The games that follow are all based around the premise of managing a town or geographic region, by tapping, designing, completing quests or mini-games and general planning the player’s world can flourish.
A small sample of eleven year olds revealed the following favourites in ascending order of enjoyment and involvement:
First up and number six on the list, is DT (Diner Town) Zoo requiring players to build a zoo full of rainbows and unicorns. The kids enjoyed looking at the animals, but the gam’s overall aim is a little hard to grasp. In essence this is the most overtly money grabbing, Facebook style of game we came across during the test.
Generating gold to buy more animals that generate gold whilst playing a small collection of DT themed mini-games and trying to keep track of multiple goals – some of which assume social-media membership – at a time.
Continuing the theme of making a grab for dollars, the initial real-estate afforded a player is about as tight as virtual land comes, with in-game expansion a slow grind. All up Tiny Village is a good game, but mean spirited towards its potential players.
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Fourth on the list is The Simpsons Tapped Out – Once the long load times are waited through it is time to launch into a virtual Springfield, inhabited by all of the characters we know and love direct from Matt Groening’s noggin.
Another major disaster has befallen Springfield, and it is no surprise Homer is to blame. The balding yellow man is also your starting character in the game and he is tasked with cleaning up and rebuilding iconic parts of the animated town.
This is an excellently presented fun and indeed, funny game, full of character, crops and Krusty Burgers. Electronic Arts take the opportunities to throw in themes such as Winter and Halloween Zombies whilst the base game has lots of goals to accomplish specific to unlocked characters.
There is a bit of reading needed by players and lots of poking to gather XP and Money, which is not so much of an issue in our number three game.
Also a licensed product, Ice Age Village was released alongside the fourth film in the animation franchise and sets players the task of managing a prehistoric zoo. Gather animals together, play mini games to earn money and Acorns (which parents are encouraged to buy with real-world money), and then get the animals companions which lead to errrrrm… babies.
Animations and presentation in general is top notch and players really enjoy the theme of looking after the movies animals.
Design the village, unlock the different specialist Smurfs to create new quests for XP, coins and Smurfberries There are plenty of clear goals and mini games to be had and plenty of time to be sunk into the game (some crops take at 24 hours of real time to grow) to get to lofty heights. Smurf village therefore wins the not-so-coveted prise as number one for child-to-parent real money requests.
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Less on that scale but high on the fun scale is our number one village game, and it really isn’t a village game, more of a family simulator. The Sims Freeplay has been reviewed here on iTWire.com in the past.
In a nutshell however, Sims Freeplay is about managing real people, families and jobs as well as the favoured fun of designing the layout of a family abode.
Some jobs start at 9AM (real time) and process until 5PM which can be annoying if you have your own life making it hard to level up some Sims with particular in-game careers.
Some bemoan the lack of kids clothing choices and the fact that pets are expensive, but overall The Sims Freeplay wins tablet village game of choice