Social gaming giant Zynga has developed yet another addictive game for play on Facebook. FrontierVille, launched the first week of June 2010, is rapidly gaining favor among social gamers. After only six weeks, the pioneer themed application has snagged nearly 6 million daily active users, easily out pacing Texas HoldEm Poker, Treasure Isle and the grandfather of social gaming, Mafia Wars Game.
Why Play FrontierVille
With dozens of online games available, why choose FrontierVille as a favorite? Is it more fun, more challenging, more anything than the other Zynga games? Touted as the first of a new generation of online play, the application allows users to earn and use multiple avatars, presented in the guise of a spouse and child. Players must clear the land, build a cabin, plant crops and as any true sodbuster can attest, run a few rascally critters off the land. The multiple layers of action add an element of surprise-who knows when the next bear or groundhog will pop up-that the other Zynga products do not offer. The aspect of the unexpected combined with the ability to switch between three characters, helps to keep the game interesting and keep users logging in daily.
Just like in the real world, the first thing that new FrontierVille citizens must do is clear the land. Trees, rocks, grass, wildflowers and the occasion cow’s skull have to be removed to make way for crops and buildings. As the land is readied for improvements, pioneers gain money, wood, food, experience points and various items to complete bonus collections. Goodies are earned by both working for other homesteads and by hiring a neighbor as a farmhand. When players work on neighboring homesteads they earn reputation points as well as the usual experience, food, etc. Reputation points, indicated by little red clickable hearts, increase an individual’s value as a hired hand.
As the game progresses, players complete challenges get married, have a child, build a town and harvest crops and animals. They also happen upon typical farmland hazards including some that need to be clobbered, scared, or otherwise driven off. More annoying than dangerous, these pesky varmints include snakes in the grass, bears in the woods, groundhogs in the crops, and of course, foxes in the hen house.
The Future of FrontierVille
There are several areas under development such as Rattlesnake Canyon and Gold Rush that promise to be filled with exciting adventure and plenty of bounty. These expansion zones will roll out as players reach the upper levels and need more incentive to stay in the game. The phenomenal numbers that Zynga experienced in 2009 slid a bit in 2010. However, the April 2010 release of Treasure Isle was the hottest launch of any Facebook social game with 7.5 million daily players its first week. Advertisers adore big numbers like these so the future for FrontierVille, and FarmVille and Treasure Isle for that matter seems bright. As long as the games’ designers continue to create new areas, challenges, and bonus items, players will continue to log on.
Sources: http://www.appdata.com/devs/10; http://www.zynga.com/games/frontierville.php; http://apps.facebook.com/frontierville/?crt&aff=bookmarks&src=bookmark&newUser&sendkey&ref=bookmarks