Archive for January, 2010

Island Paradise Introduces Cooking System

Just as we guessed, Meteor Games has released a major cooking expansion to their hit island farming game Island Paradise. Getting started is easy – players just have to buy and place a cooking device, and then have the proper crops in their inventory. After that, players just have to wait 3 -15 minutes for the dish to cook and voila – a profitable food dish is now ready to be sold.

This makes Island Paradise a little bit similar to the rapidly-growing Facebook farming title Country Life. In that game all crops also serve a purpose and can be used for things other than an immediate sale, as well. Perhaps this will become a bonafide Facebook farming trend?

A variety of cooking devices are available, and they are not all equal. The higher the level of your cooking device, the more advanced recipes you will have access to. Players can also learn new recipes by buying them, or posting a news feed item and having their friends help.

A full Island Paradise cooking gallery is below. If anything is grayed out it is only because I am not a high enough level for access – I’m a fairly casual Island Paradise player. (Click any item for full-size):

Happy Pets Gives Coins for Downtime

Happy Pets developer Crowdstar has class. Their hit pet game experienced about 24 hours of downtime yesterday and today, and whereas most developers would just apologize and move on, Crowdstar went the extra step, apologizing with their (virtual) wallets. All players who log on to Happy Pets by Noon Saturday will receive 1,000 coins for their trouble.

Crowdstar also made sure to mention that all pets were fed during the downtime, so never fear. If all developers gave out monetary awards when their games went down, I might just keep my fingers crossed for more downime in 2010…

Ninja Warz Adds New Gifts & Relics

The cutest ninja battling game on Facebook released a small update today, adding new giftable relics, and new purchasable relics. For those not in the know, relics are super-powerful equip-able items that effect the stats and performance of your entire ninja team. For example, my Taurus Plate gives all my Ninjas +10% health and +3% attack speed.

Developer Broken Bulb Studios unfortunately didn’t specify which relics were new and which were previously available, so I don’t have images or stats of the new additions. Maybe a more knowledgeable ninja than me can leave some observations in the comments?

As for Ninja Warz itself, I dig it. I knew I liked the game when I looted a gigantic Fried Shrimp off my first defeated enemy, and was then able to equip said shrimp as a weapon. Great stats on it, too.

Happy Island Adds Hedges & Other Decorations

Happy Island from Crowdstar is still growing like a weed. It seems players like the game’s relaxed atmosphere and game systems. One complaint I’ve heard is that there aren’t enough options to customize your islands, however. Today’s Happy Island update should help alleviate this issue: lots and lots (13!) new decorations! The new decorations are mostly hedges, topiaries, and other greenery, although a few other random items also made the cut.

The complete list of additions: Conch Shell, Shrubbery Bear, Shrub Cube, Hedgerow, Swine Bush, Tall Hedge, Hedge Globe, Tiered Hedgery, Moai, Banyan Tree, Longhorn Skull, Royal Poinciana, and Starfish. Whew!

I only have two islands at the moment, but if I did have a third or fourth, the temptation to build and elaborate hedge maze complete with Shrubbery Bear dead-ends would be very strong…

(click the image for full-size)

Zoo World Adds Valentine’s Day Items

Love is in the air in RockYou’s hit zoo management title Zoo World. A bevy of sugary-sweet, heart-laden items have hit the Zoo World shop, allowing Facebook zookeepers to keep in the spirit of the season. Heart Lamps, Heart Benches, Heart Fountains… Zoo visitors are likely to be seeing pink for the next several weeks.

Rounding out the update is a flower archway, and a (presumably) romantic swan boat attraction.

Some might say these updates have been added a little too early. But I say every season should be the season of love.

Country Life Adds High-Level Seeds & Trees

Surprise Facebook farming hit Country Life finally began releasing new items, yesterday. Even though the game has grown to over 2.4 million daily players, the last update was made over a month ago, on December 18th. That’s like, an eternity in Facebook game time. The update is a smallish one – just some high-level crops and trees – but it is most certainly welcome. Hopefully this is a sign that more regular Country Life updates are on their way.

Blueberries, Blackberries, and Raspberries have been added to the list of crops, although you’ll need to be level 19 to plant any of them. Once harvested, like most other items in Country Life, the fruit can then be processed to earn even more money. All three can be turned into Jam.

Rounding out the update is a new, high-level Banana Tree.

Farmville Adds Limited Edition Yukon Items

As we mentioned last week, Zynga has put its limited edition Farmville items on a schedule. Every week, a handful of new, themed items will go up for sale on the Farmville marketplace, and the previous week’s items are swept away. This week, Farmville fanatics have been treated to a Yukon-themed item set, which is a significant step up from last week’s peace items, if I do say so myself.

The 7-item set is only available on the Farmville marketplace, so no need to worry about sending or receiving any gifts to collect the full set. The items are a mixture of paid and free, although as expected all the coolest stuff requires $FV. One curveball this time around is that there is actually a limited edition crop included as part of the set. The blue Forget-Me-Not flowers are available this week only, and carry some pretty nice stats on them.

The other items are a Birch Tree, a Sauna, a Totem Pole, a Mammoth Statue, a Doe (a female deer, to all you city-slickers), and a Moose.

Farmville Adds School House & Library Buildings

Following last week’s General Store, Post Office, and Bed & Breakfast, this week’s Farmville update introduced two more “small town” items: a School House, and a Library. Zynga is apparently planning on having us managing an entire Farm Town soon, isn’t it? Unlike most items added to Farmville the last few months, these two new buildings are refreshingly non-limited. They both appear to be permanent additions to the Farmville market.

The smart money is on Zynga continuing to roll out these “small town” buildings over the coming weeks and months. We’ll probably see a cafe, a coffee shop, a police station, and other similar buildings soon enough.

The school house costs 50,000 coins and earns 500 EXP when placed, and the library costs 175,000 coins and earns 1750 EXP when placed.

What’s in Farmville’s New Mystery Gifts?

Tired of sending your Farmville friends the same old trees, animals, and decorations with your daily gift giving? Then Farmville’s new mystery gifts should be right up your alley. Each purple and yellow box contains… well… it’s a mystery! The gifts are sent and received in the same way as normal Farmville gifts, only now, you don’t know what’s inside until it’s opened. This is the way gift-receiving should be, if you ask me.

If you’re not the type that likes a good surprise, the always-helpful Farmville community is already hard at work tracking down all possible items that can be earned via these mysterious boxes. Although there might be a few items missing, confirmed mystery gifts include:

1 FV$
1 Fuel Refill
Hot Air Balloon
White Chicken
Grey Tabby
1,000 coins
20 XP, 25 XP
Banana Tree, Passion Fruit Tree, Olive Tree, Pomegranate Tree
Sheep Topiary, Buffalo Topiary, Elephant Topiary
Stone Mailbox
Horse

Cheers to Farmville Freak for the list of contents.

Farville Releases 24×24 Might Plantation Expansion

Farmville finally released the long-awaited 24×24 Mighty Plantation farm expansion, earlier tonight. The catch? Right now it’s available to Farmville fans only. But never fear – if you’re not an official fan, you can become one with one click of your mouse on the game’s Facebook Fan Page. With Zynga releasing new Farmville items at a faster pace than ever, the new space is most certainly welcome.

The new space doesn’t come cheap, however. Farmers will need to drop 500,000 coins (and have 30 neighbors) to gain the extra space. If you’re still saving for your villa or don’t have that many farming friends, there is also an option to buy the expansion for 60 $FV.

The Mighty Plantation has been teasing farmers as “coming soon” for months… there is no bigger farm even being hinted at. Will we eventually see a 26×26 expansion hit the Farmville market, or is this one destined to remain the big kahuna? Only time will tell…