By: Vincent Haoson, OnRPG Mobile Reporter
During one of my lull moments at work, I decided to look for a game that’s similar to Virtual Villagers but I don’t have to install on my work PC. So I decided to head to Facebook and see if there was a game like that and lo and behold! I found Village Life.
Normally, games like this would just thrust you in the middle of the game and leave you with a short tutorial on how things are done. However, Village Life tries to setup a “backstory” on how your villagers got to where they are.
With that set aside, the game then guides you in its early stages and then leaves you off figuring out what you would do as you progress through the game.
Village Life’s leveling system works as your game progress tracker and as a measure on your capacity to make your villagers happy. In fact, the game’s goal is to consistently keep your cyber people’s happiness levels up. How effective you are in achieving this goal will determine your success in the game.
Keeping your villagers happy requires you to provide their basic necessities such as shelter, food and water. From time to time, your villagers will request something from you such as specific food, items (fire, water, etc.) or recreation items/structures which you will have to unlock for them to craft it.
These structures and items may be as simple as a jump rope or can be as complicated as bongos or even writing paper. The game does allow you to see which items can be unlocked and the cost of unlocking said items.
So moving on to the villagers themselves, Village People takes elements from the Sims games and applies it to VP with interesting effect. The game has an aging system that allows the village’s babies and kids to grow old to date and conceive. Yes, that’s right, CONCEIVE.
The game also allows you to pair up your single villagers with your friend’s creating new families (and of course more babies) in the process. Unlike other games of this type, Village People allows the creation of babies in-game. Baby making on the other hand is not a sure sport just like in real life. Conceiving babies in VL is a hit and miss event. So expect that you won’t have babies coming out immediately. Akin to the creation of babies in the Sims, your villagers can conceive babes once they are married which in turn only happens once they reach the age of 18. The game also ends the “aging” process when he/she becomes an adult.
Aside from baby making, your villages also have specific skill types that they can earn (or acquire) in-game. These skills can be earned through “purchasing” them with the game’s premium currency or can be acquired through genetics. Remember that you can have babies in the game right? Well it seems that the babies your villagers conceive acquire certain skills their parent has.
As of now, you can only get a maximum of 12 villages in your village regardless of the villager’s age or gender.
One other game feature you’d be getting a lot of game time tweaking is the crafting/creation system in Village Life. Normally, you can gather resources without much problem by solely using your selected villager’s energy. However as you progress through the game and try to acquire the higher leveled materials, you are required to have certain equipment at your disposal.
Your villagers can craft spades, garden hoes, ladders and the like from nearby materials for gathering. They don’t last forever though, much like a lot of structures in the game since there’s a wear and tear meter for each item or structure you create. Of course you have the option to have these items be unbreakable by spending premium currency on it.
One of the unique features VIllage Life has is the game’s lack of a sequential quest system. What I mean is the game doesn’t smother you with quests that you need to achieve even before starting anything. The game allows you to discover the things that you can do within its bounds and just gives you “quests” that would then guide you on how to do these tasks.
I will have to say that Village Life was just what the doctor ordered for me. I was looking for a social game that’s not that time consuming but had the vestiges of the Sims all over it and that’s what Village Life delivers. The game is far from perfect but as it is, it is interesting enough to keep me playing for a while.
What makes Village Life an interesting game is the family tree/heritage system. It puts a lot more emphasis on how your villagers interact with each other without making it too complicated. I loved that the interface was easy to navigate through and that the UI isn’t a cluttered mess.
I also liked that the game’s quest system isn’t so in your face but rather guidelines there to make sure you aren’t missing out on any of the varied gameplay Village Life offers. Discovering the more hidden quests added to the game’s entertainment value and made it all the more enjoyable (as long as you don’t go looking for a guide online cause definitely that’s a buzz kill).
All in all, I must say that Village Life is a game that’s a good example of a FB simulation that’s easy enough to learn that anyone can jump in and have fun for a few hours over the course of a day. The game’s pacing adjusts to how often you spend your time on it and it doesn’t rush you through goals like other FB games that we have out right now. So if you’re looking for a game that’s relaxing to play and carries a Sims feel within the FB realm, Village Life is the game for you.