GreenSpace

Game review by
Erin Bell, Common Sense Media
GreenSpace Game Poster Image
Leisurely building sim with positive environmental message.
  • Facebook
  • Free with Microtransactions
  • 2011

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The game boasts a positive, though slightly heavy-handed, pro-environment message. Players slowly clean up a filthy planet strewn with garbage, while building "green energy" structures like solar panels and windmills.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Players work for a corporation that tasks them with cleaning up a planet by replacing mountains of junk with sustainable greenspace. There's not a lot of interaction with actual characters, but the player should feel like they're making a positive impact on their surroundings. 

Ease of Play

The game requires a bit more brain-power than some Facebook sims, because players have to strategically place power grids to ensure their buildings have enough power to run.

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism

Players can purchase a premium currency called RocketFuel to speed up the game, or purchase bundles of credits (which can also be earned in-game and are used to construct new buildings).

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that GreenSpace is an environmentally-conscious building simulation played through the Facebook social network. The game is free to play, but players can purchase and use the game's premium currency, RocketFuel, to advance faster. GreenSpace is less aggressive than many other Facebook games about tempting players to spend real-world currency or add a lot of Facebook friends to complete quests. While the game and its positive message will appeal to players younger than 13, Facebook requires kids to be at least 13 to sign up for an account.

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What's it about?

In GREENSPACE, players control a robot who has the daunting task of cleaning up a junk-infested planet -- one dirty diaper at a time -- and installing environmentally-friendly buildings, decorations, and power sources to make the planet inhabitable for humans again. New buildings produce resources, but only if they're attached to a power grid, which requires an extra layer of planning because players must clear junk in such a way as to accommodate the strategic placement of power grids.

Is it any good?

GreenSpace isn't just another "me too" building sim on Facebook -- it tries hard to set itself apart, and succeeds thanks to a few subtle but effective twists on the regular formula. There's not much of a story to motivate players, and the giant grid of junk can seem overwhelming at first, but GreenSpace gradually reveals itself as a game where players aim for slow, methodical progress. Once the junk is gone, it's gone, unlike many Facebook sims where debris and weeds must be constantly pruned back; and so there's a very real sense of accomplishment in changing one small patch of brown earth to healthy green grass and knowing that it will stay that way. By avoiding some of the dubious tricks designed to make Facebook games more addictive (like crops that wither, or debris that respawns), GreenSpace is actually a more enjoyable and "game-like" experience.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what "green energy" means, including some real-world examples, like wind mills and solar panels.

  • Families can also talk about initiatives to clean up garbage in their local communities, and make plans to join in!

  • Does playing games about community issues appeal to you? If so, why?

Game details

  • Platforms: Facebook
  • Price: Free with Microtransactions
  • Available online? Available online
  • Developer: RocketOwl
  • Release date: December 6, 2011
  • Genre: Simulation
  • Topics: Robots
  • ESRB rating: NR

Themes & Topics

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