The Ville is Zynga’s newest game in their social “Ville” franchise – from “FarmVille” to “ChefVille” to “YoVille,” now it’s simply “The Ville,” a game which puts you – or at least, a cartoon, virtual version of yourself – in your (ie. avatar’s) own little house and your own little neighbourhood.
Viva la Ville!
The point of the game is simply to live your life and achieve your goals.
It’s pretty hard to review “The Ville” objectively, being such a fan of EA’s “The Sims” for the past twelve years.
The Ville - OVERVIEW
It’s similar to “The Sims” in almost every aspect, and some features – such as the option to “make whoopee” with your virtual neighbours, not unlike “making woohoo” in “The Sims” – seem too similar to be coincidental. So it’s no surprise that EA has sued Zynga with claims that “The Ville” is a rip-off of “The Sims Social.”
It is extremely similar, but there are a few differences which affect the gameplay and make it slightly difficult to get used to. For example, in “The Sims Social,” your happiness is divided into specific motive metres – you can see when your hunger or energy or social scores are low and can remedy them quickly. “The Ville” adds a bit of a challenge by simply displaying your happiness as a single entity, leaving you to keep track of your virtual self’s needs based on intuition and memory – have I eaten lately?
When was the last time I spoke to someone? Speaking to others is what makes “The Ville” a social game – you can invite your own Facebook friends to join in on the action or you can meet up with strangers on the other side of the web pretty easily. That’s the positive aspect of “The Ville” – it’s a very simple game and easy to do well at.
What keeps you coming back to games like “The Ville” is not whether you can “win” or not (since it’s really impossible to “win” at life-simulation games like this), it’s the different interactions you can complete and watching your virtual self grow as a person. Well, “person.”
The Ville - STRATEGY
You can earn money in all sorts of ways in “The Ville” – in fact, you earn money and experience from doing virtually anything, from talking to a neighbour to watering the plants to using the toilet. Yes, using the toilet!
The downside is that, much like in “The Sims Social,” everything costs energy to do. You’ll notice your energy go down very quickly. One energy credit replenishes every five minutes, but when you only have a total of fifteen energy credits and every action takes at least one piece of energy to complete, it does make the game a little slow-paced. This is, of course, one of the areas in which Zynga monetizes “The Ville” – through “Ville Cash.”
Unlike the coins you earn when you complete everyday tasks (it’s still hard to ignore the humour in getting paid to use the toilet), Ville Cash is the premium cash of the game. Aside from earning Ville Cash occasionally when levelling up (and it is only a little bit of Ville Cash), you have to pay for this cash. It can be used to purchase the really tempting, high-end items, but more importantly, Ville Cash is used to buy your energy. Other things you earn through tasks is happiness and experience.
Experience helps you “level up” your Ville-ian, which allows you to complete more social interaction. For example, you cannot even talk to your neighbours until you have levelled up at least once.
The Ville - TIPS, HINTS & CHEATS
- One great way to earn cred in the game aside from social interaction is to increase the value of your home. The worth of your home helps factor in to your score. Buying high-end furniture and having a large house makes your house a winner. Of course, it’s hard to achieve this without Ville Cash, but there are still some great items that can be purchased just with game coins.
- It’s important to get your friends involved in the gameplay, because if you want to expand your house, you need someone to act like an architect, a planner and a handyman – or else it costs Ville Cash to skip. This is when you have to take to the streets (not literally) and beg your Facebook friends to lend a hand.
- Keeping your person happy is also essential, and the best way to save energy is to do tasks which you know will make them happier. There are a ton of things which can make someone happy (you’ll know this because tags with happy faces will point to these objects) but they’re not all even. For example, everyone might love computer games, but some may love them more than others, so it’s more worth it. To keep your person happy, you have to keep in mind the personality which you chose for them.
- Artists will be happiest when they are creating something, whether it’s through writing a book on the computer or painting on an easel.
- Jocks will be happier when they work out or do yard work.
- Aside from keeping your person happy, there’s not a lot you can achieve on your own. The Ville really requires you to have meaningful relationships with all your neighbours, who can do work for you so that you don’t have to spend all that precious Ville Cash.
- The good thing is, you can chat with the users behind your neighbours so that the interactions feel more real and genuine.
The social aspects of “The Ville” are definitely the strongest point of the game, which is great, but there’s not much you can do on this game that you don’t get in “The Sims Social.”