Archive for January, 2010

Fish World Previews Valentine Items

Hot on the heels of its Egyptian item set, Fish World will be rolling out Valentine’s Day-themed items beginning next week, February 1st. Rather than introduce all the items at once, developer TallTreeGames promises to release new items “daily” from Feb. 1 through Feb. 14. Presumably to keep Fish World players coming back for the latest.

Best of all, the items are all going to be available for coins – no Fishbucks needed! I wish more Facebook games gave back to their fans in this manner. Instead of giving away freebies to increase loyalty, most companies are raising the price on their virtual goods.

A preview of the new items (click for full-size):

Café World Turns to Community for New Dishes

Here’s a pretty cool bit of community involvement. Zynga is turning to is fans to help them determine what the next few dishes added to Café World will be. The community created mystery dish contest is being held over at the official Zynga forums. Entering an idea is pretty simple:

1. Show us a picture of your creation! (How to show a screen image)
2. Share the recipe or cooking steps that would be needed.
3. Name your dish!

From there, the Café World team will decide which items to turn into real, virtual Café World dishes. Pretty neat, eh? Your signature dish could soon be virtually cooked by millions of Facebook restaurant managers.

What is Inside Pet Society’s Magnificent Mystery Box?

Playfish’s Pet Society added a Magnificent Mystery Box to the cash shop, earlier this morning. Check it out:

The boxes cost 5 Playfish dollars, and supposedly contain “the rarest items you can’t buy anywhere else.” The box is available until February 24th – one month only. So what’s really inside? The Playfish community is hard at work pin-pointing all the potential items. A partial list:

Old Ship Clock
Pink Jello
City Girl Make Up Table
Pink Rosy Cute Lamp
Golden Cup
Pirate treasure map
Queens throne
Luminous sweetheart make-up table
Daffodil basket
Moulin Rouge miniature
Pirate Tricorn
Merlin’s Hat
Ice Throne
Pink Laptop
Piggy Doll
Butterfly Wind Chime
Red Jukebox
Pet noir poster
Baby laundry line
Feathered deluxe headdress
Pink Toaster
…and probably many more. Sounds like this thing was REALLY full.

In general, Pet Society fans don’t sound pleased with what they’re finding inside the box. But in my experience no player is ever happy with their mystery box experience. In any game. Developers love them, but I think it’s exploitation of their player base. If you wanna sell the cash items, sell the cash items. Don’t force people to buy box after box for a *chance* to obtain the item they want.

Farmville Toolbar Released

Farmville developer Zynga released The Official Farmville Game Bar, late last night. It is only available to Firefox users, and can be downloaded here. The game bar lives within your Firefox browser itself, and lets you know the status of your farm. How much time left until your crops are ready to harvest, etc. It also has a “Play Now!” button, meaning you’ll never be more than one click away from your Facebook farm.

This talk of browser toolbars takes me back to the early days of the internet. It’s a little bit of a strange update, if you ask me. But then again, I have never had a problem remembering when my crops were due for harvest. Some of my Farmville-addicted friends were always forgetting, and had to check and re-check their farms to make sure no crops had withered. A game bar like this is probably perfect for more forgetful farmers.

A toolbar image gallery (click any pic for full-size):

Ninja Saga Adds New Hairstyles

Facebook Ninja RPG Ninja Saga released a small update late yesterday, adding four new hairstyle options. Not the biggest release, but a potentially important one for female ninjas. The development team finally added the addition of a ponytail. How could it have not been one of the choices before?!? Everyone knows the ponytail is the hair decision of choice for the female ninja. You can’t exactly assassinate people and then leap away to safety with your air all up in your face, can you?

The other three options are a punk-style hanging mohawk, a headband, and long & curly with a headband. Pics:




Gangster City Guide Chapter 4: Upper Grove


Players more or less move directly from Broken Hill to Upper Grove – although Lower East unlocks first, at level 8, there are no missions there initially. The next new missions come from the Mysterious The 7, here in Upper Grove. Our hero is beginning to actually like his life of crime…

Locations

Twilight Heights Hotel(Purchasable Property)

Level 1: $1747 every 8 hours.
Level 2: $3696 every 8 hours. (Requires level 19 and $47,310 investment)
Level 3:

Dini Mall (Purchasable Property)

Level 1: $2150 every 8 hours.
Level 2: $4262 every 8 hours. (Requires level 21, and $61,380 investment)

The 7 (missions)

Missions:
When Upper Grove initially opens, there are only two missions. Both available from The 7.

Picture Imperfect

Requires: 34 Energy
Requires: 1 PPK
Payout: 496 Experience
Payout: $476 – $571

Body in the Trunk

Requires: 34 Energy
Requires: 2 M29s
Payout: 430 Experience
Payout: $544- $653

Social Game Central Gangster City Guide:
Introduction & Basics (coming soon)
Chapter 1: Little Ireland
Chapter 2: Broken Hill
Chapter 3: Lower East
Chapter 4: Upper Grove (You Are Here)
Chapter 5: Cold Harbor

Gangster City Guide Chapter 3: Lower East

When Lower East opens up at level 8, there isn’t much there. A couple more properties to buy, but no missions. The next zone, Upper Grove, opens up at level 10. And it’s here that players will spend most of their time over the next few levels. Still, Lower East isn’t completely empty when you unlock it. The rundown:

Locations:

Mom’s Diner (Purchasable Property)

Level 1: $1498 every 8 hours.
Level 2: $3168 every 8 hours. (Requires level 17 and $35,480 investment)
Level 3: $6048 every 8 hours. (Requires level 26 and $133,250 investment)

Klondike Casino (Purchasable Property)

Level 1: $1560 every 8 hours.
Level 2: $3590 every 8 hours. (Requires level 18 and $43,090 investment)
Level 3: $6192 every 8 hours. (Requires level 27 and $138,580 investment)

Social Game Central Gangster City Guide:
Introduction & Basics (coming soon)
Chapter 1: Little Ireland
Chapter 2: Broken Hill
Chapter 3: Lower East (You Are Here)
Chapter 4: Upper Grove
Chapter 5: Cold Harbor

Pet Society Goes Australian and Scottish

Pet Society’s update today was a little bit of a weird one – developer Playfish must have some international members on the team. The game added a handful of decorations, outfits and other goodies with Australian and Scottish themes. The former to celebrate Australia Day, and the latter to celebrate Scotland’s Burns Night.

The new items range from the obvious (a poster of the Sydney Opera House, a boomerang, a stuffed loch ness monster, a set of bagpipes, a stuffed kangaroo) to the more generic (a new surfboard, new wooden outdoor furniture). All the items that I could see are available for the in-game coin currency, which is always nice.

A gallery of the new additions:

Restaurant City Adds Chocolate Chip Cookies

As if last week’s pirate items weren’t enough, Restaurant City from Playfish seems to be bribing me into playing more often by adding more of my favorite things. This time, it’s Chocolate Chip Cookies.

The recipe is available for the next four weeks only, and requires milk, chocolate, and eggs to learn. To give players a leg up, all Restaurant City fans were all given free chocolate. Who can say no to that? To collect the free ingredient, simply click here. If you wanna earn your freebie the legit way by becoming a fan first, you can do so on Restaurant City’s fan page. As for the other two ingredients… all you Facebook chefs out there better keep a close eye on the ingredient market this month.

Will you be adding these cookies to your desert menu, or sticking with one of the original recipes?

Pet Tricks Come to Happy Pets

Happy Pets from Crowdstar released another big update earlier today, adding pet tricks. It seems to be a trend for Crowdstar to release very basic, very bare-bones products, and then add to them in significant ways over time. Happy Pets pet tricks are trained up one at a time, it sounds like:

“Your Pets want to learn SUPER FUN TRICKS! Click on your Pet and then click on TRICK. Then click on TRAIN NOW to begin earning Training Points that’ll unlock cool new tricks at each level. Your Pets are going to have so much fun!”

I’d give more details, but all my Happy Pets are still babies, and can’t learn tricks. Don’t tell anyone, but… I go days at a time without feeding them, which makes them stop growing. I’m terrible, I know.