OWFI: Online, Wii, Facebook, iPhone Games

Posts Tagged ‘restaurant city’

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?



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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  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: Restaurant City (Facebook, Playfish)

Posted by Appgamr on June 18, 2009

Lindsay, Joanne, and Shaya are your Restaurant City staffers.

Lindsay, Joanne, and Shaya are your Restaurant City staffers.

++  Love cooking?  Love food?  Dream about starting a restaurant?  You can do it for free and instantly on Facebook at Restaurant City, published by Playfish.  Playfish is a leading social games publisher, producing high-quality Facebook-based games such as Pet Society and Restaurant City.

Restaurant City’s winning feature is its accessibility.  You can recruit your Facebook friends, their names and images anyway, to collaborate with you on your restaurant.  They don’t need to do anything.  They don’t even need to click a button and say, OK.  I guess Playfish thinks (rightly in my opinion) if they agreed to be your Facebook friend, they probably wouldn’t mind if you used their names and images in your free Facebook game.  Your recruited friends get occasional Restaurant City updates by Facebook.

By automating the activity to a minimum degree of interaction, Restaurant City players are able to advance to higher levels just by being registered long enough.  Offline, your wait staff feeds customers and makes money.  They work their shifts as if you were online the whole time.  If you play for ten minutes per day, you will see your restaurant, menu, and wait staff grow with a minimum amount of interaction.  Restaurant City’s automated game play approach is a great way for lazy or busy people to advance and see higher levels.

Casual game purists will say “this isn’t really a game.”  They are probably right.  It is a casual casual game: the kind made for you to have a daily diversion and common experience with your Facebook friends.  I like Playfish’s Pet Society and love Restaurant City.  Two thumbs up.

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