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Facebook Game Clone: CastleVille, Flying Kingdoms and Hunger Games Adventures

Sara Lau
Apr 9,2012  01:04 by
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Flying Kingdoms, noted for its similarities to CastleVille, has seen another similar game on Facebook recently. Hunger Games Adventures, as it turns out, entitles a basically old game system with a completely irrelevant name. Putting aside the cute characters and bright colorful environment that the three games design to attract players, the three games use the same gameplay, though with slightly different stories and roles.

Above all, each provides several maps to explore, one of which homes the protagonist, and still waiting for unlocking step by step. The Kingdom in CastleVille, kingdom in Flying Kingdoms, and Forest Escape from Hunger Adventure Games are all divided into small pieces, which players unlock gradually by completing certain tasks or achieving required levels.

Missions, all assigned by NPCs through dialogues, mainly consist of building and repairing, planting, collecting resources, killing beasts, purchasing in the market and feeding animals. For example, you have to collect wood and rocks by chopping trees and mining rocks, and then construct houses and other buildings. Here is one thing that I don’t understand: each mini task is further divided into several steps, each costing one energy point. Why don’t just in one step? Take whatever energy points required. Just don’t split every construction, every battle or every conversation in several pieces. To one’s disappointment, that is not the case in any of the three games. It is understandable that they don’t want players to level up effortlessly. But sometimes that frustrates me in the seemingly endless chores while offering no surprises or comfort, though protagonists are all free from reporting to the task givers and can claim rewards directly.

The energy system, which players can never ignore in the three games, adds excitement and frustration as well as long waiting. Given the energy consumption system, one can easily run out of energy, which leaves him or her no choice but to wait long time for the refills or purchase energy points with real money. Bring your dollar, or take it slow, avoid unnecessary waste of energy and focus on the storyline tasks. Otherwise, the three games can easily become unplayable.

The energy system is not the most frustrating stuff in the games. Instead, it looks lovely when compared with some tasks that span hours or even days. In CastleVille, there is this task that requires me to explore the unlocked Gloomed area, which admits characters whose castle is at least 80. You have to know that I was only 11 then. What time can I even reach 50? In Flying Kingdoms, the cows and chickens require some 24 hours to collect necessities. While in Hunger Games Adventures, First Aid Pedestal requires about five hours to be available again when I am supposed to collect medicine three times from it. That system really slows things down.

In Flying Kingdoms, Hunger Games Adventures and CastleVille, wild animals and beasts are deemed enemies and must be defeated, which is common since it has to be admitted that few, in gaming world, seem to be animal protectionists. However, the battles in question are all turn-based combats, and not a single creature would aggressively start the conflict itself. It is pretty much like this: one attack from the protagonist, one back from the enemy, second from protagonist, second back, another one from protagonist, final back from the enemy, and the enemy disappears. Even if there are two or more enemies, they don’t attack any protagonist collectively. Ridiculous.

Last but not least, the three games grant the protagonists with omnipotence. The protagonists have their hand in whatever the businesses are. Plant crops, vegetables and fruits; construct and repair houses, castles, fences, or other buildings; feed animals, run other people’s errands, clear enemies in the way and even manage one’s own businesses. Been there. Done that. None of those three games keeps a second person so busy.

It is annoying that considering so many social games out there, the foresaid three share so much in common. How could some developers just openly neglect other peoples’ hard work and simply copy their ideas? Let’s just assume that the only drive behind such plagiarism is that some creative works proved to be such great successes and profitable businesses that some companies strive to grab a spoon even at the risk of sharp criticism. Nonetheless, there is no such thing as that a final victory justifies the means, as far as intellectual properties are concerned. Millions of ways lead to a successful game production. You always have a choice.

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