Archive for April, 2010

Farmville Releases Southwest Farm Makeover

Farmville developer Zynga released the first of what will likely be several Southwest-themed updates, tonight. In addition to the standard decorations and buildings, tonight’s update also included a Desert Plains farm upgrade. Like the winter snow, players that purchase this will find that their entire farm’s ground tiles have been replaced with a desert pattern. It is available in the farm upgrades menu.

The new southwest buildings are: Adobe Farmhouse, Adobe Shed, and Adobe Barn. All three are for sale for Farm Cash, and all three are available for 30 more days.

The new Southwest decorations are: Saguaro Cactus, Barrel Cactus, Adobe Wall, and Adobe Ladder. The cacti are Farm Cash items, and both walls are available for coins.

Finally, a new animal was added as well – a Jackrabbit. The little guy is for sale for 12 FV$.

Farmville April 27 Mystery Box

Farmville developer Zynga released a new Pink with Purple Ribbon Mystery Box, tonight. Let’s skip the foreplay and dive right in – here’s what is inside:

- Antique Cart
- Purple Frog
- Sphynx
- Purple Mane Pony
- Garden Statue
- Lavender Victorian

The Mystery Box is for sale for 16 FV$. As always, players can’t control which prize they receive – a random gift is given with each mystery box purchase.

What do you think about this week’s mystery box contents? Did this April 27 Mystery Box live up to your expectations? Let us know in the comments below!

Happy Pets Adds Pet Dyes

Happy Pets developer Crowdstar added a variety of premium pet dyes to their pet-raising title, earlier today. Now players who are tired of their black lab can finally turn him pink, like they have always wanted. Yet another advantage virtual pets have over their real-world counterparts!

Available dye colors are: Blue, Red, Pink, Black, Green, Yellow, Orange, and Purple. Each dye is available for 18 FB$ ($1.80).

A few notes: First off, a dyed pet will (oddly) pass along this color trait to offspring. Additionally, these dyes will edit a pet’s primary color, but not accent colors, such as paws, eyes, or stripes. Finally, these changes are IRREVERSIBLE, short of buying another dye. So players should be sure they aren’t mixing mismatched colors!

Happy Pets Releases Famous Dogs Collection

Happy Pets developer Crowdstar got creative with their dog designs today, releasing a collection of four limited edition puppies that are designed to look like famous dogs. Each dog has limited availability – about 9000 of each were available when we last checked in. They are for sale for 78 FB$ ($7.80).

The four dogs are: The Big Red Dog, Griffin Dog, Gadget Dog, and Mystery Dog. The Big Red Dog and the Mystery Dog are pretty clearly modeled after Clifford and Scooby-Doo, respectively. Note that due to copyright reasons, Crowdstar can’t use the dogs’ real names.

The Griffin Dog and Gadget Dog are less clear, to us. The Griffin Dog is most likely modeled after Brian Griffin from Family Guy, although Brian is completely white, and not grey, like Crowdstar’s version. The Gadget Dog, however, is a mystery to us. If any readers know what pop culture reference we’re missing, let us know in the comments!

Treasure Madness Tweaks Health, Level Cap, Fruit, & More

Treasure Madness developer zSlide is continually evaluating what does and doesn’t work in their treasure digging title. In addition to the new minigames, treasures, and maps that are frequently introduced, other small tweaks and changes to the underlying game system are also common.

Today’s Treasure Madness changes:

Minigame Zap!
By far the most straightforward of all the changes, players can now “Zap” their minigame for 1 MU$. This instantly awards the player their treasure.

Shortened Minigame Times
Many of the minigames now have stricter time limits on the higher difficulty levels. None of them should be too short for veteran treasure diggers, but if there was a particular minigame you frequently had trouble completing in time, you might now find it to be much tougher.

Level Cap
Sure to be an unpopular change for high-level treasure diggers, zSlide has put a cap on the highest level a player can obtain. Any advanced player that has reached the current level cap can continue playing, but will no longer earn XP. zSlide promises that the cap will be increased regularly, and states that they hope each level cap increase will encourage the more hardcore, high-level players to race to the new cap.

Easier Fruit Eating
zSlide has added an “Eat Up” button that allows players to fill their HP bar from their fruit supply, with just one click. No more clicking watermelons over and over!

Asking and Giving Health Kits
Finally, today’s release revised the way players ask for and give health kits. Now, when a player runs out of health, they will be prompted to ask their friends for help. And instead of sending a health kit to your entire team, players will instead answer one friend’s call for help by awarding them with a health kit.

…whew! That’s a pretty long list of changes. And we didn’t even cover some of the more minor ones, like the minigame helpers being changed. What do you think of these changes? Let us know in the comments!

Cafe World Introduces Friend Dish Spicing

Cafe World developer Zynga added a nifty new social feature to their hit restaurant title today, giving players more reason to visit and interact with their friends’ cafes.

Now, when visiting a neighbor’s cafe, players are given the opportunity to add spices to one of their dishes. These spices are free of charge, and aren’t taken from a player’s personal spice supply. Neighbor stoves can even be spiced by players that haven’t completed their own spice racks, yet.

Players can only spice one stove per neighbor per day, and the spice they receive is random. Besides just being a neighborly thing to do, players also receive a bonus for spicing up their neighbor’s dishes. A small amount of coins and cafe cash are awarded for each neighbor spicing, and other, bigger bonuses can occasionally be earned as well. In our tests, we earned a spice rack part for helping our neighbor out.

All in all, this feature reminds us of when farm plot fertilizing was first added to Farmville. It’s good to introduce more incentives to encourage players to visit and help their friends. Features like this help make social games feel more social.

Happy Island Adds Gifts, Attractions, & Decorations

Happy Island developer Crowdstar left not category untouched today, updating the game’s gifts tab, and both major sections of the Happy Island Shop.

The new gifts are: Blue Tiki Post, Wardrum, Echinacea flower, and a Mini Cabana.

The new decorations are: Stone Bridge, Greek Road, Chess Queen (Black), Chess Queen (White), Starfruit Tree, Wood Bridge, Stone Path, and Boardwalk.

As usual, it is the new attractions that are the real star of this update, however. The new premium “Kong’s Lair” attraction is probably one of the coolest attractions in the game. It is for sale for 66 FB$ ($6.60), and features an animated King Kong breaking through the barred wooden door. A new Greenhouse attraction is for sale for 160,000 coins, making it one of the most expensive level 1 attractions released yet. Finally, a cheaper Paperback Stand bookstore attraction was also released. It is being sold for 13,750 coins.

What do you think Kong’s Lair upgrades into? Let us know in the comments!

Treasure Madness Launches Minolovka Minigame

Treasure Madness developer zSlide introduced another new minigame into their treasure collecting title, as part of today’s update: Minolovka. Like most TM minigames, Minolovka bears a close resemblance to a classic puzzle title. This time zSlide drew their inspiration from Minesweeper.

When playing Minolovka, players are presented with a grid of discs. Clicking on a grid space reveals what is inside: either a number, a mine, or a gem. The goal is to discover the location of all the gems, without clicking on any of the mines. The numbers inside of a disc tell players how many mines are bordering that disc.

Minolovka starts out quite easy – most players will probably win on their first few attempts just by clicking on random spots. Later on, players will need to examine the numbers and use logic to figure out where the mines are hiding.

Minolovka is available to players level 12 and higher, and is now automatically added to the game’s pool of available minigames.

Hotel City Adds New Wallpaper & Wall Decorations

Hotel City developer Playfish added a handful of new ways for players to deck-out their hotel rooms, earlier today. Players now have access 11 new wallpapers and 11 new wall decorations in the Hotel City decoration store.

The new wallpapers are: Web with dew, Spring flowers, Pink Petals, Robin in spring, Golden Grapes, Spring flow, Flower line, Sunny spring, Blue butterflies, Treehouse wall, and Tree balcony. The first five are premium wallpapers, for sale for Playfish Cash, and the other six are for sale for coins. These new wallpapers can have a huge impact on the personality of a room. The new Tree balcony background transforms a room into an airy, outdoor space, for example (see our picture below).

The new wall decorations are: Pink butterfly, Blue butterfly, Bright butterfly, Hanging pink flowers, Yellow flowers in vase, Forest clock, Earth day 2010 painting, Spider, Red flower curtain, Red flower tapestry, Red flower painting.

What do you think about these new decorations? Will any be making their way into your hotel?

Happy Pets Releases Ferrets

Happy Pets developer Crowdstar has released another new pet variety: ferrets! As with all Happy Pets pets, these ferrets come in a variety of colors, and come complete with their own unique animations and sound effects.

A caramel ferret is available as a lost / adoptable animal. As with all adoptable animal, players will find one at random in their pet house. This will give the player the opportunity to make a Facebook news feed post. Any friend that clicks on that post can then receive a ferret of their own.

Ferret varieties available in the Happy Pets store are: Pink, Firehouse, Blueberry, Cream, Snowy, Sable, S’more, and Lemon. These ferrets are for sale for 64 FB$ ($6.40).

The addition of ferrets brings the list of Happy Pets’ exotic animals up to nine. What other animals would you like to see added? Iguanas? Or perhaps mice? Let us know in the comments!