woensdag 26 augustus 2009

Facebook game review Spymaster

After playing Mafia Wars for a few weeks, I accepted an invitation to join Spymaster. Spymaster is all about the spying game, you're a secret agent (either Russian, American or British) doing jobs and killing enemies. Here too you get energy and health, time based, and use it to do tasks and attacking other agents.
Gameplay is easy. Energy permitting, you select a task and do it. By doing a task you deserve more or less experience points, depending on the outcome of the task. When you get enough xp's you enter a new level and you unlock more jobs and other level adversaries.
You also earn money, that you can use to buy stuff. Weapons (to gain more attack of defense power), safe houses (to earn a steady income).

After playing for a few days, I decided to stop playing the game. It was boring. Every level you would do a task and succeed or not. You would injure an enemy or not. The 'or not' value was to big for me to enjoy the game. Due to the random results, buying weapons and attacking lesser agent seemed to make no difference. I lost some fight and I never understood why. Probably I'm not a spy.

The gameplay was a unrewarding.
The game looked complex. There are spies and spymasters in 'rings' and I never found out how people came to belong to my ring, or how many spymasters were on my side.

The atmosphere in the game was not great. The text mode screen lacked any visual clue about actions or status. Just plain white on black. The only nice feature was the ihntermezzo while wainting for the results of a fight. Gunshots or an animation of an agent on screen. That's about it.

It's a great way to gain plenty followers on Twitter. I did connect my Twitter account to Spymaster, status messages were converted to tweets. Nice if you need followers.

Facebook game review: Mafia Wars

A smart game, quite addictive. The first levels are mastered by doing Jobs. Jobs like 'Auto Theft' or 'Recruit a Rival Crew Member'. You need enough energy to do the job. And energy just grows in time (depending on the type of the character you choose up front). A job gives you hard cash and experience points. The cash can be used to buy you weapons or property. That's a second dimension of the game: buy property and protect it form robbing by the mob.

And of course there's a third dimension: you can attack and rob others. That takes health and stamina and enough attack and defence powers to beat the enemy.

Once you join the game, you do this by accepting an invitation. That is important: you belong to the mafia of the friend who invited you, but your friend belongs to your mafia. Both players and both plays are independent, but you can interact, by giving gifts to the members in your mafia. Gifts like weapons, loot items (I received a Rembrandt painting), or energy. And you can help one another by doing jobs, thereby earning money and so on.
After you learned plaing the game in New York, you can move on to Cuba. Same kind of play, but it feels a bit different, in a different atmosphere, well done.

So far the game. And does it work?
Yes, it's addictive. The first levels are mastered quite fast. But later on you will find that choices made earlier have an effect later in the game. If you decide to buy a lot of attack power, your energy will grow slowly, enabling you to do jobs less quickly. Growing a mafia family is also very important. A large family gives a lot of power and you'll need that.
Higher levels are reached less easily, larger intervals, but also greater rewards. This game requires some strategic thinking on the part of the player. Plain luck is just a small factor.

Overall, playable, untill all levels are mastered, but I haven't got there yet...

Something different: facebook game review

If you're on Facebook, you must have noticed invitations from friends to join them in an online game. A few weeks ago I decided to take part in a few games, what use is a game if you don't play it?

So I became a member of a mafia family in the Mafia Wars game. Later I got involved in Spymaster and lately I have been running a farm in Farm World.

What they have in common is how a player can grow from easy challenges to harder challenges, that get unlocked once a level is mastered. A level is mastered after a numer of experience points is reached. The first levels are reached quite fast. You win points, buy stuff and play with or against other players, who you may not even know.

These games run on top of Facebook, so they use the facebook knowledge of your friends network. And one problem may be that in order to play harder levels, you will accept invitations from other players, that you don't know. They will join your facebook network too. Be ware of this risk!

I will post a few game reviews in the next few days.