Posts Tagged ‘review’

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Organ Trail by The Men who Wear Many Hats

July 13, 2011

Publisher The Men who Wear Many Hats
Platform Facebook
Multi-account No
Type Educational/Adventure/Zombie Horror
Initial Review Date 7/12/11
Last Updated 7/12/11
FAQ
Files/Tools
Click here to Play

Do you remember the old classic game Oregon trail?

It was one of those educational type games that was supposed to teach you about the early days of the united states. When people moved in mass across the continent in covered wagons to carve out a new life on the west coast. In that game you took control of a family who was moving to Oregon.

Organ trail is a new twist on this old game. This game takes place during a modern day zombie apocalypse. You are the leader of a small group of survivors that is trying to make its way to safety. Safety however can only be found in one place, in the city of new haven located in Oregon.

This wouldn’t be so bad except you’re stuck in New York and most of the northern Midwest has been nuked. This means you’ll need to load up a station wagon with supplies and drive in a roundabout path to Oregon.

Gameplay

Though the setting is different it holds true to the original game in a lot of ways. You have a number of resources you have to manage during your trip. Spare parts for the car, gasoline, food, ammo, medical supplies and cash.

Like the original game you can control pace and food rationing. A faster pace puts more risk to the car and fatigues the passengers. Less food results in health loss each day. Health is recovered by resting and using medical supplies.

There are obviously new twists to the game appropriate to the setting. One hazard you have to watch out for is infection. People in your group can and will become infected with the zombie virus. At that point you have the decision of killing them off or letting them continue with you. Why would you not kill them off? because you get more points at the end of the game if you don’t. So, keeping them around is a gamble, since they could turn.

The game feels and plays like an old 386 game, which could make it less appealing to younger players who never played the original. The music is original 8-bit songs that are well done.

Conclusion

It is a lot of fun to play but I think the game suffers in replay value. Just like the original game, after you beat it you can try again to get a higher score but there isn’t much reason otherwise.

Something nice about the game is that the in-game help is actually helpful and the advice you’re given is fairly reasonable without really detracting from the game. You’re given hints not step by step instructions.


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Tycoons by Crunchy Roll

February 2, 2010

Publisher Crunchy Roll
Platform facebook
Multi-account yes
Type Economic Simulation
Initial Review Date 2/1/2010
Last Updated 2/1/2010
FAQ
Files/Tools
Click here to Play

In this game you purchase businesses which produce goods, services, raw materials or tax revenue. These can in turn be used to produce additional goods or can be sold at a profit to other players. The object of course is to make as much money as possible. The game is a pretty cool economic simulation game of the most basic sort. It doesn’t have a lot of flashy graphics but what it does do it does well. The menus are fairly intuitive and descriptive. I had a lot of fun with this game over christmas a few months ago since it was one of the few facebook games I could play with the laptop I was using. This is because it consists more of planning then of clicking repeatedly all over the place.

The only real complaint I have with this game is that the invites are handled really poorly. There is no way to know which of your friends is already playing the game and you don’t gain any benefits from having friends until one of you accepts a blind invite from other. Obviously going to a tycoons site helps, but even then because it’s not as popular a game I’ve found it difficult to get enough friends to unlock everything. I probably have enough friends playing this game already but I don’t feel like going though the list of 200+ people to figure out who those people are.

Multiple Account Benefits

I was surprised to find that having multiple acocunts on this game is actually pretty marginal. while it is possible to gift items to yourself as well as money, the quantities are so small as to be negligble. So while technically you benefit, the benifits just don’t seem all that worth while. Probably the most useful thing this allows you to do is produce goods on one account and then mail them off to the other account. Of course doing this means you’re not upgrading or expanding the secondary account very much.

Getting Started

Right away the game will tell you to pick a sector that you wish to specialize in. It also will tell you which sectors are currently doing well. The choice you make here while important isn’t irreversible. So,
if you pick something that you decide you really hate you can always change. But it’s not unusal to dip into multiple sectors anyway so you’ll probably be able to get some use out of what you picked.

Right after you start, the first thing you’ll want to do is to make sure that the free business you were given is actually profitable. This is read from the number up at the top as shown here

If this number is red then you need to immediately sell your business and buy a different one in the same sector (if possible). What this number is telling you is how much money you gain from the product it produces, minus the goods it took to produce that product. When the number is red it means you’re better off selling the raw materials directly then you are using them to produce this good. If you find that you’ve had to change buisinesses you may want to consider also selling whatever associated raw materisals you got. Afterall, you’ll want stuff that goes with your new business.

Once you have a moey making business I would recommend checking out the achevements page and seeing which ones you can easily get. Completing achievements helps you level and leveling unlocks additional businesses. So, even if you end up buying stuff that you’re not really going to use it’s well worth it.

Also, you’ll have to make a decision if you want to be self sufficient or not. The downside is that you may not make quite as much money this way if one of your producers has a negative profit margin (it costs more to make the good then it does to simply buy it out right). However, the advantage is that you will always be able to produce and sell your end product goods without having to worry about market fluctuations.

Something else I’d like to point out is that you should pay careful attention to how much a plant can store versus how much it produces. This is because once a plant maxes out it’s storage it no longer produces goods until it is “emptied” so, depending on how often you’re harvesting your businesses you may find that increasing the capacity is what really gives you “more”.

All in all just try things out and find what works best for you. You can always get a good idea of your progress by checking your net worth graph. If overall it’s going up you’re doing great, if it’s mostly going down though then you probably need to find a better strategy.


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Ponzi, Inc. By Challenge Games

February 1, 2010

Publisher Challenge Games
Platform Facebook
Multi-account No
Type Simulation
Initial Review Date 1/29/10
Last Updated 1/29/10
FAQ Offical FAQ
Files/Tools
Click here to Play

Ponzi is a business simulation game. The company you run is highly reminiscent of what you would find in a Dilbert cartoon. This is partially because of the “jobs” that you do and because of the employees you hire.

In the game you have 4 main sections which are as follows

  • Do Jobs: This brings up the jobs screen where you are presented with what activities your employees can engage in. These jobs can range from scheduling meetings to discuss meetings to doing market research on toast. Each job lists how many employees are required, how much money the job will generate and how long it will take to complete. Additionally, each job has a mastery reward that typically results in “perks”. Because of this it makes sense to continue to do jobs even if newer higher income jobs are an option. Just keep in mind that you can never be engaged in more then 5 activities at the same time. So pick your jobs wisely.
  • Hire: This is the screen where you hire your employees. It has two parts. The first one is the screen you start on and you can hire computer employees. They show a picture and tell you what their best skill is. The second screen which is accessed by clicking on “hire friends for free” at the top allows you to hire your friends as employees. You can hire up to 5 people off of each screen You might wonder why your friends don’t have any “skills”. Well, in this game this is the 1st and last time you’ll see your employees. Once hired they just become a number at the bottom of the screen. So, don’t worry about hiring that guy that steals staples, he’ll still get the job done as well as anyone else. I would suggest always starting with the friends page first though. Since they are free.
  • Perks: These are temporary bonuses you can gain. Each one clearly identifies what it does and new perks can be earned by mastering jobs. The only downside is that most of these perks can only be purchased using C coins, which of course can only be gained from spending real cash. So, for the most part only the $ perks are practical to use on a daily basis.
  • Ponzi Pyramid: In the lower right hand side you’ll see a little pyramid icon. Clicking on this will bring up your current ponzi scheme. You can have up to 10 friends on your pyramid. These players can be placed regardless of level and you can’t reach the top tiers (which give the highest %) until the lower tiers have been filled. I’ll also point out that you can’t earn any money off of players who are higher level then you. Basically as someone earns money in the game you get a % of the money they make based on which tier they are on. So, if you don’t have 10 friends that are lower level then you, fill the bottom tiers with players who are too high level until you’re able to fill the upper tiers with players you will earn money from. Then as you pass other players you can redistribute your pyramid to maximize your income (highest earners at the top and lowest at the bottom).

Hints/Tips

  • Buy equipment based on job requirements: When you view a job you can see what it requires. You’ll want to get your hands on this equipment asap even if it isn’t otherwise useful to you so that you can always do the highest profit jobs.
  • Hire friends every day: Assuming you have a large pool of friends you can hire from you will want to hire 5 of them every day so that you can max out your building as soon as possible. Buildings can only be upgraded once you’ve maxed them out and you don’t want to run into the situation where you have jobs that require rooms that haven’t been unlocked yet
  • Watch your morale: As you hire more and more employees you need to watch your morale rating. It needs to be above 100% at all times, but no matter what you have in place it can’t go past 125%. Once your morale drops to below 100% you might lose some of your employees. To prevent this, make sure you always max out whatever items you have access to that grant a permanent morale bonus. If you’re finding yourself still low on morale  don’t be afraid to buy and use perks. That’s what they are there for. Besides at that point you should be able to easily afford them on a daily basis.
  • Money Earned Equals levels: In this game, you don’t earn expereince separate from money. Instead however much money you’ve earned is your expereince level. Don’t worry about spending your cash though since it strictly counts how much money you’ve made, not how much you have. Because of this you want to make sure you’re always doing the jobs that earn you the most money.

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War Storm by Challenge Games

January 31, 2010

Publisher Challenge Games
Platform Facebook
Multi-account No
Type Collectible card game
Initial Review Date 1/30/10
Last Updated 1/30/10
FAQ Official FAQ
Files/Tools
Click here to Play

If you enjoy playing CCGs like magic or pokemon you’re probably going to enjoy this game quite a bit. The best way to describe it is as a CCG war game. That is the Classic game of WAR in a CCG format. This is because the only real control you have over the action is during the deck building phase. Once you start a game against an opponent everything is
completely automated. Even so, it’s still a fun game.

In the game your deck consists of one or more squads. Each squad consists of 1 Hero card and 6 other cards all of which must either match the Hero”s faction or be usinversal cards. However, you can use  multiple squads of  different factions to create your final “deck”.

There are 3 basic types of cards in the game, they are as follows

  • Units: These are creatures that fight on your behalf. Each one has a creature type, speed rating, attack rating and health. Creatures also may have one or more special abilities each of which is clearly explained and can be displayed by clicking on the card (regardless where it is or whose it is).
  • Artifacts: In general these cards act as equipment which enhance a troop card.The artifact will always attach it’s self to the first creature in line and if that creature dies the artifact goes with it.
  • Spells: In general these cards cause temporary effects to occur. For example 1 spell deals 4 damage to a single target and is then discarded. Some spells have the special ability “animated” which means it has a chance of returning to your hand after it’s been cast.

How many and which type of cards you can use depend completely on your commander. This is represented by the circles which appear in the upper right hand side of the card. For example. The followig card

allows you to use 5 units, 1 artifact and 0 spells. So far as I can tell these 3 will always add up to 6, so basically  you can use artifacts and spells at the expense of units.

Getting started

To start with the tutorial does a really good job of stepping you though the game. Also, you get free cards for completing each of the novice missions. This is great since it allows you to save a fair amount of silver. Once you’ve beaten the final novice tutorial mission I would recommend checking out the single card and advanced card boosters. This is because these are where the good cards will be found. The novice boosters while cheap are pretty limited. They’re good if you don’t feel you have enough cards to make choices, but you’ll never get any of the really good cards buying novice booster packs.

Of course, in order to buy these cards you will need plenty of cash. This money can be earned most easily by fighting other players. Each PVP (player vs player) fight will earn you silver even if you lose. Also, once you win 3 fights you’ll get a 1000 silver bonus. In this way you have a nice alternative to earn money when the missions get too hard for you to beat. Sometimes you just don’t have the right type or enough of the right type of cards to beat the challenges presented.

Multiple Accounts

At this time, there are no benefits to having multiple accounts for this game. However, I have noticed a number of my cards specifically specify that they can not be traded. So, perhaps at some point in the future you will be able to trade cards with other players. Once you’re able to do this having mulitple accounts will be extremely beneficial as you would then be able to buy cards from your alternate account and then send them to your primary account in exchange for some card you don’t plan on ever using or that you have extra duplicates of.


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My Town – By Broken Bulb Productions

January 3, 2010

Publisher Broken Bulb Productions
Platform facebook
Multi-account Yes
Type Simulation
Initial Review Date 1/3/10
Last Updated 1/3/10
FAQ
Files/Tools
Click here to Play

MyTown is basically a farm sim type game. Though instead of planting crops you “plant” buildings. I was initially disappointed when I realized this since I was expecting something more like sim city. This game is fun regardless. Though, I wish they had dropped the farm sim style controls. It’s kind of pointless to have to “reset” the building after collecting your money. The extra click doesn’t really do anything for you nor is it fun.

In the game you have 3 different types of buildings. You have Homes, Businesses and City. There is little difference between homes and businesses. A home or business is how you primarily make money in the game. Each one can be “harvested” after a set amount of time, earning you money and expereince. You also gain some expereince for your initial purchase of the buildings. Additionally, each of these buildings take up the same amount of space. City structures are different. They do not earn you money, additionally they take up more space then homes and businesses. They do however earn you expereince each day.

For the most part I would recommend staying away from the city structures unless you like how they look as they are basically expensive cosmetic items. Speaking of which, that was one of the things that I did like about this game. There are a number of cosmetic items you can lay down for free. This gives you the ability to put together something that looks nice right away. However, like other farming sims you have to balance looks against profit.


Part 1: My Town – By Broken Bulb Productions
Part 2: My Town – Power Leveling
Part 3: My Town – Profit Values
Part 4: My Town – City Building Stats
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Tanoth – By GameForge

December 19, 2009

Publisher GameForge
Platform Browser
Multi-account No
Type Rpg
Initial Review Date 12/19/09
Last Updated 12/19/09
FAQ
Files/Tools
Game Link Click here to Play

This is fairly straight forward. It reminded me a lot of Tiny Adventures, but with prettier graphics. Basically you play as a hero and go on adventures. There are a couple things you can do in the game but for the most part it’s designed to be played passively. That is, you have it running in the background while you’re doing other things, interacting with the game every now and then.

It’s interesting that in this game multi-accounting is strictly prohibited, and yet you wouldn’t really benefit from it in a meaningful way anyway. This is because aside from attacking the random person there isn’t really any character interaction in the game. You just do adventures until you’ve filled your quota of 5 per day and then you spend the rest of the time working. This of course is interspersed with some duels but having multiple accounts wouldn’t help you much there since you get points only for fights that against other players of a similar level as yourself.

Getting Started

Now, right away there is something very important you need to realize about this game. In this game money is more important then expereince is. Again money is what matters. The reason is pretty simple. you can spend money to directly increase your stats.This means that early on having a bunch of cash will improve your stats more then gaining a level will. So you want to always focus on the adventures that give you the most money.

Also, I would recommend against spending all of your cash on gear. While gear does help generally speaking you can pick up twice as many stat points or more by upgrading your stats directly. The main thing you get from gear is armor, block % and base damage. Everything else is just Icing.

Also, I would refrain from spending blood-gems unless you have to. This is because the only way to get more is to spend real money. So, it’s best to save them for items you really want that you would be unable to get otherwise.


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PetVille – By Zynga

December 10, 2009

Publisher Zynga
Platform Online
Multi-account Yes
Type Simulation
Initial Review Date 12/9/09
Last Updated 12/9/09
FAQ
Files/Tools

Well, Zynga is at it again and they’ve added yet another game to their “ville” series that is a copy of another game. In this case they’ve decided to copy pet society. As to be expected with Zynga the game has a more “polished” look but the overall game play isn’t quite as good. While the game looks and feels like pet society it plays more like super poke pets. Below are some features of note in the game.

Customizable Pet

As with pet society you can adjust the how your pet looks. For a game that just came out there is a good verity in terms of what’s available.

Flowers that wilt after a few hours

I’m not quite sure what the point of these are but basically you can spend money on this decoration that dies after a certain amount of time. While a little odd, this wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t for the fact that none of the starter plants last more then 8 hours. I guess they still had Farmville on the brain when doing this part.

Food that lasts a certain amount of time.

This is kind of a new way of doing things. Basically you’re able to purchase food in bulk for your pet that will last for a given amount of time. In addition to this it seems that all food comes with a “free prize” that can be claimed for a short time after all of the food has been consumed. The prize however is just a couple of coins so in reality all that’s happening is you get a slight discount on the food for keeping your pet well fed. However, this seems to follow a carrot and stick system. Since if your pet goes for too long with out food they “run away” which basically just means you get fined a certain number of coins for allowing this to happen.

Purchasable Clothing

Obviously with this kind of game this is one of the major features. I did find it somewhat nice that the stores have different departments making it easier to find something specific you’re looking for. Of course they could have just as easily made the different departments different stores, so it’s really more of an aesthetic choice then being anything really different.

Purchasable house items (furniture, walls, floors, etc.)

Like the clothing the store is divided into departments. Judging from the home screen it looks like you can currently unlock up to four rooms in your house. This seems like a woefully small number given how small the rooms are. In all likelihood if this game takes off they will be adding additional rooms.

Visiting Friends

Again, this is pretty standard for these types of games. You can visit your friends earning rewards to level your pet and purchase additional items. Of course you can also be a maid for your friend and clean their house for some extra cash. Unfortunately, this seems to be the only way in the game to earn these rewards. There are no other activities or mini-games, hence why I say it plays more like super poke pets then it does pet society. Of course visiting friends does consume energy. So no matter how many neighbors you end up with this will ultamately be a limiting factor on how much you can get each day.

Overall, it’s an ok game, its just after seeing the nice graphics and opening theme song I was a bit disappointed that there wasn’t anything else to this game. I suppose as they’ve done with other games they have plans to add features. Then again,  I guess I shouldn’t complain too much since pet society wasn’t much different when it came out.