Hug a tree in Playdom’s newest Facebook sim Treetopia.
Playdom’s brand new title Treetopia is the latest Facebook game to combine resource management and city building (or, in this case, village building) along with a quest system that adds a dash of role-playing flavor into the mix too.
Where other city sims like Social City and NanoTowns are set in the modern era, Treetopia opts for a pre-industrial setting that has you caring for a tribe of villagers who live on top of a green hill dominated by a large, majestic tree that grows in size as your village expands.
As the village’s Tribal Chief, it’s your job to build houses to increase the village’s population, construct workshops to produce beads, wood, stone and gems, and keep the villagers happy by chasing away threats that randomly appear.
The graphics are quite impressive, easily holding their own when compared to any of the standalone casual PC download sims on the market. Villagers wander around freely, and you can zoom in and out on your village and drag the mouse to scroll to different places.
Facebook friends can be recruited as neighbors, and can help you in quests by popping in and offering assistance in different ways. Right now at least, the process seems to be automated (as in, a neighbor will randomly be chosen to help out) as opposed to multiple players being able to asynchronously participate in quests together. Another advantage of having neighbors is that you can visit their villages and help yourself to some of their resources. If a neighbor has a stone quarry, for example, you might be able to grab some to add to your own pile.
Treetopia also offers quests that players can accept to earn additional experience points and resources. (Although each quest also uses up resources, and might have other requirements like having a certain number of happy villagers.) Quests are text-based, and each quest has a certain number of steps to complete. For example, you might be asked to send a mage to investigate a strange spirit in a nearby swamp, travel to meet an item crafter who will teach you better beading skills, or go out and collect pigment so your artist can make paint. The more complicated the quest, the more clicks it takes to finish, and with each click comes the chance of success or a setback that will cause you to lose some of your resources. For the time being there seems to be a relatively small number of quests, and as such they repeat themselves frequently.
While the quest system definitely needs to be expanded and fleshed out so that the same small number of quests aren’t being recycled ad nauseam, they do lend an element of adventure and role-playing that aren’t always seen in games of this genre. Another promising feature we noticed was that Treetopia seems designed to avoid those “dead spaces” where you’re simply sitting around waiting for something to happen. Resources are always popping up on-screen to be collected, and carnivorous plants frequently appear that have to be clicked on before they scare the villagers away, so there’s always something to do.
Treetopia is still in the very early stages of development, so expect the game to expand and change a lot in the upcoming weeks. Be sure to add a Gamezebo game alert to be notified the moment our walkthrough and review become available!