This post is actually a compilation of the last few days. I was trying to get through a few more goals so that I could get the satisfaction of really understanding the fun of this game. In the end, it just ended up taking way too long to accomplish anything without taking short cut to pay for progress.
Admittedly, I also was stubborn in the spamming and recruitment of friends which limited my ability to get the items necessary to build certain game items. It just feels at times that the requests are relentless and it is to the point where it is almost embarrassing to be bugging people with such high frequency. This is a huge annoyance in all games. I suppose it is a double edged sword because that which bugs is also that which makes it popular.
I would not be completely unwilling to invest money into a FB game, but the more I think about it with regards to this game, it should get some kind of pay off before I am willing to pay. In the end I did not feel any real pay off to this game, nothing unique except for the design. I felt the play space was small and there was only so much you could do with it, to the point where I felt all your design options were somewhat useless. Some of the other games I have played I think I will come back to, but I think I am going to hang up my monster hat with this one. I can see the appeal for some players, but it just wasn't for me.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Still grinding to complete goals. When it takes several hours for one plant to be ready to harvest, it is going to take forever to complete these goals and progress. Because I am up to level 14 on Day 5, and higher than my four neighbors, I’m under the impression that they too have given up on the repetitive and time consuming grinding of planting and harvesting goals as well. Yet, with 8 million monthly users it seems there must be something that keeps people coming back.
Monday, July 25, 2011
I am getting kind of bored with “plant 50 types of this plant, and harvest 50 types of this plant” that seems to be a never ending theme of the latest set of goals. It takes forever and the tedium is less than fun.
I know fb games require you to ask friends for things, and that is how they attract more people to the game, but it makes me not want to play any more if I have to ask every single person on my friends list for a screw driver ten times over. I guess there is the option of paying, but it would be nice to find a better incentive for drawing people into the game.
Day 4 has been super simple and way too boring. The characters and the animations have lost their luster after the lame goals.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Think I found a bug: I am unable to build the baby bed that I am supposed to and nothing happens when I follow the instructions and place it. That is kind of a bummer. Two major bugs in 3 days isn’t cool.
Today was a full day of just planting crops and harvesting them. The plants I need to harvest to progress in my goals take quite a while to grow, so until they are finished growing I can’t do much.
My other progression goal requires me to either pay Facebook money, or wait another day until I can collect from my friends. I guess the third option is to invite more friends to play, but I am anti spamming. I don’t want to lose friends because they are upset with me spamming them with invites. So I will wait till tomorrow to make head way in this game.
Friday, July 22, 2011
Ok, since I had not fed my helper in several hours he ate up all the plants in my garden. I think that is pretty funny.
I’m feeling pretty tired tonight. The two goals I had to complete tonight required me to visit friends, and since I have already done that and cannot help them again today, I have to wait a few hours for some of my plants to harvest so I can replant them.
That works out well with it being kind of late in the evening. So far this game is pretty amusing.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
I was able to make it past the level 3 bug. 90% of the game play so far revolves around your garden.
I like their system for hiring friends to water your garden and then feeding them to keep them there longer.
Leveling up to 8 was pretty quick and rewarding. Plants seem to grow pretty quick, and the ones I planted yesterday were still there waiting for me to harvest when I got back to it today.
If you feed a friend you can keep them watering your plants for a long stretch of time.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Another virtual world game akin to Farmville and the like. I am almost finding it confusing to have so many similar type games going at once and keeping track of how they all work with their slight differences.
My first thought was that I am really liking the fun art style and cute animations of the characters. I think it really adds a lot to the game play. The initial goals were simple and very quick, I never had to wonder what to do next while I got my bearings on the game. I accomplished lots of planting and harvesting right off the bat that was quick and easy.
Where I kind of hit a brick wall and stopped playing for the night is when I made it to level 3 and the game crashed. No matter what, it kept crashing and reloading and I would have to repeat what I had done to level up to level 3 again. On the third crash I said screw it, and turned the game off. We’ll see if this issue happens again on Day 2.
Monday, July 18, 2011
Okay, I don’t know if it is a bug, but I can not figure out how to give my villagers gifts.
The only other goal I can possibly complete is to add another family member to my family tree. After that, the goal is to add their birth date.
I think this game has made me uncomfortable and frustrated enough that we are only going to make it to day six with this stinker. It’s unfortunate because it is a local study and I really wanted to like it.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Bleh. Still getting the server error when trying to go to the family tree page to complete a progression goal. Also, still unable to buy gifts. Not sure if I am too dumb to figure it out, or if I need to report that as a problem.
Even though I played late last night and this is just a few hours later in the morning all my jobs had still expired. Since I was unable to progress I spent a long ten minutes clearing out the wild trees and bushes in my home, visited my neighbors and tried to find something I could do besides invite them to visit my village (couldn’t figure anything out).
Hoping I can make it to Day 7 before giving up all together.
Well hey! One of my jobs didn’t expire and I was able to collect some game money - however while trying to complete the goals I got an error connecting to the data server which stopped my ability to complete one of them.
My other goal was to raise the morale of my villagers by buying them gifts, but of course there were no gifts anywhere to be found in my inventory. With this apparent brick wall, I am calling it a day.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Once again my jobs had expired a few hours later and I had to ask friends to recover them. Totally lame! Seriously, how often do I have to play this game?
I was then notified of a newspaper article that the game had found about my mother, and asked if it was my relative. I said yes and it tried to make me buy the documentation for 5 village bucks. I have no village bucks, so it would cost real world money to buy it - I don’t think so. I am not even sure what that documentation would benefit me in the game, and it is kind of creepy.
I found a new business I could buy without inserting my credit card and set my avatar to work.
I tried visiting friends again, but still not sure what to do in their worlds. I tried clicking on everything, scratch that, I just got one of the other avatars to cut down a tree, and now consequently have figured out that my avatar can chop down all my crappy trees too. Progress.
I spent some time completing some goals and finding my family tree, using only my facebook friends, which made it easy to add family members with a couple clicks. I added my wife, and most of my brothers and sisters. It will be interesting to see what the game does with that info the next day i log in.
I was happy to see more goals/tutorials that were fast and easy to complete actually showed me how to play the game. It also helped me level up a little faster and make me feel rewarded as a player.
Friday, July 15, 2011
So I turned on the music this time and it was old time upbeat music that fit well. I was discouraged to find that though I had only been away for a few hours, the jobs that I had started for myself, my mom and my dad had already expired. Made me wonder how often you have to check in just to progress in the game.
I set myself back to work to accomplish the only goal I had with the exception of buying a business I could not afford. I noticed that I had three neighbors I could visit, so I did, but when I got to their games II was not sure what to do there. There were help tokens on the left side, but as far as I could tell there was nothing I could do except invite people to visit me back. Upon getting back to my game, one of the people I had invited was already visiting me. It was cool to see them visit in real time and I have often wished that Cityville had this feature.
Something to note as well is that the other two people had not made it as far as I had in my five minutes of playing the game. The sounds were humorous when I set a village member to work as a “whisper catcher in the library”. A voice could be heard saying “shhhhh be quiet”.
Also, the game made its first attempt to locate one of my family members. It thought my dad was some dude in Minnesota, and of course I promptly set it straight.
For some reason I was awarded some village cash and I bought a school house. And that is as far as I was able to progress. The game has some serious flaws, but I must admit that Day 2 was better than Day 1.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Heard about this game from a school mate. It was made in Lehi, Utah and is in beta with a monthly user base of 26k.
My initial thought going through the tutorial was that they are using Cityville or Farmville as a template, but adding some additional complexities to it that did not make it feel like I was jumping into the game.
Another weird aspect is that to populate my village I have to input the names of actual relatives and give them jobs, etc... I think the game is supposed to start finding relatives on it’s own to add to your family tree and population.
It only took about 5 minutes to complete a handful of goals and get oriented before it asked me to buy Family Cash to continue. This is where I called it quits for Day 1.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Last review log: Unfortunately I did not post consistently each day but I think the fact that I continued to play several times a day, even when I was not posting notes, shows that this game was indeed fun.
I still refuse to pay money to speed up the process of leveling up and building out my island. I find the frequency that it asks me to invite friends to play terribly annoying and I notice that without an amazing amount of friends playing, staffing your new government buildings is near impossible without shelling out some cash. I suppose that is the point of the game.
My wife has commented about how lame my facebook wall looks with all the item requests that are spammed all over it. Yet, I still plan on playing this game - so you win, yet again, Zynga.
Monday, July 4, 2011
Goals continue to be too many to really keep track of while grinding through the level.
Energy is used up pretty quickly while playing campaign mode.
I have one friend who is continually invading me, which I find annoying, but that adds to the game play because I am not mad at the game, I am mad at him, which I think is fun.
Goals and upgrades are now to the point of rebuilding your industry buildings.
Still having fun, but don’t feel like I am experiencing anything new.
Sunday, July 3, 2011
Ok, this is not really the fifth day of playing,. I have logged in to play for a few days but have not written about it. Nothing new in game play, just a lot of the same. Still somewhat enjoyable, but getting mindless and kind of boring. Invasion from friends seem to keep me motivated, as I feel somewhat violated when they invade my empire.
I am now at level 18 and am grinding my way up in level and along the story line. Goals have built up pretty heavily to the point where there are so many uncompleted that I am having a hard time remembering things. I need so many permits and items to progress that I can’t really focus on any, and to bypass this you need a ridiculous amount of badges that can only be acquired by paying real world cash.
Saturday, July 2, 2011
Played a couple of times today - I am enjoying invading empires.
I was a little worried after not logging in for about a week while I was on vacation (I decided against taking the laptop) when I noticed that all my neighbors had leveled up, and were well above me. It was fun to see that I could still invade and beat them. I invaded about 10 all together and it was rewarding to come back later that night and collect the spoils as they had not yet been able to fend me off.
I am now at level 15. Leveling up is still pretty boring. I am trying to complete the missions as quickly as possible, but it takes time. Tonight I have been playing on a super laggy laptop and it sucks.
I am happy to see that I am able to ask my neighbors for parts today and have a list of just them, so I don’t have to search individually or spam everybody on my FB friends lists. I also found a cheat website that makes it easier to ask for parts. We shall see if this increases the speed at which I am able to build and complete goals tomorrow.