You may not be able to play Adventure World all at once, but you’ll still have plenty of fun doing so
Adventure World is easily Zynga’s most ambitious game to date. It’s also very different from the games we’ve come to expect from the developer. You’ll be able to take on multiple quests, exploring an expansive and beautiful world filled with both traps and secrets. It features both familiar social gameplay elements and new ones, and nails the pulp fiction adventure style. The pros mostly outweigh the cons — which include an incredibly restrictive energy system — making this an adventure you’ll likely want to embark on.
Adventure World puts you in the role of a budding explorer climbing the ranks of a mysterious organization known as the Adventure Society. And in order to climb those ranks, obviously you’ll need to do quite a bit of exploring. There’s a main line of quests that takes you from the El Dorado to Egypt to Tibet. But in addition to that, there are also side quests to take on. These don’t expand on the story at all, but they do give you new and interesting areas to explore. You’ll also need to beat them in a specific amount of time, usually a day or two, or else you’ll be forced to start over.
The actual exploration takes place on large, isometric maps filled with everything you’d expect from a serial adventure. There are traps that can be sprung or disabled, treasures waiting to be collected, enemies like snakes to do battle with, and plenty of secrets to uncover. You’ll have a trusty set of tools at your disposal, including a machete for clearing away brush and an Indiana Jones-style whip for knocking those pesky snakes into submission. Most quests have a main objective, like finding a specific artifact, as well as a series of optional goals, like feeding monkeys or collecting rare flowers. Friends can also be part of your team, letting you save energy by having them perform actions for you.
This turns out to be a very important feature as Adventure World is very limiting when it comes to energy. Not only does it refill very slowly, but your energy also doubles as your health. This means that both attacking and being attacked by an enemy consume energy, so combat can be a huge drain.
As with most social games, you also have a home base area you can decorate to your liking and use to generate resources and supplies needed for exploring. Just like in Empires & Allies, different players will be able to produce different resources, forcing you to harvest from your friends. For example, I may have a well that produces water, which means that I’ll need a friend who can produce oil in order for me to collect any. This isn’t too frustrating, though, as there are only three resources in the game.
In addition to being Zynga’s biggest game, Adventure World is also its best looking. The maps are packed with detail, like running waterfalls and lush plant life, and you’ll regularly stumble into traps that will cause spears to shoot out of the ground or pieces of a bridge to crumble away. The characters, though, are most impressive, and are much more detailed and animated than in past Zynga games.
If it weren’t for the frustrating energy system, which can severely limit how much you can play in one session, Adventure World just might be Zynga’s best game to date. The world is huge, there’s lots to do and see, and there’s even a story to push you along. The game really captures the sense of adventure that it’s aiming for, and it does so while offering up quite a bit of content to explore. If you don’t mind consuming the game in small play sessions, Adventure World is a great way to pretend you’re Indiana Jones for a bit.