I’ve spent a lot of time in the last couple of days play “We Rule” on the iPad and the iPhone. On the G1, I am playing another one of these games where you have to nurture and build your little domain. It’s called Pocket Empires. I am still trying to figure out the right strategy for it.
In my attempts to cheat, I found out that you need a live 3G or Wi-Fi connection to the game servers to fully load. Heck, I even thought I could just tweak the time on my iPhone and it’ll speed up the growth and gathering of my farms. No go.
Still, there are two elements these these games. One, you need to stay connected and two, the games almost require constant supervision depending on what’s going on in the game.
But the fun thing about these games is that it doesn’t require so much thinking that it consumes your time while at the same time, it offers a bit of depth in that you can choose what to do with your credits and what to grow or buy. And unlike some of the more brain-dead games like Mob War on Facebook, well-designed games like We Rule, Farmville, or Pocket Empires doesn’t get too old.
These games basically reminds me of the first Sim City on the Mac.
Missing Element. There is a third element that I find generally lacking in these games, including Farmville and that is the social element that is all the rage at the moment. Right now, We Rule has virtually no social features beyond buddying up with your friends. You can’t leave them messages or anything like that.
Farmville is worse because it relies on Facebook.
I play Chess With Friends and Words with Friends on the iOS platform and you can be in constant contact with the people you play games with.
So, for mobile warriors looking to expand beyond traditional gaming or puzzle games, I encourage giving one of these “build your own empire/farm” (simulation) games a try. I wasn’t for these types of games in the beginning and I might tire of them eventually. Nevertheless, they offer a window into the mobile life that many kids play when they should be doing homework or office drones who want something more than pushing papers or answering e-mails.
I think it’s better than those fish tank games.
I’m going to provide updates on my blogs regarding my builds as well as provide a more story telling element. I think that’s what these games are capable of providing us. Now, I’ve been informed I need to harvest my strawberries so I can build my villagers a new bench.