Archive for February, 2010

Fishville Releases Blacktip Grouper

Another week means another limited-edition premium Fishville fish. This week, Zynga has introduced the Blacktip Grouper. Like the other special fish, the Blacktip has extremely impressive stats, but has an equally impressive price tag to match.

The Blacktip Grouper grows in 72 hours (3 days). When sold he earns 1200 coins and 560 EXP. The only downside? It costs 8 SD$, or over $1.50. While that price isn’t crazy, it makes it tough to justify buying more than one or two of them, let alone a whole tank.

The Blacktip is available for just 6 more days, so if you want one (and can afford one), don’t put the purchase off too long!

Petville Gift: Farmville Mini-Barn

Petville’s ten-day Farmville gifts promotion continues! Today’s gift is the best yet, in my opinion: a Mini-Barn.

So what is this all about? In a savvy bit of cross-promotion, Farmville and Petville developer Zynga decided to cross the streams and release ten one-day-only Farmville-themed gifts within their hit pet game. By the end, if a player has collected all ten items, they should have a full mini-farm within their Petville houses. Kinda cool, right?

Just like last night, this update is getting online a little late. There’s actually only a few hours left to get your Mini-Barn. At midnight, it will be replaced with the fourth Farmville-themed gift. So send our yours now, while you still can!

Win $20 in Farmville Cash!

It’s Fan Appreciation Weekend here at Social Game Central! We’re giving away $20 worth of Farmville Cash (110 FV$) to one lucky SGC Facebook Fan. To enter, all you have to do is visit our fan page and tell us what your favorite Facebook game is. No tricks, no catch, no gimmicks. Just free Farmville dollars.

We love our fans – without you, Social Game Central would not exist. We’ll be doing a lot more giveaways like this in the future. It’s our way of saying “thank you” for your support.

Country Life Allows Automatic Operation Gifting

The headline above probably doesn’t make sense to Facebook gamers that haven’t checked out Country Life. Allow me to explain! Country Life’s in-game economy is more complex than other Facebook farming games. Rather than just harvesting crops and then making money, Country Life players can build in more steps to increase their profit.

For example, you could plant clover, then harvest it, and sell it. This would make you a little profit. OR, you could plant clover, then have bees from a beehive fertilize it, creating some honey. Then you could feed that clover to a cow, creating some milk. Selling the milk and honey earns much more profit than just selling the harvested clover directly.

So what does this have to do with Automatic Operations? All me to (futher) explain! All the buildings in the game that convert one material into another more profitable one (like clover into cow milk) require player to be paying attention. But if you can’t or don’t want to stick around continually clicking, you can buy Automatic Operations (OPs). Then the building will do it’s work (you guessed it) automatically. These “OPs” aren’t free – 150 of them cost 1 Ranch Cash (about .10 cents). Cheap, but it adds up.

So, hopefully by now, the headline makes more sense. Country Life players can now gift each other 25 OPs from the game’s gift page. It’s the first way to get Automatic Operations besides spending real money, which is why this is a pretty big deal, and a very generous offer. Sure each 25 OP gift is only about 2 cents worth of OPs, but as SGC always says, free is good.

YoVille Adds Extensive Winter Olympics Item Set

YoVille developer Zynga has been releasing Winter Olympic items (referred to as ‘Snow Game’ items in-game) for a while now in their hit virtual world. Another new batch was added earlier this morning.

New additions include a wide variety (over 30) of international flags for those YoVillians hoping to show some national pride. A new XL Snow Games Torch was also added. Rounding out the new additions is a collection of items in the furniture shop that, when assembled, will allow players to build their own ice rink. Nets, ice tiles, and more.

These new additions accompany the previously-added winter decorations, which included skis, ice skates, bobsleds, ice sculptures, trees, medals, and lots of ski and snow tops and bottoms.

As with most Yoville updates, there are simply too many new items for us to list them all or snap pictures of them all. We encourage YoVille players to hit up the game’s shops to see all the additions for themselves. We have snapped a few pics of some of the most interesting new items, however:

Mobsters 2 Releases Cobra Henchman Gift

Mobsters 2 developer Playdom released a small update to their hit Mafia game, late last night: a cobra! Technically its a “Cobra Henchman” if you want to get specific. We have a couple of (very tiny) pictures of the new gift, below.

The general consensus on this new cobra seems to be that it looks pretty cool, but the stats are a little lackluster. Especially compared to the previously-released Sleeper Agents. Still, it’s a free gift. And free is always good.

Mafia Wars Unveils New Marketplace

The Mafia Wars core improvements continued today, with a brand new, revamped marketplace. Like the new My Mafia bar and New York Properties page, the new look is entirely flash-based. This means you can navigate between marketplace items, sort them by different criteria, and make purchases, all from one page. No need to wait for a clumsy HTML page to load after every click.

To kick off the new shop, developer Zynga has also released a large batch of new items. Spy Tech Crates (more on those later), Love Birds, Motorcycle Jacket, Bird of Prey, Twin Automatic Rifles, Black Widow, Armed Doorman, Twin AK-47s, Widow maker, Synthetic Steel, Mountain Goat, Crop Duster, and Twin Garza 9s, are all labeled as “New!” in the Mafia Wars shop. Whew! That’s quite the load of new loot.

With all these Flash Mafia Wars improvements lately, don’t be surprised if the next expansion, Las Vegas, is completely flash-based. It should make for a much more in-depth Mafia Wars experience.

Farmville Adds Yellowstone Animals and Items

Hot on the heels of the California item set, and the Winter Olympic items, and the Lunar New Year items (wow… Zynga has been busy), yet another new batch of themed, limited-time items have been added to Farmville. This time Yellowstone National Park is the inspiration.

The new items are an Elk, a Flourishing Bush, Old Faithful, a Proud Goat, a Large Boulder, and Petrified Wood. This is actually a really cool mix of items, because with liberal use of things like the boulder and petrified wood, a player could dramatically change the feel of their farm. The items in this set just seem more practical than some of Farmville’s recent additions, which can sometimes swing towards the gaudy or gimmicky.

There’s just one problem. EVERY SINGLE ITEM costs FV$! Yes, they aren’t that expensive (the petrified wood is just 1 FV$; the boulder 2) but come on, Zynga. You’re charging Farmville Dollars for every single Yellowstone item? You’re charging for a downed log, and a boulder? If this Yellowstone item set follows Farmville’s recent trend, we can probably expect a few more to be added next week. Hopefully a few of them will be offered for coins.

I will never begrudge a Facebook game developer for charging for virtual goods. These studios are businesses, and have employees to pay. But you have to strike a balance. You have to take care of your fans. By my count, 14 new objects were added to Farmville tonight (including gifts). 9 of them cost FV$. That ratio is upside down where it should be to keep a fan base from taking note.

Farmville Releases More California Items

Farmville developer Zynga wasn’t finished with its California-themed item set when the first batch went online earlier this week- a whole new round of California items were added in this evening’s update, too.

New additions include a Vacation Home, a Deluxe Lodge, a CA Redwood, a FarmVille Sign, and a Golden Trout.

While not quite as exciting as the first batch (it’s pretty tough to compete with a Bear Cub), there are still a few items worth paying attention to. Both the new buildings look fantastic, and the “Farmville” sign in the style of the famous Hollywood sign is a nice touch. One note, the Redwood tree is just for decoration, and isn’t an actual harvestable tree.

Farmville Releases Ice Hockey Olympic Decoration

Farmville developer Zynga still had one more Winter Olympic-themed update up its sleeve, it seems. In tonight’s update the company added an animal Ice Hockey pond.

The decoration is for sale for the next three days only, and costs 26 FV$. It’s tough to see in the pictures, but it actually animates quite a bit. The heavy elephant is nearly breaking through the ice, while the turtle is sloooowly circling the rink. You can see a video of the decoration in action here, on Farmville’s fan page.

Like all FV$ items, you can buy this decoration for yourself, or buy and gift it to a friend. Seems to me it might make a good gift for a Farmville-playing Ice Hockey fanatic?