So I’ve been playing We Rule on the iPad (also for iPhone/iPod Touch) for a little while now. It’s definitely one of those social games that draw so much ire, but as I’ve said previously I don’t find these games nearly as annoying when they’re not spamming me and my friends constantly. We Rule runs on the Plus+ social network which is (as far as I know) *just* for games.
This isn’t meant as a ‘review’ really, just some thoughts on what I wish the game has that it doesn’t (or if it does, I’ve missed it).
So you start with a plot of land and some money. You’ll start by planting crops, a la Farmville. And different crops have different seed costs, growing time, and payoff. Annoyingly crops will wither once they’ve ripened if you don’t harvest them quickly enough. That makes growing crops an issue for me since I, y’know, have a real job to go to and I can’t just stop in the middle of the day, dig out my iPad, log into We Rule and harvest. This system probably works a lot better on the iPhone since you’ve always got that and can harvest on the fly while zoning out in a meeting or something.
Luckily there’s a crop that takes a full day to ripen and I just plant those at the same time every day. Even luckilier you can quickly get past crop growing and start building shops and houses. Houses collect a tiny bit of rent every so often but the rent doesn’t spoil, and shops are used to produce goods and again, these don’t spoil.
Then there’s the social aspect. Once you have some friends you can visit their kingdoms and place orders in their shops, and vice versa. I’ve never noted amounts but my expectation is that you earn more gold and experience by doing this than by just letting your shops produce for yourself.
And that’s it. Earn gold and experience to spend on better shops or more land so you can earn more gold and experience. You can, if you like, also spend gold on stuff like trees and roads and decorate/layout your kingdom, just for fun.
It’s a nice basis but I want a game like this that does MORE. For instance all these little shops just create items out of thin air. I’d love some more complexity to that system. Give me mines and forests to harvest materials in. And then let me trade materials with my friends. I have a vast forest nearby and my friend has mountains rich with ore…let us trade resources we have plenty of for those we are lacking.
And of course me being me, I’d like a military aspect too, but I think that’s way out of scope. There’s nothing ‘bad’ you can do to a friend in We Rule and I think that’s very much intentional and core to the goals of the developers. Make it all very friendly.
But how about population happiness? Make those parks and ponds and stuff impact your villagers, keeping them content.
Can you have a “social game” and give it this much complexity, or is the simplicity part of the appeal? We Rule is either a very simple game, or the nuances of it are totally escaping me. If the latter is the case, I’m sure someone will correct me.