Yes, I confess. I like to play games. From computer-based, to gaming consoles, to handheld devices, to mobile apps, to online, I have many favorites. As time has gone on though, the selection of games has changed drastically. Still, the end result is the same – they are mind-numbing and just leave you feeling empty.
A Better World is a new game from ToonUps, played through Facebook, that takes a unique spin on the casual gaming experience.
By doing good deeds, both online and in real life, you can accrue ‘Do-Good Gold’. You can then use that to decorate your virtual house or build your digital wardrobe. By encouraging a positive outlook on life and rewarding acts of kindness, the designers hope the players are able to feel better about themselves while being supportive of others.
After signing in with a Facebook account, you can then create your character from a variety of features and clothes. I look pretty cute, eh? Other aspects of the game are explained such as daily tasks and navigation through the different areas. These are divided into the village, the town, and the countryside.
The village is where your online house is. You can decorate it as you please or take some time to visit the homes of your Facebook friends. There is also a community garden where you can exercise your green thumbs, literally, and give them a rest from texting.
In the town, all your shopping can be done. Clothes, furniture, and even pets can be bought with your Do-Good Gold or Facebook credits (actually purchased with PayPal or credit card). The arcade is also located here and can be visited to gain some stars and gold. The three games are basically match-three (recycling), whack-a-mole (destroying negative thoughts), and hang man (guessing happy thoughts).
Sharing ‘fuzzy’ feelings can be done in the countryside area. You can express what you are grateful for and see what others posted in Gratitude Grotto. When I clicked to enter something that would later be displayed on the nearby waterfall, it took me a few minutes. Just prompting one to take a step back and think about what we are grateful for is one of the great effects this game can have on participants. Cute heart graphics can be sent to other players at the Heart Cart. If you choose to share your hopes and dreams, that is possible in the Sanctuary of Hope (this part was a little weird to me though).
Throughout the game there are ‘featured’ items everywhere. All of them must be paid for. Sorry, with a family to raise, I can’t bring myself to pay for decor in an imaginary, online house. In a game where you are encouraged to give to others (discouraging greed), you’d think the advertising to buy in-app items would be less blatant.
This game was a bit on the boring side to me. The premise is brilliant and I applause the developers of the game for trying to promote positive qualities. However, the game is lacking a bit in substance and I don’t really see people logging each day to play, even if that means they get a rain cloud above their player’s head. That said, if you just want a casual game and need a little pick-me-up, A Better World may brighten your day.
Disclosure: I was given the opportunity to share my thoughts and opinions on A Better World. I received a gift card as a thank you for my participation. All thoughts and opinions are my own.