Gamenauts (Cate West, Burger Rush, Stickbound) has just introduced its first Facebook game, Wonder Island, into beta. The game puts you in charge of running a beach-side cafe, where you’ll serve tourists delicious dishes made from fresh ingredients that you cultivate yourself on your island farm.
Wonder Island isn’t the first cafe-themed game on Facebook, but it sets itself apart by the fact that you have to grow your own ingredients from scratch instead of simply purchasing them from the Shop. You’ll start the game with a large green patch of land that you can customize as you see fit, whether it’s tilling the soil to plant produce such as spinach, tomatoes, corn or rice; growing fruit trees that yield apples and other fruits; buying farm animals like cows and chickens; or simply placing decorations like water fountains and garden gnomes to enhance the island’s aesthetic appeal.
You can construct full-blown buildings as well. However, we didn’t spend enough time with the game for our preview to explore some of the cool advanced structures like the Pirate Hideout, which doesn’t become available until Level 14.
Harvesting ingredients is only one part of the game. You’ll make most of your money by preparing and serving dishes in the Island Cafe. (The cafe, by the way, is literally a couple of stoves and tables set up right on the beach in the open air – something that sounds like it would be quite lovely in real life!) To prepare a dish, you simply click on one of the available stoves and select the dish you want to make. In the game’s second unique twist, you can add ingredients to a dish to increase its selling price, if you have them on hand. If you’ve harvested some extra spinach, for example, you can toss it into the fruit salad.
Food left too long on the stove will spoil, and plants left too long unharvested will wither, making Wonder Island one of those games that encourages players to check back often.
Like the majority of Facebook games, Wonder Island offers two in-game currencies: the basic coins that you earn from selling food and use to purchase seeds and other basic necessities, and Island Cash, which you acquire by spending real-world money or taking surveys. Certain items can only be purchased with Island Cash, and at present this includes the majority of the animals.
Wonder Island is still in very early beta, so expect new features and refinements to continue to roll out over the coming weeks and months. Be sure to add a Gamezebo game alert to be notified the moment our walkthrough and review become available!