Came across two newly launched Facebook games in the last couple of weeks – the Olympics Game City and Jane Austen by BBC. I find social games very interesting as an idea, if done well I think social gaming as part of a brands overall social strategy can be very cool! Possibly due to technical difficulties most games on Facebook are pretty boring and they become repetitive very soon!

London Olympics

The user has to construct London and host the Olympic Games!

Upside: The graphics were very pretty and cute! Overall well made game in terms of design! The concept is also great, the player has to build a city and host the Olympics…

Downside: The game play makes it dead boring! We are given a small plot of land to start the construction. To get more land I need to invite my friends. I did invite my friends but as it turns out the whole mechanism where they check their messages to see my request for land expansion and then approve it is very time consuming. The other way to get land expansions is if I followed the game instructions word to word in which case the mayor or whoever gives me some free land expansions ‘for a good job done!’. The problem is that if I have to follow explicit instructions then it becomes so boring!! Where is creativity and ingenuity – and without those two whats the point?!

Jane Austen – Rogues & Romances

This is a game launched by BBC, I guess in a bid to popularize the old author!

The main concept is for us to find Elizabeth and Darcy, two characters from Jane Austen’s famous Pride & Prejudice book – they have disappeared! So we go about finding articles from a jumble of them in different venues. We travel across various Jane Austen books to find these two characters… there seems to be quite more to the game which I don’t know as I haven’t played that far!

Upside: Overall it is quite playable for people who like these sort of games where you are searching hidden items in a messy room or in a garden (as shown above). It also takes you through various books so if you have read these books or atleast are interested in the genre then its fun! The level at which you need to invite your friends to level up comes in a bit later which is much better cause that gives you time to know whether the game is really worth it!

Downside: The loading is a problem and there are some major bugs in the UI! Currently a part of the game is stuck in some silly loop so I cannot enter the manor at all!

Overall I feel that the Jane Austen game is playable and the user would come across the Jane Austen world, its different characters and places! I being an avid read have read a lot of her books and like the game! Some amount of bug fixing is needed!

The London Olympics game on the other hand fails to serve any purpose due to its boring gameplay sequence. Right in the beginning I need to invite my friends and get more land – this is not a good tactic because it means that I will have to invite my friends then wait by the time they actually accept my invitation, start the game and then finally give me more land! The game itself is pretty good in terms of design and concept, I am an avid player of all these construction games like Civilization and Caeser, but due to this one glitch it really becomes unplayable for me! They should have given me more land to start with and kept the land buying strategy simpler – maybe by collecting money I could buy land – then it becomes playable!!



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