Lasting First Impressions of Wild West Town from Clipwire Games
Facebook was, once upon a time, just a place to reconnect with friends, old and new. Over the years, however, it has become much more than just a place to keep up on the news of that same circle of friends. Within the last couple of years, games have begun to spring up and become a mainstay on the pages and profiles of many Facebook users. Popular games like Mafia Wars and the ever invading Farmville have proved there is, indeed, a place for this new breed of ‘multiplayer’ games now known simply as Social Gaming.
As these games cropped up on Facebook, I gave a few of them a try but, of the more popular ones available, none have ever really captured my attention and beckoned for me to come back each day to play. They all just seemed a little pointless to me with no real goal or reason to continue playing day in and day out. Eventually, I gave up on trying any new Facebook games, removed them all from my profile and just assumed they were all the same.
It seems I was not the only one who felt this way about the latest crop of Social Gaming. The creative minds at Clipwire Games wanted to create a new social game but give it some more meaning; give the players actual goals to complete and a reason to play everyday. The result was a new Facebook-based Flash game called Wild West Town.
When I first heard about Wild West Town, I wasn’t convinced it was going to be something I’d want to play. It just sounded like another Farmville clone to me. I was wrong. This game is far from the pointless games I had previously played on Facebook. The avid RPG gamer in me began to absolutely love this game because it set out actual quests for me to achieve and presented a full-fledged story complete with a host of main characters each with their own history and personalities.
Wild West Town is essentially the story of you. You begin by creating a custom character to represent yourself in the game and you are presented a barren plot of land on which you are going to build your, well, wild west town. At first your goal is simply to clear the land of all the debris found there in order to make space for the many buildings, livestock, crops and decorations you will inevitably build while striving to architect the best town the west ever did lay their eyes upon. Every action you take uses up your precious and limited energy. Don’t worry, however, as your energy will refill over time as well as each time you level up your character. Additionally, you will continue to gain a higher reserve of energy every few levels allowing more actions each day.
Of course, what would a social game be without the social aspect? You will want to invite your friends along to build their own towns as well. What I love about this game and the implementation of the social aspect is the fact that visiting and helping along your friends in their towns actually benefits you as well. Each day, you are allowed to perform five actions in your friend’s towns. For each of these actions, there is a high possibility of gaining extra energy, gold and resources for yourself. From what I have gathered, there is a limit of 30 extra energy each day that you can gather in this manner. As you complete quests for your town, this extra energy and gold will be invaluable, so you’ll want to make sure you have a good number of “neighbours” along for the ride. Clipwire Games have done an excellent job in adding a social aspect that is not annoying and one in which you actually want to help out your friends and ask them for help in return. However, if you choose not to partake in the actual social aspect, there are still ways to skip those quests by spending your ‘Bank Notes’.
Wild West Town is home to a complete host of characters and you will interact with these characters daily, often completing tasks for them to help your town along. You will even come across eclectic individuals like the enigmatic Dr. Hubert Wells, whose love of the advancement of science is sure to get you into trouble more often than not. The many experiments that Dr. Wells will have you assist him with will be very familiar to many of you, starting with a certain experiment that will allow him to travel through time. Of course, don’t expect his experiments to always turn out exactly the way he intended! The many adventures of Dr. Wells are hilarious quests with several geeky in-jokes thrown in for good measure and he will quickly become a character you will love seeing return time after time. Dr. Wells isn’t the only recurring character in Wild West Town, however, as your thriving little town will be host to many characters, both friendly and not so friendly.
Clipwire Games have truly created something special here. I have finally found a Facebook game this is worthy of returning to each day to live the next chapter in the lives of the many characters who live in my town. Wild West Town is cute, fun, and most of all, engaging. By adding the mechanic of quests to this game, it transcends the typical Facebook game and give the player something to strive for; it give the players goals to complete and a reason to keep going.
If you, like me, look upon Facebook gaming as simple gimics with no real gaming value, I really encourage you to give Wild West Town a fair shake. Wild West Town continues to add new content every day so there will always be something new to experience each time you return.
Clipwire Games, I gave you an hour, and I am not only IMPRESSED, I’m addicted!