Social networking software

Oh No, Here Comes FrontierVille

Those who have followed me on Facebook or on my Twitter account (@edoswald) know my near-visceral hatred for FarmVille. I cannot stand the game and what has become almost an unbearable stream of meaningless "I found a lost cow" statuses coming across my news feed.

Get ready for it to happen all over again: FarmVille creator Zynga has launched a new game called FrontierVille, and instead of tending to your crops and building your farm, the player gets the chance to build a bustling frontier town. Like FarmVille, much of the gameplay relies on the social side of things, so it's still important to help out your neighbors.

There's one difference however: Zynga takes gameplay to a whole new level in this title. In the words of game designer Brian Reynolds, it's "Oregon Trail meets Little House on the Prairie meets FarmVille."

Why yet another annoying (at least to me) title from this now high-profile social game maker? It could be traffic-related. AppData metrics indicate that FarmVille seems to slowly be losing steam, likely due to the fact that after awhile, there is only so much you can do.

Thus, the deeper social interaction with your "neighbors" in FrontierVille could be an attempt to keep people interested in the game much longer. With FarmVille, it pretty much was limited to tending crops. However in FrontierVille, this has been expanded to allow users to help in many more ways, even allowing the "hiring" of friends to complete tasks, which in turn you pay them for.

Also, without interaction, your frontier abode can actually deteriorate: for example weeds may grow rampant; wolves, bears, and other varmints may besiege your property; the weather will change, causing new problems; and there's a host of other consequences that may make you more than just a casual player of the game.

Essentially, this is much more like popular RPG's like Sim City rather than FarmVille itself. All I have to say is god help us, here comes another game to clog our news feeds - and this one sounds a whole lot more involved. I know it's just days, if not hours, before I have new "Hey Ed, please be my neighbor" requests!

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