City of Wonder, one of the latest Facebook apps to take users by storm, is quickly becoming a new go-to addiction for site users. City of Wonder, which is very reminiscent of other history-based Real -Time Strategy (RTS) video games such as Age of Empires or Sid Meier’s Civilization, allows users to test their skill at planning an ancient city-and logging on in time to harvest crops and coins-in order to gain in levels and experience.
Released by Playdom, the designer behind other popular apps like Sorority Life and Mobsters 2, City of Wonder was reported as one of the fastest-growing Facebook apps by Inside Facebook on September 13th, 2010. Inside Facebook stated that the game had gained a 60% boost in popularity that week! The estimated monthly active users is currently at over 11,000,000 as of September 29th; not bad, considering City of Wonder is still in beta development.
So what makes City of Wonder so addictive, even to non-gamers and those of us who avoid RTS titles?
Part of the appeal is likely the high amount of customization available for each city capital; each user designs their domain, expanding the size of the capital boundaries, placing buildings and decorations. Another feature of City of Wonder with a novel appeal is the “Research” trees. Players can choose which type of research to spend time and money on, thus opening up new buildings, further research and special features. The progression through the ages is determined by completed research, and spending the hours required mastering the new skills rewards players with much-needed experience and shiny new toys.
Another ingenious technique employed by many app designers which City of Wonder utilizes is the ability to send free gifts and assistance to friends. Fellow players on your Facebook list can visit their embassy in your capital to gain coins; as in all RTS video games, currency is what truly makes the world go ’round! One feature unique to City of Wonder is that Facebook users not on your friends list can also assist you. Posting the link to your requests for building assistance, and clicking other users’ links for rewards, allows players to work together without adding each other to their lists. This may be eliminated after beta is closed and the app has a final release, but in the meantime it can be a quick way to generate income-especially with the Facebook groups and fan pages dedicated to City of Wonder.
With the impressive graphics, high amount of customization and the ability to help your friends, it’s no wonder that City of Wonder is so addictive. In fact, this latest Facebook app sensation is currently the great contender I have played for displacing FarmVille as the most popular, top performing app on the market! Not bad for an app with a touch of a history lesson embedded in the mechanics!
Inside Facebook, “City of Wonder, Phrases Both Gain Millions on This Week’s List of Fastest-Growing Facebook Apps”