Yep…Zynga has released yet another in their long line of “ville” games, with the beta of Castleville.
I guess I shouldn’t say they’ve released another game, though…I should just say that they’ve pumped out yet another iteration of the same old crap.
Read on for some details.
I got an email a couple of days ago, notifying me of the new “game” (and by that I mean marketing scheme / money machine) just released on Facebook by the mini-game
shithouse developer Zynga. Knowing that a review of the game had to be done, I went ahead and hopped on Facebook to give it a look.
I fired up the game and immediately noted that this, like pretty much every other game released by Zynga, is based on “energy” and resources which must be managed and collected as you work on building a personal empire of virtual crap and cartoony sprites. Was I surprised? Nope. I knew, going in to this, what I was in for.
So I fired up a new game and started playing. I noted that the art style and play are almost identical to Frontierville, but the splash screens seem to indicate something more Cityville-esque so I figured I’d eventually build up my little town to the point that it would all zoom out and I would be looking a broad-brush overview instead of a granular approach to the game.
Almost immediately after starting the game, it prompted me to invite my friends to play and would not allow me to exit that window. I was forced to go to a friend selection screen and cancel from there, which is an even more aggressive expansionist stance than in previous titles by the developer who is known for aggressively working to expand their player base. It bothers me that it would do it once. It REALLY bothers me that it’s done it over and over and over in the time that I’ve spent with the “game”.
This game also, as with every. other. Zynga. game. ever. will put you in positions where you are forced to ask your Facebook friends for help with collecting various parts and supplies which, ultimately, is just another method of them aggressively pushing the player to recruit other people to play the game by trying to get their friends to play so they can continue to beg for goods and services and will eventually start spending money on buying Facebook credits so they will be able to expand and grow at a faster rate.
Look, I know Zynga has to make some money, ok? I know that they are a business and they fuel that business with money made by the games they release but why can’t that make that money from advertising dollars or even by charging a small fee to play the game? At least, that way, people would know what they’re getting into from the beginning and could play an unlocked, full version of the game from day one.
BUT NO! They are more and more aggressively pushing us to send annoying ass requests to everyone on our Facebook lists in an effort to get them involved so we can continue to play the game. They, in some instances, pretty much FORCE us to have friends playing the game in order to be able to continue on, by doing things like making us recruit people to work for various businesses we’re trying to set up so we can progress with the game…and if we don’t want to recruit our friends? Well, that’s ok…We can chuck them some money to buy Facebook credits and spend those on “hiring” virtual people to do the jobs we don’t have enough Facebook friends to fill.
I’m not sure how this isn’t illegal but I’d like someone to change that.
And now I’m done ranting so here’s the bottom line (quite literally).
If you want to play every other “ville” game ever made, go ahead and play this one because that’s all it is. Don’t expect anything new, other than an even more aggressive campaign aimed at forcing people to beg other people to play. Also, the game is crap, anyway so…enjoy your crap.