Monday, May 31, 2010

Playfish: Hotel City - New City Scape & Exterior Deco

A hotel needs to be set against a nice backdrop of city scape, and the hotel will look especially nice at night with all the city lights. So that is what Playfish's Hotel City is going to do - introduce the 'New Locations - New Background'. So Hotel City players can now select their favourite city backdrop. I wonder what backdrops will be available - sea side resort, neon night life, mountainous scenery ... or?

For a start Hotel City already introduced exterior decorations, i.e. decorations now just for the rooms but for the exterior of the building as well. I guess that will merge closely with what the player select as the background for the city - for example, nice pine trees for the mountainous settings, or fountains / park chairs for a neon lightlife backdrop.

Oh well, I guess we will now in the coming week or so.
Note: The background feature is out! See the related post (link below)!

See related:
Playfish: Hotel City - New York & night View Background

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Playfish: Hotel City - Ghost in the Room! New feature

Over the past week, Hotel City has introduced more interactive features into the game to encourage players to stay longer per play.

Hotel City has allowed for a 'concierge' phone where the residents of the hotel can call up the players when they experience discomfort in the room, and such discomfort includes ghost!

Well the more mundane discomfort will be that the room is too hot, too cold, a fire breakout, and finally the ghost. I've not come across other concierge calls yet. It will be nice to introduce the request for food, cleaning ...etc.

By clicking on the room (the player got to first find the affected room amidst the many many rooms), there will be coins provided as rewards. This can happen to both the player's own hotels as well as the other friends' hotels.

I wonder what else will Hotel City introduce next to induce a longer stay in the game.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cafe World - Finally, The Super Stove & Spice Rack!

Finally I have the super stove in Cafe World, where the dish can be prepared via a single click! It was a rather tedious exercise, where everyday I need to keep an eye lookout for those Cafe World alerts in the Facebook that free parts are available.

All in all there were 40 parts to the super stove and yes I resorted to buying some parts. Actually it wasn't that big a deal to cook a dish via a single click. It saves some time which is true, but given that I have many other normal stoves, I'll still be spending a lot of time clicking on the normal stoves for cooking. Oh well, just for the novelty of having a super stove I guess.

For those who want to have more than 1 super stove, Cafe World has the option where the player needs to buy a new stove frame, and repeat the entire process of accumulating the different stove parts again. Nope, 1 is enough for me.

Once the super stove is completed, the player need to retrieve it from the storage, and the super stove does count towards the existing stove limit, i.e. it is nto a loophole to get more stoves.

Actually, I think the spice rack (introduced earlier) is much more useful since it allows the player to use spice and accelerate the cooking time, or to 'cure' spoiled dishes. The parts to the spice racks are easier to get, but yupz I spent 1 Cafe World dollar on the racks as well.

I'm not sure what other new gimmicks will be introduced in Cafe World, but hopefully the new gimmicks will nto require as much tedious accumulation of parts again.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Rubble Trouble by Nitrome

After getting bored with yet more social games, I decided to try out the good ol' single player flash games. There are pretty good ones like Samorost, Machinarium, Bomba etc. One can easily find good games on Miniclip and one of the latest top games is Rubble Trouble by Nitrome.

Nitrome has many good games, including Bomba (which I covered earlier) and another game involving dismantling of ice pieces. Well the current Rubble Trouble game is also about dismantling of items, in this case it's buildings and the job centres around demolition using various tools.

The Rubble Trouble game play is very simple. It's just a mouse and click game where the player select given tools to destroy the required building(s) in a fixed period of time. There is ample time for most of the levels. The tools are pretty self explanatory and there will be a simple description tied to each tool. For example, using a canon ball tool means the player can position a canon ball firer and click to fire the ball at various angle. Clicking longer means there will be more power stored in the fired ball. Of course, the power bar for the canon ball is reactivated under prolong holding of mouse button.

There are many other tools and here's the description for some of them:

Nitro - area effect bombs with small radius. The 1st tool for demolition.

Grabber - A 'grab' machine to hold on to a piece of the building. Very useful to move pieces in order to avoid damaging surrounding important buildings.

Missiles - tough to control but useful.

Airstrike - carpet destruction with limited range but easy to use.

Chain gun - well, chain gun! A rotational military grade weapon and now it is used for demolition.

At the end of each level, the player can submit the high score and be compared against other players' scores for some competitive play. The fun part is not in the competitive play (I feel) but in completing each level of the puzzle.

There are other elements introduced into the game, for example some levels will include surrounding important buildings (e.g. glasshouse) and the player must not cause the destruction of these buildings. Another element is the trapped characters in the buildings and that means players must be careful when demolishing the buildings.

Another aspect of the Rubble Trouble that is interesting is the simple and fun dialogue at the beginning of the levels. These dialogues introduce the levels and make the game more personable. The Ivan's and the Larry's of Rubble Trouble do bring a smile to the face while the player tries hard to complete the levels.

I've only managed to finish up to level 23 out of the 30 levels and yes do give the Rubble Trouble game a try!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Playfish New Game - Hotel City

Playfish has launched a new social game centering around hotel management during mid-March - Hotel City. Not sureif this will be a big hit, but so far the various reviews seem positive, other than the occasional complains about software bugs. The graphics are typical Playfish graphics (which are nice of course) and I personally like the background music.

The game has a great tutorial. First the player starts off with about 50800 coins to buy various rooms and items. The hotel could be expanded (later as a leveling reward) and more rooms of various nature added.

The gameplay is intuitive and players could get more coins once a day by visiting other players. Coins could also be earned by clikcing on sleeping hotel guests. A bit weird, but that provides some in-game activity.

Playfish has also recently introduced a 'reviewer' feature. Randomly there will be some hotel guests who are actually hotel reviewers in the Hotel City. If the player clicks on them, the player has the additional option to share review stars with friends (and of course keep one for themselves). These stars are very good decorative items that help to boost the ratings for the rooms.

Players could also sign-on as helpers in other players' hotels and that would yield more coins (as tips) per day.

Of course, once the player levels, more coins and game options will be made available. Getting thru to level 8 is easy and could be done within 1-2 days. Beyond these initial levels, the player has to carefully managed a combination of guest rooms and recreational rooms.

There are many recreational rooms (which are made available at different levels), including gym, cafe, bar, cinema, and even a swimming pool. Each recreational room can allow for more guests and the staying time in each room is different. So it takes come maths to calculate which rooms can yields more coins and points.

Hotel City attracts more game play by offering coins, but it also penalises lack of game play by introducing roaches into the hotel when the hotel is not operational for some time. In order to keep the hotel operational, the player could click on different shift timing for the hotel staff. In general, the longer hours mean more coins paid per hour, and the temp staff cost more than 'friends' hired for the Hotel City.

Hotel City hotels are rated by stars, and these stars improved based on a few factors. Stars are gained when the players properly decorate each guest room, and also introduced other commercial rooms (e.g. gyms, cafe, cinema) for the hotel guests. The guests would occasionally indicate what features they want for the hotel Nonetheless, Hotel City also prompt the players by a message that appears beside the stars rating.

Overall the Hotel City is a nice game to play. Since the game is still in beta version there are bound to be bugs. One particularly irritating bug is that when a player clicks on other rewards before receiving his full hotel points (and coins) for the day, the rewards will supercede the hotel points gained, i.e. the player loses his hotel points for the day.

Hopefully Playfish can sort out some of these bugs soon, and perhaps introduce more new features, say more variety of music for the hotels?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Farmville Addicts

It is interesting how the mainstream media treats games nowadays. On one hand they published articles about games addiction, including one where a politician was sacked from the city council committee for playing farmville while attending budget meeting; and on the other hand the media published articles about celebrities playing the same game.

Yes the game in question is farmville, and here's the extract from the article about the sacked politician: politician, Dimitar Kerin, was yet again nabbed tending to his online crop.

Kerin was promptly voted off the council committee for playing FarmVille on the job.

The other article focusing on celebrities had quotes from both local and foreign celebs, including Bryan Wong and Shu Qi, which gave the impression that it is alright to be addicted to the game.

Oh well, this is yet another example of how social games are changing our landscape, for both professional workspace as well as leisure purposes. With the arrival of the iPad where people could enjoy their social games on even larger (and stylish) devices, I am sure there will be more reports of games addiction.

Nope I was never addicted to Farmville, perhaps Restaurant City or Cafe World yes, but not Farmville. Lolz.