One of the primary reasons this blog is so infrequently updated is that I am a Facebook addict. There, I’ve said it, and I feel better. I’ve wasted hundreds, if not thousands, of hours in front of the pit of timesuck which is Zuckerberg’s gift to the world. Instead of using it as a platform for stalking exes, talking with old friends, or networking, I am a social gamer. There are a lot of good, bad, meh and yes, stupid games floating around out there in Facebook Land, and I’ve probably played most of them. In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, here is Fluffy’s Handy Guide to Facebook Games.
Oh, God, avoid this one at all costs. Started out as a fun timesucker with a high dosage of friend interaction and a slight competitive bent, with a high potential for personalization. Currently a second job, if you’re already employed, and a full-time one if you’re not; also, aspects of the game which were initially entertaining and free (horse breeding, tree masteries) are so no longer– trees and animals have increased in price exponentially, and if you aren’t willing to spend some real cash for fake stuff, you aren’t even going to get one of each. Too many new releases have crowded up the gameplay, with no option to opt out (the introduction and subsequent emphasis on crafting was particularly unwelcome), and the player now has three farms to keep tabs on. Yes, THREE farms. Two was pushing it, since my original farm was pretty much neglected once we got the second, and I quit when they announced they were adding a third. Leveling up is difficult once you’ve reached the 100+ Club, unless you resort to exploiting known glitches in the game, and if leveling is your primary source of the game’s premium currency– one dollar of it is awarded per level– then you’re pretty much screwed. It’s a more expensive hobby than collecting manga or even rare coins, and less satisfying. Also, the darn thing never wants to load. Run as fast as you can in the opposite direction if someone tries to get you to play this.
I pretty much hate this game, too. From the same masterminds who brought you Farmville, Cityville runs more smoothly but plays similarly– except for its urban setting, it could be Farmville II. You still have to grow stuff in order to get “goods” so you can advance. However, this game uses the element of “energy”– every action you take uses it up, and it takes a while for it to regenerate, which can really mess with your flow, and is generally a bummer. Also, it is “quest-based”– you are given assignments on the left side of your screen and must carry these out to proceed or get some reward which usually wasn’t worth the effort expended. I played this at its inception, and after a few months gave it up from sheer boredom.
This one underwent a name change, long after I quit playing it, so I can’t tell you if gameplay is the same, but when I played it, this game, even more so than Cityville, relied on the “energy and quests” formula, and, like Farmville, still makes you grow crops and stuff. Altogether too much similarity– oh, well, they are all produced by the same gaming company– and this one got the boot after a few months, too. The only plus side is the mildly sick/raunchy humor employed in wall postings relating to the game. Other than that, strictly snoozeworthy.
Do I still play any Facebook games, you ask? Why, yes. Yes, I do. I still play this one. I still have fun with Cafe World– it does not rely so much upon its premium in-game currency, and it’s easy to level up– I do so roughly once or twice a day. It’s essential to have a great network of neighbors to help you out, since there is quite a bit of asking for help involved, and at times the sheer amount of tasks seems overwhelming, but at the heart of it all, it’s not a game you have to babysit like some others– pop some food on the stove and go do something else. I can be playing this game hard and still clean my whole house while I’m doing it. And yes, that’s my little cafe in the picture, Hollywood-themed, and very much loved.
THE SIMS SOCIAL
At last, a free Sims game! I was really having fun with this, but some aspects of the original game have been curtailed due to the limitations of the format– building your home in a truly custom manner is really difficult, and character wishes, both lifetime and short term, have been replaced by the quest system yet again. So, unlike playing an actual Sims game, your character only has free will up to a point. In addition, this is a major “bandwagon” game– even your friends that don’t play FB games play this one– and the number of neighbors you will accumulate, and be required to maintain various relationships with, can become staggering. I bailed on this game for exactly that reason. However, if you like the Sims, it can be a fun way to spend some time, though I recommend the original PC games over this one. I also haven’t ruled out returning to this game at some time– unlike many others I no longer play, I can’t bring myself to block it.
GARDENS OF TIME
I love hidden object games. This one takes the concept a bit further, introducing an actual storyline connecting the intricate pictures the gamer must sleuth through. In addition, the player is given a garden to decorate as he or she chooses, though certain items are worth more “reputation” points than others– reputation is key to unlocking new levels and chapters of the story– which adds a spin of customization to what could have been a far more simplistic game. I won’t say I don’t play this game anymore, though I haven’t visited it in awhile; I really enjoy it and am quite taken with the work of the artist or artists who create the scenarios employed, which are reminiscent of Kit Williams’ mystery-picture books of the 80’s such as Masquerade.
Isn’t she cute? That’s my little Pet Society friend, Tani. (Short for Titania, but that’s such a long name for a little kitty!) She’s my pet, who has pets of her own, a house I envy (she has Lord of the Rings and Phantom of the Opera rooms!) and even an adorable little airplane she can fly. And clothes. Tani can get away with wearing outfits I cannot; she can wear ballgowns every day of the week for even the most mundane of activities, such as working in her garden or shopping. This game is for those of us who never really outgrew our Barbies– except Tani is way cuter than Barbie ever thought of being. There’s new cute stuff every week and if you love all things kawaii, you will never get bored. There is a competing game called Petville, but it is updated far less frequently and is much more bug-prone. Yes, I play both games. Yes, my pet in each is a pink cat. (My Petville cat is named Buffy, however– there is only one Tani.)
There are SO many more games on the Facebook platform– many of which I still play regularly. However, for sheer length, I’m going to have to call this a post and write about the others later. Comments are appreciated and adored, as well as recommendations for other games I may not have played yet!