A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Kids can learn about following directions, citizenship, and teamwork. To succeed, players must have an engaged network of neighbors to assist with quests and building projects. Kids actively participate in resource gathering by playing short mini-games such as tapping a button at the right time to chop down a tree. The Wizard of Oz is a highly social building sim that encourages cooperation among friends.
Helping others is a central theme. Players help the Munchkins build a thriving town and defend it from attacks by the Wicked Witch. They also help Dorothy repair the yellow brick road so she can get back home to Kansas.
Positive Role Models
Players receive guidance and encouragement from several helpful characters, including various Munchkins and Glinda, the good witch.
Ease of Play
Gameplay is simple to learn, and the game provides a lot of guidance about what to do next and how to achieve goals. The mini-games require some fine motor skills and quick reflexes.
Violence & Scariness
Players repel attacks by the Wicked Witch’s winged monkeys by clicking them, which causes the monkeys to disappear in an explosion. Players can pick Munchkins up and fling them around; the Munchkins bounce off the ground but don’t seem upset by their treatment.
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Products & Purchases
Players can spend Emeralds (which cost real money to buy) to speed up the game by instantly unlocking quests, buying exclusive items, refilling energy, and staffing buildings. Pop-ups prompt players to buy Emeralds and invite friends to the game.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Wizard of Oz is a social game played on Facebook. It’s based on the classic 1939 film starring Judy Garland, and features movie clips, authentic character likenesses and voices, and familiar music from the film. Players must download and install the Unity Web App to play. The game is free to play, but players can spend real money to speed up the game. The game requires neighbors, which could encourage the friending of strangers on Facebook.
Is It Any Good?
The Wizard of Oz is a typical Facebook building sim with a few twists. At any time, players can slip into “Munchkin Cam” mode and walk through the town from the munchkin’s point of view. Fans will appreciate familiar touches from the film, including the excellent soundtrack, movie and voice clips, and characters that bear the likenesses of their film counterparts. Social interactions are more sophisticated too: players not only have to recruit friends to staff buildings, but receive bonuses based on what level each friend is at in the game. The Wizard of Oz absolutely requires players to have a large number of neighbors who are actively engaged in the game. For example, one quest fairly early on requires a building to have a staff of eight friends -- unless, of course, players are willing to pay real cash to bypass these requirements. You’ll also need some suspension of disbelief as you encounter buildings like the Emerald City Pizza Joint, which are more real-world than Oz. These quibbles aside, The Wizard of Oz’s innovations and particularly robust social features make it an interesting addition to the crowded market of building sims on Facebook.
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Our Editors Recommend
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