and will add the next two over the next couple days.
Moreover, I’m hoping to be the first player to slay Raven! This is going to be very difficult as there are already players who have gone past me. It’s amazing how much time and money must be dedicating to this game! However, hopefully I can still catch up. If you’d like to lend me a hand, check out OSG1 on Facebook.
But for my loyal readers, don’t worry. This Facebook phase is just to tide me over until Aloriah’s new server starts and/or I get an invite for the Civ World Beta.
It seems like it’s the Summer of Strategy Games. The biggest news is that today Zynga launched “Empires & Allies”. This is the developer’s first realy step into the strategy genre, and it will be interesting how far they take it. Zynga’s games have a history of being overly simplistic, and more like casino slot machines than an actual game. It seems that with Empires & Allies, they are at least taking steps.
It’s time for another contest, brought to you specially by Tororin, the winner of previous! I really liked the last contest, but thought we needed more entires, so now is your chance! All you have to do is post a comment filling in this sentence: “You know you’ve been playing ____ too much when…” Insert your favourite mmo browser game into the blank, finish it off, and you’re done. At the end of next week (June 3rd) I’ll pick my favourite and the winner will get 10€ of virtual currency for their game. Entries will be judged based on humour, cleverness, applicability, and, most importantly, how much I like them. Feel free to enter as many times as you want! For examples of entries, just see the previous contest! No fair copying.
Most of our time spent in online strategy games such as Travian or Lord of Ultima, or casual games such as Cityville or Social City, is spent carefully building beautiful cities and glorious empires. So it’s time to reflect on the cities we build in digital space.
Send in an image of your virtual city as well as a short story about it, also mentioning which game it’s from, and have a chance to win $30 USD in virtual currency to spend on the mmo of your choice. Facebook Credits, Ikariam Ambrosia, Travian Gold, whatever you want.
Submit your images and stories by Monday, March 7th. On the 9th I’ll choose my favourite ten, post them on the site, and then leave it to a public vote. The entry that has the most votes by March 25th wins! Send any entries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Stories will be selected based on humour, epicness, and clarity.
Just a note about my last contest. I only received 4 entries and the winner only had 15 votes! Think you can get more than 15 votes? Then submit!
Here’s my own example of an entry, though obviously I’m ineligible!
Orchid Valley: Clash of Kingdoms
This is Orchid Valley, a busy little town in the Kingdom of Tao. Orchid Valley is nearly identical to the other manors under Gorogorosama’s rule. It has a group of fields, quarries, and lumber yards. As the citizens are too poor to unlock the Plus lots, all of them lay empty across from the Archery Ranges. Orchid Valley has three Archeries, as the denizens believe in doing one thing and doing it well. In this case, that one thing is raining arrows down upon their enemies.
The people of Orchid Valley have recently made an interesting discovery. For some peculiar reason, the advanced Imperial Archers cost more Stone than anything else. A LOT more stone. Unfortunately, the only method of exchanging resources lies in the City’s marketplace, which charges either Gold or Coupons for every transaction. And so, Orchid Valley began an epic endeavor. The workers started upgrading the manor’s warehouse, and upgrading it more. One was not enough, so another was built right next door.
Slowly the warehouse capacity is growing. Meanwhile, Orchid Valley has become the center of Gorogorosama’s realm, as the surplus Wood and Iron from the other manors come flowing in, all stored in Orchid Valley, so that in one fell swoop, Gorogorosama may exchange 10 Million Resources for the Stone he so desperately needs, all for 10 coupons. Will this epic task be complete before the hordes of Shao poor down from the North? Will the exchange of so many resources at once create an inbalance in the space-time continuum? We shall see. We shall see…
For months I’ve been bunkered down here with my laptop and a shotgun, blasting any zombies that stumble through the door and declining wave after wave of Facebook invitiations. But finally, my guard slipped and I got bit; I’ve started playing Cityville. To set context, of course my true love is online strategy games, but I have to confess I was having an affair with Playdom’s Social City for several months before I grew bored of her. I also dabbled in Farmville, just to see what all the fuss was about. With that said, here are my thoughts on Zynga’s latest offer.
Cityville is the love child between Farmville and a Slot Machine, hopped up on gamma radiation. All over Oliver-Ville buildings are spitting out coins and stars; hearts and lighting bolts are falling from the sky; meters are overflowing. As embarassing as it is for this “hardcore gamer” to admit, it is immensely satisfying to click on shiny things and fill up bars. In that sense the game is very slick and well polished, with a style that probably appeals to a lot of “casual” gamers. Regardless of what you think of the gameplay, Cityville is a slick flash game and Zynga definitely knows how to package something.
Of course the game spreads like a zombie-infection, because it’s designed so that you NEED to get help from your friends in order to progress. Unfortunately, this is still done in a very shallow fashion, with more emphasis on quantity over quality interactions. One of the features I was looking forward to was being able to “Staff” your Community Buildings with your Ctiyville friends. For example, to finish the Police HQ you need to find five friends to work there. I had thought this would be the start of some sort of meaningful gaming relationship, but apparently “working at my Police HQ” just means accepting my initial invitation, and that’s the end of it. I believe I have the same friends working at my Town Hall, Police HQ, and hospital. Lietuenant Joe Mayor, PhD. Further, once I fill all the vacancies, the building is considered “done” and I can no longer see who’se working there. That part of the game is over.
As I’m writing this review, I realize that my carrots are probably withering away. As in Zynga’s previous games, if you don’t click on something soon enough, it dies. I love being punished for NOT playing a game. Is this supposed to teach me responsibility? ‘Features’ like these are all over the game with Zynga’s very aggressive monetization scheme, but they make the game seem more like a commercial than an actual game. The problem becomes that most of what you’re able to buy is the chance to click on more shiney things, and I guess it’s up to each player to decide how much that’s worth.
One thing that Cityville excels at is letting me create and design my own city. In games like Travian and Ikariam, you are only given a couple dozen buildings and a couple dozen slots, which doesn’t really offer much in terms of customization. In Cityville, though, just like Farmville and Social city, you can put the roads wherever you want, put the buildings wherever you want, and decorate with parks, animals, and white picket fences. In that sense it’s a lot like playing with blocks or Leggos. Except that every ten minutes or so you need to drop in a quarter or ask your friends if you can keep playing.
Overall, the game definitely fulfills that need for a creative outlet, and the bells and whistles make it a very enjoyable experience. However, those searching to engage higher brain function or looking for a game that takes proper advantage of Facebook’s social platform will be a little disappointed. At the same time, Cityville, along with other similar casual games, does a brilliant job of reaching people who previously weren’t gamers at all, and maybe this will be the first step on their journey.