What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that GnomeTown is a simulation game played on the Facebook social network. It's free to play, but players can use Facebook Credits to buy exclusive items and speed up the game. Having a lot of friends helps players advance more quickly. While this game would appeal to kids younger than 13, Facebook requires people to be at least 13 to sign up for an account.
What's it about?
In GNOMETOWN players are tasked with saving forest creatures and defeating an evil gnome by building a thriving village. The game is similar to FrontierVille and its ilk, requiring players to complete quests that include clearing away debris, constructing buildings, harvesting crops, and raising livestock. However, instead of having to ask friends for building materials to finish buildings, players instead ask them to staff buildings (friends take on the position of workers) in order to finish construction -- which results in less wall spam, but still requires players to have friends who are actively playing the game. Another difference is that players discover new bits of terrain one step at a time by spending special machete icons (which represent chopping down the underbrush).
Is it any good?
GnomeTown is a run-of-the-mill social sim game that doesn't play much differently from other offerings in the same genre, but its enchanting and unique setting does help it to stand out. Keeping with the gnomes' tiny stature, scenery like mushrooms and dandelions look huge, and the "livestock" that the gnomes raise includes snails and ladybugs. The game could use more interesting quests to go along with the adorable helpers that gradually get unlocked over time (such as a pair of weasels wearing giant turtleneck sweaters); as it stands, they seem a bit too much like filler. The bottom line is: although it's a little short on substance, GnomeTown is a good-looking fantasy-inspired sim for Facebook followers you like to build.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about GnomeTown's similarities to other sim games on Facebook. Which is more important, a unique theme or unique gameplay?
Families can talk about ways in which GnomeTown requires players to have friends who are also playing the game. Do you enjoy this aspect of social games?