PinkGamr

OWFI: Online, Wii, Facebook, iPhone Games

Posts Tagged ‘pet society’

Review: Booyah Society, the iPhone/iPod Touch “Life Game”

Posted by Appgamr on July 28, 2009

Earn points for routine tasks.

Earn points for routine tasks.

I wanted to be the first to review Booyah, the iPhone/iPod Touch apps that give you points for the game of life.  You get points for Facebooking and Twittering; completing a five mile run; calling your mom; getting on an airplane, etc.

Booyah creators call it “the first social game based on your real-life achievements.”  It comes with built-in Facebook and Twitter communications, your own customizable 3-D avatar to represent you, interactive calendars, point systems for the various things on your calendar.

Booyah creators have impeccable game credentials: World of Warcraft and Diablo II design bragging rights.  For casual gamers, this means the Booyah folks are beloved for addictive, if warlock- and dungeon-filled, action games.

Pet Society is about getting points for activities with cute imaginary animal avatars: cuddling, feeding, grooming, visiting activities.  In some ways, Booyah is an online game influenced by reality TV.  It assumes people will be interested in people doing everyday things, but some people get more points than other people because of how they play the life game.

I tried testing Booyah just now, but the links to iTunes on Booyah.com were broken for the iPod Touch.  Booyah currently supports iPhone.  Will check back again.

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Review: Mafia Wars (Free), Zynga, Facebook

Posted by Appgamr on July 13, 2009

Cue Sopranos music.

Cue Sopranos music.

What is the most popular game on Facebook?  In my social network, it is Mafia Wars, the free Facebook game published by Zynga, also known for its Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Game.  Anecdotally, the most popular Facebook games are Pet Society (Playfish), Restaurant City (Playfish), Mafia Wars (Zynga), Texas Hold ‘Em (Zynga), each with distinct audiences.

Zynga games appeal to transactions-oriented folks and Playfish games appeal to easy-going hanging out and sharing folks.

My b-school friend Mark is addicted to Mafia Wars.  He just won a Mafia Wars award “Dependability” for playing every day for seven days.  Mark is a senior manager at a large organization; I think he’s acting out turn by turn mob hits and grand larceny for one hour every night.  If he were paid actual $$$ for 7 hours per week, 4 weeks per month, 12 months per year, it starts becoming big bucks quickly.

Mafia Wars is a choose-your-own Sopranos adventure that lets you go at your own pace.  In my opinion, it is an interactive graphic novel or book.  Its unique appeal is that it can involve your Facebook friends and family members in the storytelling.  You’re sharing your entertainment and making it open to your friends at their option.

Zynga offers a Facebook game called Fashion Wars, which is similar in concept except set in the cutthroat Project Runway style fashionista world.

In comparison, Playfish’s Pet Society and Restaurant City are about hanging out in cute, colorful interactive worlds and giving your friends cuddly animal hugs and delicious pizzas.

Readers, which Facebook games do you prefer, those of Playfish or Zynga?

Click on LEAVE A COMMENT.

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Review: Crazy Planets (Free), Playfish, Facebook

Posted by Appgamr on July 2, 2009

Love Pet Society?  Addicted to Restaurant City?  Crazy Planets is your new habit, brought to you by the Facebook game master Playfish.

Find Crazy Planets in the Facebook Applications area, in the lower left of your Facebook profile.  Type in “Crazy Planets” in the search box.  Or, find it at Playfish.com.  Be the first in your social network to rope everyone into this fun, light, space exploration action game.

Crazy Planets must have soft-launched recently because I haven’t read or heard about it.  Unlike Pet Society and Restaurant City, you aren’t nurturing a cute little pet or feeding your friends with food creations.  Instead, you are a cute space fighter who must visit strange planets and kill robots by blowing them up with cute bazookas and grenades.

It sounds violent but it isn’t.  It’s about as violent as Star Wars, Star Trek, or the arcade classic Space Invaders.  Blowing up cute robots without muss or fuss probably isn’t what most moms want their five year olds to be doing.  However, I’m a nonviolent wuss, and I thought Crazy Planets was OK and as sanitized as a blow ’em up game can get.  It’s a nice stress reliever and a way for gals, moms, vegetarians, peaceniks, and the alien-loathing public to understand why blow ’em up games and G-rated shooters can be fun.

Using your Facebook profile photos, Crazy Planet customizes to you and your Facebook friends.  Your space fighter avatars will wear your Facebook face picture while walking, jumping, dancing, and falling.

Playfish’s ability to make distinctive, free social networked games is unmatched.  A lot of social games producers are phoning it in.  Playfish continues to delight and innovate in this brand new world of social networked casual games.

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Review: iPuppy, (Free, $1.99), MASQ Interactive, iPhone

Posted by Appgamr on June 30, 2009

Pet your puppy, stat!

Pet your puppy, stat!

Addicted to Nintendogs?  Love Pet Society on Facebook?  Raised on Neopets?

Throw away you DS and get your fix with iPuppy, the iPhone app that lets you raise, pet, feed, and tend to a cute yappy dog in your pocket.  For now, iPuppy, is the best pets app you can get.  Comes in Chihuahua, Siberian Husky, and Schnauzer, for now.  However, though the 3-D effects are pleasant and it’s a nice substitute for Nintendogs, the globally best-selling DS game several years running, it feels a little primitive and unimaginative of the iPhone’s capabilities.

Initially, you are granted $500 and use that budget to buy your pet treats, clothing, and toys.  This is the main design for Pet Society on Facebook.  However, for most pet owners, playing with budgets, like figuring out how many $20 dog bones you can buy with $250, isn’t why they keep a pet.  We keep pets for the rewards of gaining Doggy and Kitty’s eternal love when we give them simple things like a cuddle, a pat, a cookie, strokes of the brush, a bubble bath, a walk, a hug.

Artistically, I think iPuppy could be even more realistic, with bigger, close-up graphics, more ambitious and creative uses of colors for the pets and accessories.   The other artistic direction would be cartoonish avatars a la Pet Society, produced by Playfish.

iPuppy is OK for now.  I think the next big game based on pets will focus more on owner and pet bonding.  Pets will grow based on time, love, and interaction, not economic transactions.

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