- Release Date: August 2, 2012
- Publisher: 6Waves
- Developer: Arvara
- Genre: Simulation
Chateau is a Facebook city-builder casting you in the role of a business investor who purchased an old estate plus the surrounding great plot of unirrigated vineyards. The former owner of the manor was forced out of business by the local ruler, was is also a rival winemaker. You took over the property, and need to get the winemaking business back on track.
The game scenarios can be broken down into two sections: inside and outside the chateau. Inside the chateau, you have a first-person perspective view of interior layout of different rooms, while some of them are level-locked.However,they are just static images fixed in the background.This reminds me of the Japanese text adventure style games.Unfortunately, the game has no story lines, no finely-crafted and comfortable-looking NPC avatars, or environment interactions.Sometimes, you need to find some “hidden” objects as per the hints of quests in order to advance the game. But this is not an hidden object game, quest items are invisible and can only be found by spamming mouse click on each possible hiding-place. Besides, you are required to purchase new decorative items in order to raise the house’s “prestige” level in order to access more options. These furnitures have their fixed position, so you do not have freedom to decorate exactly how you please.
Outside the manor, the vineyard is the place where you do traditional work. You must place houses for workers, who can collect grapes from the vineyards for you. What you need to do is just repeatedly click and collect grapes and XP’s after certain period of time. You can directly sell these grapes at market for gold, however, it will be more profitable to reprocess these grapes into various more various items via a complicated “supply chain” system. For instance, you can use the grapes in a “Wine Press” to squeeze them to extract their juice; you can further send juice to a “Fermenting Cellar” to load them into wooden barrel. Of course, you can sell your products at any point along this supply chain. But if you are not in need of money that badly, I strongly recommend you to wait additional steps in order to create more value in the long run.
While the “supply chain” system is interesting and offers a little more depth and realism, in general, it really doesn’t provide any new or innovative mechanics in terms of basic gameplay. You end up in spamming mindless clicks on buildings with icons popped up by consuming energy points. Besides, there is also a strong emphasis on decorating the vineyards. It is nice to see more can be done with the exterior section such as the ability to freely arrange trees or roads to a greater scope. But sometimes, you still have to adhere to special code of conduct. For example, a side-quest asked me to make a 3×3 square flowerbed composed of 9 smaller grids. All these flowers were given to me, and I need to note that adjacent flowers, whether horizontally, vertically or diagonally, must contain different flowers. The way the brain works actually had interested me for quite a few time and it was very addicting.
Additionally, the educational contents give player a distinctive twist for those who are new to wineries. The game provides you with a must-know tip in regards to a wine-making fact upon the wrap-up interface every time you accomplish a mission or gain a new level. However, the drawback here is that there is a sentence accompanied by the picture, saying ” Does your friends know this” instead of “Do your friends know this”.
Social features are very limited right now aside from the “friend-hiring” and “wish list”. Gifts can be exchanged between players, and visiting each other’s vineyards can hardly earn useful ingredients. There are still a lot of things that game producer need to get done, so I will still keep an eye on the game and maybe check it back later after a couple of months when some new features are added and existing issues are wiped out.
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