Archive for January, 2010

Fishville’s Limited Edition Cuban Hogfish

Fishville added a limited edition fish in last night’s update: The Cuban Hogfish. Available for one week only, this big guy brings with him some pretty hefty stats. He grows to full-size in 12 days, much longer than the next slowest-growing fish. When sold, he earns players 8000 coins and 560 experience. All these stats come at a price, however. The Cuban Hogfish is sold for 8 SD$.

I might be way off base on this, but I believe the Cuban Hogfish is the first limited-edition fish to hit the Fishville marketplace. Lots of special fish have been added, but I don’t believe any had a time limit to purchase them. Perhaps Zynga is using this Hogfish as an experiment, to see how the community responds? For me personally, I love the idea of much slower-growing fish. But 8 SD just for one is way too much. Perhaps Zynga could work out a system where it’s 8SD for the first one, and then 1 SD for each subsequent one? Then filling your tank with these guys would be a more reasonable option…

Treasure Madness: Inland Maps, New Treasures, Replay Maps

The major Treasure Madness update zSlide began hinting at last week went live today, and includes lots of enhancements and additions for Facebook treasure hunters. Social Game Central is here to break it all down for you:

First off, six new maps in the Maya series have been added, and two new treasure collections to go along with them. Five of the maps aren’t islands – they are inland – a first for the game. All six are purchasable with coins. Lost Fort, The Estuary, Chess Island, Ancient Road, Jungle Maze, and Lost City. Exciting!

There are six more new maps as well – but they’re a new variety for Treasure Madness. Three belong to the “Golden” series, and three the “fruity” series. They don’t contain any treasure, and are instead stuffed with either gold, or fruit. All six cost MU$. Some fans will undoubtedly be upset at this decision, but to me it seems very reasonable. The developer has to make money somehow, and buying a map stuffed with fruit will probably earn a treasure digger more HP than if they bought a health pack.

Last but not least, zSlide had added a “Redo” option. It only appears for those hardcore treasure diggers that have already completed all maps. But should that happen, you will have the opportunity to replay an entire map of your choosing. Gold and XP rewards will be diminished; no word on whether treasure frequency is reduced, though.

…that’s about it! All in all, a great update. New types of maps, new items for zSlide to charge for that shouldn’t upset users too much, new treasures, and new features for hardcore diggers. All in all, a solid update. Hopefully we’ll eventually get some new minigames, as well?

Our gallery of the new additions (click any image for full size):

Restaurant City Adds Gangster Item Pack

Hot on the heels of last week’s pirate pack, Playfish has added another top-notch batch of items to Restaurant City: Gangsters! In celebration of the launch of their new title Gangster City, it would seem. Nice bit of synergy, Playfish.

Many of the new decorations aren’t really gangster-specific – there is a “classy black table” and “classy black/white” tile flooring. But there are plenty of options that do feature more personality. The bullet-hole wall pattern and the gun-in-the-violin case are my favorites.

Although not gangster-related, two new limited edition recipes were also introduced yesterday – Pad Thai, and Ham & Cheese Sandwich. At least, I’m assuming they weren’t meant to be gangster-related. In any case, you have a lengthy 40 days to learn them, so no need to scramble to gather up the ingredients.

One minor gripe is that the big “NEW!” icon actually blocks out a large portion of the item itself, when browsing the shop. The new chair is the worst offender in this regard. Playfish, if you’re out there, please consider moving the NEW designation to a corner, or otherwise making it less obtrusive.

Zoo World Tries to Give Fans a Cupcake Kiosk

RockYou’s Zoo World gave a little something back to fans late yesterday. Or at least, they tried to. By using this link, all Zoo World Facebook fans were supposed to be gifted a Cupcake kiosk to place in their Zoos. The process has not been without hiccups, however. Many players, myself included, never actually received their free kiosk. Others are reporting that they initially received it, but it disappeared when they attempted to place it in their Zoo.

It’s tough to say how widespread the errors are – there are plenty of other Zookeepers reporting that they received and placed their Cupcake kiosk without any issues. I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, but this is a pretty textbook example of a technical issue turning what should have been a positive bit of fan appreciation into a source of frustration. In the future I’m sure RockYou will take extra-special care to ensure their gift links are functioning properly.

Take a look at the Zoo World Cupcake Kiosk here:

Fishville Adds Antiques

A new type of decoration has been added to the Fishville marketplace: antiques. These decorations increase in value the longer they are held onto, but only up to a certain point. Once they get too old, they begin to decay and become junk. Sounds like the trick will be to keep track of when an antique is placed, and dump it at the optimum time.

It’s definitely a cool and unexpected addition to Zynga’s aquarium title, even if it doesn’t make much sense (who puts antiques in a fish tank?). Maybe we’ll see similar systems added soon to Petville or Farmville, where they would be a little more logical. I also wouldn’t be surprised if we’ll see some antique-related achievements and other additions coming to Fishville in the coming weeks.

A Fishville antique image gallery is below

Petville Weekly Challenges: Lost Toys and Daisies

Petville weekly challenges are now in their third week, and for the first time, Zynga has added one that might just actually be a challenge. This week, players are required to plant 5 bouquets of daisies in their home (easy), and adopt 4 lost toys (not so easy).

We wrote about the lost toys last week. Basically, a friend has to find a toy in their house, and choose to post a Facebook news feed item about it. If you spot it fast enough, you then have the opportunity to click the news feed item to collect a lost toy of your own.

Adopting four of these toys in a week shouldn’t be especially tough, but it might become difficult depending on how many Petville friends you have, and what type of player they are. I have a lot of Petville friends, but I never see many Petville news feed items. Completing this challenge is largely out of my hands.

Petville Adds Snow Sports Gear and Decorations

Although the word “Olympics” is never mentioned, Petville developer Zynga got into the Winter Olympic spirit earlier today by rolling out a collection of snow sports gear and decorations. Rounding out the additions is a large collection of country flags, allowing Petville players to show a little national pride. No expiration date has yet been set on the snow sports items, but it’s probably safe to assume they won’t be around forever.

I’ve gathered up some pictures of the new additions below. I apologize for Drinky, who managed to sneak his way into my first snapshot (his new favorite pasttime). So… what does everyone think? A set of skis for the wall, or is your pet the more extreme type, opting for a snowboard?

Happy Aquarium Adds Two Jellyfish

Happy Aquarium added a little more variation to its fish shop earlier this evening, with the addition of two new jellyfish. The Comb Jellyfish unlocks at level 15, and is available for 65 coins. The Blue Moon Jellyfish, on the other hand, is a special case. It is found on the “specials” tab – where the paid items normally reside – but it’s also for sale for coins. Nice! It is much more expensive though – it’s for sale for 850 coins.

One detail I like about Happy Aquarium are the little descriptions each shop item receives. It’s a nice touch. The Comb Jellyfish states “Most stylish fish in the tank with its snazzy hair-do.” Blue Moon Jellyfish “Loves hanging out with her cousins, Orange and Comb Jellyfish.” Note that despite the “her,” the Blue Moon Jellyfish can be bought as either a male or female.

(click for full-size)

Happy Pets Adds Lost Turtle

Similar to the Bunny added to Happy Pets last week, there is a new adoptable animal in town: A turtle! Just like the bunny, he is adorable, and slightly helpless-looking. Crowdstar’s Happy Pets artists sure do know how to pull at the heartstrings, don’t they? Just look at him:

Adopting the turtle works in much the same way as the bunny. If you find one in your house, you’ll have the chance to post a news feed item. Friends who click on your news feed can then adopt. If you want on of your own, you’ll have to hope one of your Happy Pets-playing friends finds him and posts a feed item of their own.

Tiki Farm Teases Achievements

Tiki Farm developer Playdom gave a preview of the game’s upcoming achievements system today, stating that the system would be coming in the game’s “next update.” Take a look at what Tiki Farmers have to look forward to:

Two of the achievements look fairly standard for a Facebook farming game – harvesting crops, and harvesting from animals. The third achievement previewed – squashing bugs – is an action unique to Tiki Farm. What other achievements do you hope Playdom includes?

On a separate but related note, this is not the first time that Playdom has teased additions to Tiki Farm as “coming soon.” Some of those previous teases still aren’t in the game, in fact. I don’t that to get too rant-y because it isn’t a huge deal, but Playdom, you should stop promising things. Once something is completely finished and is live and in the game, let us know! And we’ll rejoice. Saying something is “coming soon” just doesn’t carry the same weight.