The people from Game Insight – the company who brought us Paradise Island – dropped me an email several weeks ago and told me they were getting ready to release a new game and asked if I would review it for them. I agreed and, after a couple of weeks, they sent me a link to the game, along with a nice press release for our site, so I could download it and install it on my Android for review as well as publicizing the title for them.
I’m only just getting around to reviewing it, for a couple of reasons.
The first of those reasons is that I had the game downloaded for about 2 minutes (I wasn’t even finished copying the file to my phone yet) when they emailed me and said “Oh, by the way, we appreciate you agreeing to do an advance review but we stepped up our time line and released the game yesterday”. Wait, what? You put me through all of that for some shit I could have just downloaded from the marketplace and installed? FUCK! I had done company research, looked in to Facebook subscriber numbers, worked all through getting a bunch of information together so I could present a nicely made, insightful article and they release the fucking game a day before they email a link to ftp it from some god-awful slow server?
Way to treat your press, guys.
The second reason I’m just now getting around to reviewing it is because it’s so frustrating I can’t bring myself to play it. I’ve had to force myself to fire it up several times over the last few days so I can get a better feel for it and every time I do the game pisses me off so bad I have to fight to not throw my free $500 phone through the wall because I don’t think HTC is going to buy the old “It was sitting on my nightstand and just exploded” routine…again…
Why, you may be wondering, is this game so frustrating? Well, I’ll tell you. Unlike Paradise Island, which didn’t require me to spend money to get ahead, this gold-digging application is doing everything it can to try to force me to reach into my wallet and cough up my hard earned dough to advance in the game.
About a week ago, I wrote an article about microtransactions and what a steaming heap of bullshit they are. Well, this title is one of the things which prompted me to write that article. I mentioned in that article that this title is guilty of the tactic of dangling progress in your face with the promise of random item drops but then never drops the items you need to progress.
So now I’m at the point, with this game, where I have half a dozen buildings waiting to “open” and I can’t open them until I get the item needed to hire the person required to run the building and the item is supposed to drop by building or collecting profits from other types of buildings so I have dozens of those other buildings and they refuse to drop the necessary items, so I keep building them in the hope that one of them will drop one of the items I need but they never do. Meanwhile I have DOZENS of the other 2 items needed (every type of “employee” needs 1 of each of 3 items). It’s like eating at McDonalds every day for 6 weeks during the Monopoly promotion and getting 38 Boardwalks and, naturally, no fucking Park Place.
Now it’s at the point that the buildings I can’t open are taking up space which could be used for buildings I CAN open and I can’t move them because the game won’t let you move an incomplete building so I have to try to work around them but the touch action in the software is so dodgy that 90% of the time I try to collect from one of the good buildings, it thinks I’m trying to hit the incomplete one and the screen pops up telling me that the building isn’t open yet because I don’t have the item but I can’t get the item because the game is fucking with my entire existence so it takes the time to remind me that I can PAY for the game to give me the item if I hand over some of the money I work 197 hours a week to pay my bills and get hookers with. They’re asking for 9 “CountryBucks” per item, at the rate of 10 cents per “buck” or 20 “countrybucks” to hire the person outright which means I would have to drop between $.90 and $2.00 to open each building. There’s also an option to…get this…Give the game a 5-star rating on the marketplace to “earn” some countrybucks.
So I’m to lie to people about the quality of the game in order to make the game playable for a short time? I don’t think so.
Of course, this is just referring to the Android version of the game. The Facebook version pulls the same crap but uses facebook credits (and the “get your friends to help you” gimmick which really means “sucker your friends in to playing this game, too, so we can charge THEM money to play and make them all hate you”).
Let me tell you this. There is NO WAY IN HELL, I’m going to give these people money. If they had charged me straight out of the gate or given me a piece of demoware with the option to unlock for a few bucks, I would have done it. What I’m NOT going to do is let them nickel and dime me to death and I’m damned sure not going to recommend this title to you, the reader, or to any of my friends.
Their last title was a lot of fun but if I’m honest I have to say that I’m so pissed off at them over this My Country nonsense that I haven’t even bothered playing that in quite some time and may never get around to really playing it again. I find their underhandedness and greed disgusting, to say the least, and would like to say SHAME ON YOU, Game Insight, for releasing a piece of software which is so unplayable until money is spent to buy things in the game.
It’s crap like this that makes me less and less likely to spend money on any microtransaction. If it were honest, worthy and uncommon, I’d think about it but this is ridiculous…It turns a 7 – 8 into a flat-out 2.
What a shame.