Posts Tagged ‘ Treasure Digging

Treasure Isle Releases Pirate Isles II

Treasure Isle developer Zynga kept the new maps coming this week, releasing the Pirate Isles II map set, officially titled Mysterious Seas. The set amps up the swashbuckling atmosphere even further.

The new seven new maps are: Day O’ the Dolphin, Monkey Jail, Pirate Fight!, Dead Man’s Reef, Stranded Sailor, The Old Keep, and Rock After Rock. Unfortunately, three of the seven new maps can only be purchased with Island Cash.

Pirate Fight! is our favorite of the bunch. It features two animated pirate ships duking it out. One of them, The Black Peel, is crewed by monkey pirates.

Playfish Launches Pirates Ahoy!

Wow… it has a busy day for game launches! Another new title from a major developer has made its debut today: Pirates Ahoy from Playfish! The title is a Treasure Digging game, similar to Zynga’s Treasure Isle and zSlide’s Treasure Madness (the original).

Like those titles, players have an energy bar that refills over time. Players can spend their energy to dig up islands one tile at a time, in the hopes of discovering buried treasure. Along the way they will also dig up gold, and food, which can be eaten to restore energy.

The biggest difference between Pirates Ahoy and its predecessors is the game’s thematic strength. We have been saying from the start that treasure digging titles are a great opportunity to be more story and exploration-driven, and Playfish seems to have nailed this element. In Pirates Ahoy, players actually control a pirate ship sailing across the sea. Players win treasure maps by battling sea monsters, and at that point these maps are explored and dug up tile by tile.

Another twist in Pirates Ahoy is that treasures must be “restored” after they are found. Players must spend gems and metals to complete the restoration process. Right now the only way to get more gems is by occasionally digging them up at random, or by purchasing them with PF Cash. Our hunch is that fellow treasure diggers will eventually be able to send gems to one another a free gifts.

Like Treasure Isle, players have a home island they can expand and decorate. Again, Pirates Ahoy benefits here thanks to the strength of its theme. What players are actually developing is a functional pirate headquarters. Players can purchase workshops such as distilleries that earn coins over time.

Our first impression of Pirates Ahoy has been extremely positive, but we might be a little biased, because (as regular readers undoubtedly already know)… we love all things pirate themed. The actual treasure digging action itself isn’t very different from the other games out there, but by focusing on and heightening the sense of exploration and adventure (even the game’s soundtrack is swashbuckling), Playfish’s entry stands out from the pack.

Play Pirates Ahoy.

Treasure Isle Survey Hints at Upcoming Features

More and more often Zynga is turning to its fans to help decide what direction to take some of their biggest games. Treasure Isle is the most recent example. The company is running a survey to find out what expansion players want to see next, along with gauging interest for other potential features.

First off, players are asked which location they would most like to see Zynga release:
- The Center of the Earth
- The Bermuda Triangle
- Shangri La
- Atlantis
- Machu Picchu
- Paradise Lost
- El Dorado

Next, players are asked which of the following features they would most like to see implemented:

- hiding treasure on my friends’ maps and finding treasure they have hidden on mine.
- more volcanoes like Fire God Mountain to explore.
- equipment to collect and use as I dig, including different tools to help me dig in different ways (e.g., faster, with less energy, etc.)
- finding decorations on my island that help me dig in different ways (e.g., faster, with less energy, etc.).
- story-based missions (e.g. “Find Blackbeard’s Treasure!”) and rewards for completing them.
- expeditions to go on with my friends using a shared progress map and with ways to help and be helped.

Although it’s possible none of these features or locations will ever make it into the game, generally these surveys are a nice way for players to peak into the minds of the developers, just as they use them to peak into the minds of their players.

Our opinion? We hope story-based missions are eventually released. We’ve been saying they’re a natural fit for this gameplay style ever since Treasure Madness first introduced it last year.

Treasure Isle Releases Pirate Maps

Hot on the heels of the eruption of the Fire God Mountain volcano, Treasure Isle developer Zynga has released the first set of Pirate Isle maps! The maps feature cannons, powder kegs, pirate ships, and lots of other pirate details. There is even a new pirate themed background tune (a first for the game).

The new maps are: Invasion!, Pirate Pub, Shiverin’ Shores, Monkey’s Gold, Brigand’s Cove, The Great Battle, and Sharky’s Village. Unfortunately two of the maps are only available with Island Cash – a setup we hoped the game had put behind it.

To open the new barrels and powder kegs, players will need to purchase the new Crowbar tool for 40,000 coins. The price tag might seem steep, but the islands are full of new treasures to discover. We came across Fightin’ Gear, Britches and Stitches, Pirate King’s Gear, and several other new pirate themed treasure collections.

Treasure Isle’s Fire God Mountain Now Open!

After entirely too much teasing, Treasure Isle developer Zynga has finally opened up Fire God Mountain for treasure seekers to explore. We have the full scoop on this major Treasure Isle expansion, so read on.

First off, before players can enter the volcano, they’ll need to protect themselves with SPF-3000 (ignore the fact that SPF is meant to protect against the Sun’s rays and not heat). Players can buy SPF-3000 from the shop with Island Cash, or get free SPF-3000 from their friends by requesting it. Players CAN’T freely send SPF-3000 to one another like a normal gift – the only way to receive it for free is to specifically request some from a fellow player. Only then can they send you some.

Once inside, players will have 14 floors to explore. These floors are created randomly, so players will experience something different each time they explore the volcano.

The most interesting twist is that the goal of Fire God Mountain is to discover all the treasures and make it through the entire volcano by digging as *little* as possible. Players need to watch closely for a “treasure nearby” (2 squares away) or a “treasure really close” (1 square away) message to discover the treasure on each floor in as few digs as possible. The fewer clicks a player makes to clear all 14 floors, the better the final reward!

All the treasure players collect in Fire God Mountain aren’t part of traditional treasure collections. Instead, they are actual decorations players can use on their home island. So far we have gotten Quartz, an animated fireball, and a new Glowflower plant.

The best prizes are reserved for those players that make it through the Volcano as efficiently as possible. Items up for grabs include the very very rare Rain God treasure, a new garden plot, a Lava Java that recharges your energy 10 seconds faster, and a Magman Energy that permanently your energy bar by 5.

We’ll have much more on Fire God Mountain very soon. In the meantime, leave a comment and let us know how many clicks it is taking you to reach the final floor!

Treasure Isle Adds Lava Mangos Gift

Treasure Isle developer Zynga released a new gift fruit today: Lava Mangos. We probably wouldn’t normally devote an entire blog post to one new gift, but in this case, we’ll make an exception.

These Lava Mangos provide players with 20 energy, but only when the player is “inside a volcano.” This is the latest hint that the release of the Fire God Mountain volcano maps is coming soon.

Maybe it will be too hot inside for normal fruit to work? Zynga did hint that players would need a special piece of equipment to enter the volcano (our bet is on something players have to construct with the help of their friends), but perhaps only special fruit can be used, too?

We’ll find out soon enough. In the meantime, better start stocking up on these Lava Mangos!

Treasure Isle Introduces a Mysterious Egg

Treasure Isle players visiting their home islands were presented with a mystery, today. A “Mysterious Egg” has washed ashore!

Players are given the option to “Investigate” the egg when clicking on it, which brings up a dialogue box stating “I wonder where I can take this egg to hatch?”. Given the egg’s flaming paint job, it seems a pretty safe bet that the answer is Fire God Mountain, which Zynga has been aggressively teasing players about for several days now.

I have to hand it to Zynga. They are becoming masters of building up hype. Fire God Mountain had better be a pretty big deal, after all the attention the company has diverted towards it! It seems like it is going to be, though. For one, it has already been confirmed that the stage contains exclusive fruits and exclusive home island decorations. Add to that this new unhatched animal, and it is looking more and more like Fire God Mountain’s opening is going to be quite the event.

Treasure Isle Adds Limited Edition Flags

Treasure Isle from Zynga is the latest Facebook game to introduce a collection of country flags, allowing players to show off their national pride on their home island. Unlike other games, these flags are limited time offers, however. All the new TI flags are only available for five more days, so players will need to act fast.

There are 25 limited edition flags available in total. All are for sale for 12 Island Cash, and earn 72 XP when placed. Besides a Treasure Isle Flag, a Zynga Flag, and an Earth Flag, the others are all representing specific countries. The United States, Japan, Brazil, France, Russia, and every other corner of the globe seems to be represented.

It seems a strange choice to make these flags limited time offers, doesn’t it? It seems that demand for them would be constant. We can understand why holiday item sets aren’t available year-round, but we always thought of flags as being fairly evergreen…

Treasure Isle Animals Now Earn Coins

Treasure Isle developer Zynga made an interesting addition last night: players can now interact with the animals on their home island to earn a few bonus coins. The coins can only be harvested every day or so, similar to FarmVille, and the payouts range between 15 – 35 coins for normal animals. Players can see which animals are ready to be harvested by the exclamation point above their head.

To our surprise, it appears every single decorative animal has been converted into a coin-earning animal, even the Jellyfish. For players with a large collection of animals on their home island, this change represents a pretty major opportunity to earn some extra dough each day!

Treasure Isle Adds Cities of the Sun Maps & Big Digs

Treasure Isle developer Zynga released another set of Mayan maps last night, breaking with tradition by naming the set “Cities of the Sun” instead of just naming them with a number. A new “Big Digs” feature was also introduced and is featured prominently on the new maps.

The new maps are: Hermit Landing, Land Before Shrine, Hidden Village, Temple Isle, Protected Shores, Secret Temple, and First Landing. Like the previous two map sets, all seven stages are available right away – no need to purchase them with coins or Island Cash. Hopefully someone at Zynga saw our criticism of maps being sold for Island Cash, and that practice has been done away with for good.

The Big Digs feature gives players the opportunity to explore bigger structures, like homes and temples, that exist on these new islands. To participate, players will first need to purchase a magnifying glass for 1500 coins. Then players just click on the building as normal to search it. Rather than digging them up tile by tile, players are instead searching the structure for the treasure, and must keep searching it over and over until they find it.

Each search costs 10 Energy, and we once spent 80 energy on one building without the treasure appearing! Searching buildings earns players pretty major rewards, though. That same search that cost us 80 energy earned us fruit worth 60 energy, plus a pile of gold and XP. It seems like players always earn 3 – 5 rewards per search, and it is satisfying to see them pop up on screen – we snapped a picture below where we earned fruit, 9 XP, and gold all with one search.