A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What 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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
In THE WIZARD OF OZ, players build a thriving town in Munchkinland by constructing buildings; assigning munchkins to tasks like chopping trees, mining rocks, and fishing; and defending it from the Wicked Witch’s flying monkeys. Factories produce yellow bricks to rebuild the yellow brick road and help Dorothy reach the Emerald City and meet her friends the Scarecrow, Tinman, and Cowardly Lion.
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.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about games based on movies. Did the game do a good job of staying true to the spirit of the original film?
Families can also talk about the popularity of building sims on Facebook. Besides themes, what are some of the ways in which this game is different from the others?
- Platforms: Facebook
- Subjects: Language & Reading: following directions
Social Studies: citizenship
- Skills: Self-Direction: achieving goals
Collaboration: cooperation, meeting challenges together, teamwork
- Price: Free with Microtransactions
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Spooky Cool Labs
- Release date: November 1, 2012
- Genre: Simulation
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy
- ESRB rating: NR
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
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