Laura Parkinson (stormfeather) wrote,
Laura Parkinson

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Monday Fun #44: Island/Aquatic Facebook Apps (online links)

Alright, trying to keep the momentum from last week, I'm going to try not to fall behind on my Monday links/reviews again. And for now, I'll start off reviewing some of the many many Facebook game applications out there, because gods know there's no shortage there!

The only thing is, I don't know if these links will work, since they go to *my* game instances... not sure if they automatically take a new player to the start of their own, or just to mine. At any rate, you should at least be able to find a way to get the application started from there, if you are at all interested.

Also, since I'm doing multiple apps at once, each one won't be all that long/in-depth. But on the off-off-chance you do want more info, please feel free to ask about them in comments. ;)

Island Paradise

Game type: Facebook Application (Meteor Games)

Time demand: A minute or two, every few hours/day or so. Or more, as you prefer.

Cost: Free (Can pay for premium items)

What it is:

I'm starting with this one because, well, it's the first of the facebook games I've tried myself. So... might as well go with it, eh?

This application gives you your own little island paradise to do with as you well. Which, y'know, truth in advertising. You start out with the smallest island, only a few plots ready to plant, and a limited amount of gold to spend.

The idea is to grow and improve your island, through earning gold, spending it on new things to earn gold, rinse, repeat. Although you can of course also start buying other things just for decoration or what have you, until you get your island just the way you like it. You can also upgrade the size of your island. Upgrades, like other improvements, cost gold - a lot of gold in this case.

You also have experience points, which you earn as you, well, plant items, make money, and do pretty much whatever it is you're doing to improve your little island. As you gain enough experience points, you go up in level, which unlocks new plants/animals/improvements of all types for you. And thus it continues.

So what exactly can you do? You can plow grassy land in the center of your island (plowing it costs gold, though, so you can't do too much at first), then spend gold on seeds to grow fruit and vegetables. These day a certain number of real-life hours (or even days) to grow, and wither after a certain time, meaning you must come back and harvest them within a certain time frame, although you then get a profit for selling them. Once you harvest these plants, they're gone. You can also cast nets to catch fish from a limited number of schools around your island, grow more expensive but permanent trees that periodically let you harvest fruit, or raise animals which again are expensive, but periodically give animal products for you to collect and sell.

You can also eventually buy cooking pots, barbecues, and other higher-level implements to let you start to cook some of the items you make into recipes, which also take a certain amount of real-life time (minutes in this case, with no time limit that I've seen on gathering the product) to cook, but give a small profit.

You can also add friends to your list of "neighbors" and visit their islands, maybe steal from their grown crops/animals/trees. You can also occasionally get a stray animal/tree cutting that you can share with friends to let them grab for their own islands, but not too much more. This isn't one of the more social-oriented games, I'd say.

The game is... alright. I probably wouldn't stop playing it because I'm doing fairly well at it, and it *was* my first, and it doesn't demand huge amounts of time. It's not one of my absolute favorites, but it's also not one that I'm actively starting to get bored with.

Game type: Facebook Application (Meteor Games)

Time demand: A minute or so, every so many hours/day.

Cost: Free (Can pay for premium items)

What it is:

As far as I know, this and Island Paradise are the only Meteor Games, and I started playing this one because of the other. It's.. not as fun, though, IMHO. Partly because it's not as challenging, or deep, at least not yet.

Basically you are given a rock pool (think of it like an aquarium really), where you can buy fish and plants and decorations, and grow and develop it as you like. You have a limited number of plants and fish that the pool can contain at first, and this slowly goes up as you level.

This works much as island paradise (or really a zillion other games) in that you unlock things as you go up in level, and need gold coins to buy new items, develop your pool, and so on. In this case, you gain gold coins periodically by harvesting your fish (No, it doesn't do anything to them, I don't know *what* you're harvesting, roe maybe? I'm not sure I WANT to know), or by growing temporary plants which you harvest much like the crops in Island Paradise. You also gain limited coins by clicking on and cleaning up garbage/treasure that occasionally appears in your pool.

About the only other thing to the game is that you need to periodically feed your fish, or they die. And fish food is really cheap in the shop, and it takes a while for the fish to get very hungry, so that's just kinda... there.

As I said, this is one of the games I'm not as enthused with, just because it's not challenging or all that deep, really. It has about the same amount of social stuff as Island Paradise, and since I have apparently no friends that play it (or at least own up to it), that's nil for me. Honestly, this one will probably be one of the ones to get the axe when I start winnowing out games from my playing list, and if it stays, it'll be more just because it's very time-undemanding, so I'll keep it out of inertia.

Game type: Facebook Application (Gaia Online)

Time demand: Very small, every few hours

Cost: Free (Can pay for premium items)

What it is:

This one I started playing because I play Gaia Online and figured I'd give it a spin when they announced it - it's still not all that deep yet though, and I don't know how much they plan to develop it in the time to come. But I figured I'd go ahead and review it along with Little Rock Pool, since they're both aquarium-type games, the only ones I play.

Anyhow, you start with an aquarium, where you can buy up to ten fish. You then make gold by selling off the fish once they gain at least level 2, which gives you experience and a profit in gold, which you can then turn around and pour into new fish. Or you can let the fish you have grow to higher levels instead, which increases the profit and experience payoff.

The trick of course is that fish need feeding every so often, and it seems to be linked to their growth timer, so they need feeding a little less often than they grow in level. Each fish has vastly different timers though, with most of the lower-level ones starting out as a few minutes, so the tank will need more time spent on it more frequently at first, or else you'll just end up with a bunch of dead fish.

Once you get your tank established though and gain levels, you gain access to fish that take hours or even days in between both leveling and getting hungry, so you can choose to go with those for a very undemanding tank. Or mix and match - it's up to you. You can also buy the obligatory decorations to improve the looks of your tank once you start gaining gold to spare.

The other "thing" to this application is a mini-game within the mini-game called Scrubbles, which you can play a certain number of times per day using your own tank, and the tanks of any friends you have that also play, and you've added to your friends list in the game. Unfortunately this is a simplistic game, where you release a ball to bounce off a number of "algae" and "clean" them, with a few bonuses here and there, but at least it gives you a few extra gold which are useful when starting out.

My main gripe with the game so far is that you need certain numbers of friends added before you can do even some simplistic things like increase the size of your tank to house more fish, which is annoying. But oh well.

This is in some ways like Little Rock Pool - it's just not really all that deep, so far at least, and there's just not much to do. We'll see how that is later on, as they make improvements and develop the game (or not), but for now, it's just kinda... there. A bit relaxing though, if you like fish and aquariums.

Anyhow, three games should be enough for now, even if they're not all that deep. Next week... maybe I'll continue on in this vein, or maybe I'll have something else to review. We'll see.
Tags: games, links, monday, reviews
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