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Cheech and Chongs Animated Game
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Cheech and Chongs Animated Game

Release Date:  2011/11
Publisher:  Cheech & Chong
Developer:  Cheech & Chong
Genre:  Social Game
Sponsor:

Cheech and Chong have brought laughter to people in the 1980s, with their drug-craze hippie style and hilarious comedian shows. And now WHA2 Entertainment and F84 Games once again feature these two characters in its newly-made business simulation titled Cheech and Chong’s Animated Game. Yet is this game a hit on Facebook? I highly doubt that.

Simply put, the game is pieced together by several drug-related activities: to get stoned to fill Buzz (equivalent to energy) and do jobs to earn coins, buy necessary items including pots, soil, seeds and water to grow and sell weeds, and collect premium jars so as to finally open your own medical marijuana dispensary. That’s all. While being simple is not necessarily a shortcoming, being simple and boring undoubtedly is.

Drug-themed games are not unusual on Facebook, for there are already Pot Farm and Weeds Social Club taking initiative and leaving marks in this field. To adopt the two heavily bearded figures as guide in the game doesn’t seem to have added any extra favor points to the game. The comedy duo of Cheech and Chong has long lost its appeals to people nowadays. Honestly speaking, I need to google so as to figure out who these guys are. After vaguely conceiving their role as comedian actors, I even felt a little disappointed when I found the game included no trace of expected humor at all.

The in-game interface is designed in a vertical style, categorized from top to down into five parts. Such a structure is clear and somewhat static, resembling the interface of text-based Mafia Wars. After the short tutorial explaining all included gameplay, you may play on your own. Don’t worry of being addictive to it, for you will come to a halt soon enough.

The game is dragging. That’s the most serious problem of it that needs to be fixed. First of all, it doesn’t give us much to start that you need to spend the 2-digit coins on seeds, soil and water in the very beginning so as to start planting weeds. After that not much money is left, so you need to do jobs to win coins. But doing jobs consumes Buzz quickly and in large amount, for the basic work requires five clicks to finish, 3 Buzz per click. You can calculate how many jobs can be done with the overall 30 Buzz. Buzz bar can be refilled automatically, only with a slow rate, 1 Buzz per 4 minutes. Although you can always quickly refill it via getting stoned (e.g. smoking weeds) in the Stash, the needed weeds have to be bought soon after the limited free-allotted quantity is consumed. To pile on, to do jobs also requires certain items, which must also be bought for coins.

And weeds take time to grow before you can harvest. The Dirt Weed seed of the lowest level needs 2 hours to ripen, while the Sour Diesel seed takes 15 hours. Thusly, selling weeds is surely not an effective way to make money either.

Coins are simply hard-come-easy-go in the game; so is the Buzz. With the constraint set by these two factors, slowness of the procession is inevitable. And it can only be for one purpose, namely, paving way for the premium items.

Such intention is clearly demonstrated in the design. Just look at the listed locations in the interface: among the eight initially activated locations, only the Pad and Work are for planting weeds and doing jobs and the rest such as Cheech and Chong’s Shop, Snack Bar and the Dope Deal are without exception places to suck in money. These shops provide a wide range of items useful in quickening the level-up, such as the bulb to reduce plants’ growing time, Hydroponic Pot not only requiring no soil but also boosting plants by 1 star rating (higher star rating, higher selling price), and the Mocha Candy Bar to offering TP (in-game experience point) and recharging 14 Buzz, just to name a few.

Besides the several activities above, there is also a Fuzz design. It includes a Fuzz value, which indicates the possibility of being busted by Sgt. Stadanko. Only if we shin away from jobs with high Fuzz value and keep the storage of weeds below the stash capacity, the Fuzz will stay down. So far, I actually didn’t really know what it is like to be busted, so this part of gameplay seems to me as well without it.

Cheech and Chong’s Animated Game is not my cup of tea. Yet frankly speaking, I like its setup in the social aspect: it doesn’t push us to spam friends no matter whether it is invitation of playing together or request of small favors; nor does it constantly pop up Share-Achievement interface, both interruptive and irritating, which is common in Facebook games.

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