- Release Date: May 3, 2012
- Publisher: 6Waves
- Developer: 6Waves
- Genre: Fantasy, Social Game
Ravenshire Castle is a social adventure game as a means of franchise expansion in succession to Ravenwood Fair. The game maintains the identical “universe” setting as Ravenwood Fair, bringing a whole different gaming experience.
You are to take the role of an estate-owner who is entrusted to restore the past glory of the house by collecting materials to carry out the construction and decoration work. Apart from well operating the routine work, you, under the “care-taking” system, will have to considerately comfort your workers when their corresponding tasks have been finished.
What the game emphasizes is its story-driven narrative progression, and gradually, you are likely to be fascinated by the compact plot which develops in a “soap-opera” style.
Ravenshire Castle is not one of those social games on Facebook that you should keep off to avoid frustration and annoyance. It, as a matter of fact, turns out to be a rare treat for a frequent social gamer like me.
I started this game knowing that I was going to be in charge of a piece of land and supposed to restore its glory of the old times. Nothing came to my mind that moment except some shabby cottage and a ragged real estate owner who is determined to make himself rich. Well, I didn’t expect this: in a dreamy castle lives Sebastion, who is actually an elderly turtle; you, a female or male tiger who resembles a bear, a leopard and at the same time, a fox, is to follow the turtle’s advice and repair the old castle, tend dragons, plant crops, enhance and decorate your castle, and even sneak into others’ castles to do quests and obtain rewards.
The graphics can easily ring a bell on the classic Snow White, making one feels like he or she is a real royal member in every sense. The colors and lighting create a comfortable and cozy atmosphere where adding furniture seems not a quest but a must to render a feast to my eyes. Lay Corridor Rug, lighten Wall Torch, put up Fairy Portrait, offer a Guest Book, accommodate your character, enjoy your decorating time and dazzle your guests!
Crop planting and resource collecting are required in Ravenshire Castle but are not attached with great importance. A Farm Plot costs 2500, which is very weird in a social game. As far as I can see, real estate must be incredibly expensive in the game that the developers have to limit additional use of land. Just kidding. Crops and plants are not expensive at all but take long hours to ripen. Only the so-called Blamatoes, which seem to be simply tomatoes, take five minutes. Speaking of wood and rocks, yes, you have to chop trees and mining rocks but you don’t have to worry about that since there are already scores of trees and rocks the very minute you are granted with the Ravenshire castle. You can have as many as you want once you have enough energy to do the collection.
Once you are fed up with the household chores, you can sneak into others’ castles to collect items that you will never be able to have if you stay at home only. Make sure you have at least five energy points before you “visit” other players’ castles, otherwise you wouldn’t have the access. Click any of the arrows and enter the castle without causing anyone’s attention, search anything that comes into view to check what rewards it has to offer. Sometimes the rewards are necessary for building a facility in your own castle. And of course, you have to avoid any figure in the castle, including the guard, the advisor, or anybody else, or you will be caught and most of the loots will be lost. Things are different when you visit certain castles for example those of your friends and that of Prince Patrick. When I sneaked into the castle of one of my friends, his characters leave the room or hallway whenever my character shows up, making it really easy for me to do my job. While in Prince Patrick’s castle, all the characters ignore me but to my disappointment, not everything was available to me like elsewhere.
Leveling up is complicated in this game. In fact, there are several distinctive upgrade systems: character upgrade, castle upgrade, sneaking upgrade, and even farming upgrade. Character can be upgraded through experience accumulation while castle levels up if you add decorative items. Almost everything consumes your energy points, which come only in 20 each time. Therefore, it is often the case that I ran out of energy and had nothing to do but wait.
NPCs talk all the time no matter you are chatting with them or not. Click an NPC with tasks and he or she would address you “Your highness”. Once you feed a hungry dragon baby or plant the desired crops, a voice would say “Just what I need”. That was interesting the first time I heard it. But as time goes by, the endlessly repeated words are just as annoying as “Construction complete”.
Ravenshire enhances gaming experience with its dedicated focus on details. You are supposed to put a Scarecrow to protect your plants and rescue Rosamunde to tend your garden plants, especially various berries that are able to attract fairies for you. A tiger icon appears once your avatar is not on the present interface, indicating the direction in which you can find it back. And you can always click Fullscreen button (unless you are viewing the world map) even when you have opened a dialog box. By the way, the chatting between my character and NPCs is interesting and unique: the NPCs’ words are in the simple dialog box while my character’s appear in the bottom button which I can click to proceed.
Should Ravenshire Castle ever fail, it would not be due to the long waiting resulting from the stamina system or the plant growth, or the lacking of convenient and efficient zooming in and out. It would be the social element to blame. There was this quest that charges me with inviting two friends to be my neighbors. I did. But it was still incomplete. Reluctant to bother other friends, I went to Ravenshire Facebook page to add friends who were also in need of neighbors. One of those people responded quickly but no matter how many times I reloaded the game, that person is still missing from the Invite Friend list. Having invited all my friends, I still find the quest incomplete. And that is how I stuck in Ravenshire Castle, with no other quests available unless I’m done with the maddening friend-inviting one. That is never gonna happen until two of my friends do play this game, I guess. This game is definitely one of my favorites on Facebook but that doesn’t change the fact that I detest being forced to act as a game promoter for it.
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