Archive for January, 2010

Bejeweled Blitz Update Coming in Two Days

Popcap’s new and improved version of Bejeweled Blitz has been beta testing for a while now. Today, the company announced that the new release would be coming out of beta and would be available to everyone on Tuesday, January 26th.

We took an in-depth look at the changes last week, but for those not in the know, there are two major additions to keep your eye on: coins, and boosts. Now, every time you complete a round of Bejeweled Blitz, you’ll earn a few hundred coins (or 1000+ if you’re very good). These coins can then be saved up and spent on various boosts, which provide power-ups in-game such as extra time, random power gems, etc.

Bejeweled Blitz is the biggest arcade puzzle title on Facebook – I’m sure Popcap is hoping that this enhancement makes the already tremendously popular even more tremendously popular.

Fishville Adds Two Special Fish

Two new special fish have been added to the Fishville store: the Dwarf Angelfish and the Prawn Goby. Both require players to jump through some (small) hoops to gain access, however.

To open up the Dwarf Angelfish, players must give Fishville permission to send you emails. While this might sound shady and potentially annoying, in truth this change is the result of a change being made to Facebook itself. Facebook is doing away with its notifications system (the notes that pop up on the bottom right). Since Facebook game makers like Zynga won’t be able to send notifications any more, communications must now be sent via email. Expect all your other Facebook games to begin offering incentives for handing over your email address, as well.

Unlocking the Prawn Goby is simpler – simply add some neighbors.

zSlide Hints at Major Treasure Madness Update

Treasure Madness developer zSlide has done a good job of adding to their hit treasure digging game over the past few months. New maps, new treasures, and new upgrades & items have all been rolled out on a fairly regular basis. But there hasn’t been any big changes to the game. It looks like that might be changing very soon. This image was posted on the Treasure Madness fan page earlier this week:

Note that there is no water in that picture – this “Ancient Road” map isn’t an island – a first, for the game. Looks like treasure diggers will be heading inland very soon! It’s been my secret hope for a while now that Treasure Madness would introduce more of an actual storyline, that required players to clear one map before the next would be unlocked. It would be neat if this “ancient road” led somewhere once it had been fully-explored, wouldn’t it?

In any case, zSlide has also stated that more gold, more fruits, and more treasures were also in the works. So Treasure Madness fans have several things to look forward to in the coming days.

Fish World Releases Ancient Egypt Expansion

Facebook’s original aquarium game Fish World released a net sew of Egyptian items yesterday. Although Fish World isn’t my aquarium game of choice, there are a handful of things I really dig about it. For one, all sets of themed items are sorted into their own little section of the Fish World shop. So it’s easy to find these egyptian items, or the Wild West items, outer space, pirate, etc.

Even better, Fish World takes a much more reasonable stance than most when it comes to charging for its virtual goods. Most items are available for a larger amount of free currency, or a smaller amount of paid currency. The items also don’t cost $5+, like some of the leading Facebook games are beginning to charge. So kudos to Fish World! Hopefully its good behavior will be rewarded with an uptick in players.

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Happy Pets Adds Adorable Bunny & More Decorations

Happy Pets rolled out a couple of new updates, late yesterday. The first was an adorable lost bunny. The bunny turns up randomly in players’ pet apartments, and if they find it they will have the opportunity to create a news feed item, allowing their friends to adopt the little guy.

An eclectic mix of new decorations were also added. And I do mean eclectic. A birthday cake, wine glasses, an electric guitar, a grecian bench, and a barrel are a few of the additions. Crowdstar, if you’re out there, it’s good you are updating Happy Pets so frequently, but it might be better if your updates followed a theme. Kudos to Crowdstar for making the items available for coins and not paid currency, though.

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YoVille Beach Item Explosion 2

YoVille puts other games to shame when it comes to pure volume of items added with each update. I am literally unable to keep up. YoVille already went crazy with its beach expansion once, earlier this month. And now developer Zynga has done it again, adding over 100 more new beach appliances, clothing items, and decorations.

Sundresses, wetsuits, snorkels, new bedroom & dining room sets, appliances, accent items, and lord knows what else have all been updated. The items are a mixture of paid and free, like any good Facebook game content update should be. Yovillains… are you excited about the continuation of this summer in January?

Petville Adds New Lost Toys

Oooohh… mysterious! Three lost toys have made their way into Petville:

Petville’s fan page suggests we begin “searching our neighbors houses” to find these lost toys. The silhouette on the right is clearly a turtle, and fan page comments have reports of koalas and bunnies being found, as well. Mystery solved? Probably. But if you want them for yourself, you’re still going to have to do the legwork.

Petville Adds New Garage Items

Petville added garages and cars/bikes to go with them a while back, but they never felt quite right. The garages felt like another room of the house that happened to have a car stored in it. It seems developer Zynga might have agreed. Tonight, a whole host of garage decorations were added to the game. The updates include garage doors, tool sets, trash cans, lawnmowers and more of those items that make a garage feel like a garage.

Like other items in the Petville market, each individual item is fairly cheap, but decorating the entire space can get pricy quick. So start saving those coins! It might seem weird to get excited about adding a recycle bin or a leaf blower, but it’s those sorts of every day items that make a Petville apartment seem like an actual living space. All good Petville decorators will tell you that it’s all about the details.

Café World Adds Sports Theme Dishes

Continuing with its sports expansion, Café World added two new recipes earlier today: Fish & Chips and Hot Dog & Garlic Fries. For players that have fully decked out their restaurants with jerseys, pennants, and other sports memorabilia, these recipes are probably a little more appropriate than Lobster Tail or Onion Soup.

There doesn’t seem to be much of a direct relationship between the level of the dish and its actual level of difficulty. It’s a little strange to see that the Hot Dog and Garlic Fries require level 45 to unlock, making it one of the most advanced recipes in the game. Maybe these are some kind of super-secret, gourmet Garlic Fries? More likely is that developer Zynga just wanted to make sure they added one low level and one high level recipe in this update.

Mafia Wars: Bangkok Beta Begins

Update: We have noticed a lot of you are finding Social Game Central for the first time with this blog post, by searching for Mafia Wars: Bangkok. SGC is a new site dedicated to obsessively covering Mafia Wars and all your other favorite Facebook games. If you want up to the minute news, tips, & guides on Mafia Wars: Bangkok, please consider following us on Twitter, becoming a Facebook fan, or subscribing to our RSS. – The SGC Team.

Zynga finally launched the Mafia Wars: Bangkok beta! But before you rejoice… there is a catch. Only a limited number of Mafia Wars players were given access. The rest of us (myself included, sadly) have to wait. But don’t give up hope yet! Zynga has given all members with Bangkok Beta access three invites of their own to hand out. So if you really, REALLY want in, your best bet is to spam all your Mafia Wars-playing friends hoping one of them has access, and has a remaining invitation.

Will you be prepared for Bangkok when it does go live? Remember that there are three items that must be obtained in New York, before Bangkok will be unlocked. Which faction will you side with? I’m leaning towards the Triads…

Zynga also gave a preview of some of Mafia Wars: Bangkok’s top-notch artwork. Just as Moscow’s color palette was red, Bangkok is giving off a definite purple vibe: