FrontierVille

Game review by
Erin Bell, Common Sense Media
FrontierVille Game Poster Image
Facebook game takes FarmVille concept to a new level.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 5 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Many of FrontierVille's quests espouse the pioneer spirit of helping out your neighbors, whether it's tending friends' homesteads, gifting special items, sending supplies to the relatives back in the "old country," or planning special events for FrontierVille's citizens.

Positive Role Models & Representations

FrontierVille's citizens are typically positive role models, like Fanny Wildcat the schoolteacher, and Hank the friendly general store owner. Quests encourage the player to contribute to the overall well-being of the town by constructing buildings, mastering crop-growing and animal husbandry, and raising lots of money.

Ease of Play

Gameplay is simple to pick up, with everything clearly explained in a series of tutorial quests.

Violence

There's no human-on-human violence, but players will have to deal with pesky "varmints" that randomly appear on the homestead by scaring away bears and clobbering snakes, groundhogs, and foxes. Players can also build varmint cannons that vaporize varmints on the spot.

Sex

Players can get married and start a family by completing the necessary missions. There's nothing graphic. Children appear by placing a cradle icon on the homestead and then clicking on it.

Language
Consumerism

Some special items can only be purchased with the game's premium currency called "Horseshoes," which cost real world cash. Horseshoes can also be used to speed up the game by instantly unlocking quest requirements. The game periodically advertises discount prices on Horseshoes as a pop-up window with a purchase link. Occasionally, optional missions require players to achieve goals in other Zynga games like Treasure Island and Mafia Wars.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some of the decorations that can be placed on the homestead include a mini-bar with what looks like glasses of beer and glasses of champagne, a whiskey still, and whiskey jugs.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that FrontierVille is a pioneer-themed simulation game played on the Facebook social network. Having neighbors -- other Facebook friends who are also playing the game -- is essential to advancing in FrontierVille. FrontierVille is free to play, and players can enjoy most of what it has to offer without ever having to pay real-world money, but the option to do so is a constant temptation since it allows players to speed up quests and purchase exclusive items. The gameplay can be quite addicting.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byLayneE February 17, 2011

Nothing wrong with this one!

There's nothing wrong with this game at all. It's pretty fun, but definitely takes up a lot of time!
Adult Written bykellyandbennett February 5, 2011

If you're okay with sexual innuendo, even though some kids may not "get it," then I suppose it would be okay.

I would not allow children to play this game because of the sexualized comments when you post needing a particular item or allowing others to collect a bonus.... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byMixk July 16, 2011

Fine but glitchy

It's a good game but it glitches so much it's annoying.
Teen, 15 years old Written bymissface June 18, 2011

Fun at first but gets boring

I find this game addictive and I enjoy it, but it definately isn't one of the best Facebook games I have played.

What's it about?

FRONTIERVILLE is a simulation game from Zynga that takes the basic farming and animal husbandry elements of FarmVille and builds upon them significantly. The player's goal is to build a frontier town from the ground up by clearing away trees and debris, constructing buildings (like a barn, chicken coop, schoolhouse, general store, and barber shop), laying down roads, and eventually starting a family and welcoming other characters to the town.
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Is it any good?

FrontierVille feels a lot like FarmVille 2.0. It's just as relentlessly viral as other top social games, with frequent prompts to invite friends, buy Horsehoes (the game's premium currency purchased with real money), and post updates to friends' walls. However, the gameplay feels much more like a traditional online role-playing game thanks to a greater focus on collectibles, badges, and quests that give the player specific goals to complete and introduce story arcs and new characters to the frontier.

The social features of FrontierVille are quite robust. Players can visit neighbors' homesteads to tend their animals and crops or clear debris, or hire neighbors to work on their own homesteads. The gifting of free items between friends is also essential in completing buildings and quests. FrontierVille can certainly be addictive; but the variety of things to do, coupled with frequent updates, gives players plenty of reason to keep logging in besides a simple compulsion to click on crops.

Online interaction: Neighbors are essential in FrontierVille, and players benefit from having as many neighbors as possible. Some items can only be unlocked by having a certain number of neighbors, and most of FrontierVille's quests have a gifting component that requires players to send items to each other. Although FrontierVille doesn't have a built-in way of adding strangers as Facebook friends like CityVille does, there is a temptation to ask for neighbors and items through online message boards, which can give strangers access to private info on your Facebook page.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the role that neighbors play in the game. Why do you think it was so important in the pioneer days to be able to rely on your neighbors?

  • Do you think FrontierVille is an accurate portrayal of frontier life? Why or why not?

  • In what ways does FrontierVille try to entice players to spend more time in the game? (i.e. timed missions, badges that reward days of consecutive play, crops that wither if not tended in time). Families can talk about how to best manage video game playing time limits.

Game details

  • Platforms: Facebook
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Available online? Available online
  • Developer: Zynga
  • Release date: June 1, 2010
  • Genre: Simulation
  • ESRB rating: NR

For kids who love playing game where they become someone new

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