Now it's Ubisoft's time to party in Party Central
Party games - not games that you play at a party, but games about throwing parties - have become a bit of a trend on Facebook lately. Ubisoft's Party Central is the latest to hit the social network, and like Atommica's Home Fest it's about having a party at your house and seeing how many guests you can get to show up.
As long as the background entertainment is turned on (your choice of music, videogames, TV or movies), the guests will keep rolling through the door. The party can last for as little as 5 minutes, or as long as 24 hours of real time.
As the party's host, it's your job to keep the fridge stocked with food, which involves nothing more than clicking on the food meter and sacrificing some coins. Your other big job is to mingle with the guests to make sure they're having a good time. When two guests make a connection they'll start chatting with each other, which is your cue to click on them and perform special actions like throw a high-5, tell a joke, or even dance. Each action saps a bit of your energy, but yields coins and popularity (experience points) in return. Another thing to pay attention is the fact that little stars randomly appear over guests' heads, and clicking on them yields a random bonus of energy, coins or food.
There's also something called Luxury, which is a reflection of how hip your party pad looks. Sprucing up the place with interesting furniture and decorations boosts the Luxury meter, which will attract more guests. These items, which consists of the usual array of tables, couches, fridges, lamps, and so on, cost either regular coins or Facebook Credits.
There's definitely a stylishness to the decorations, along with some fun additions too. The newest items are a set of Halloween-themed furniture including a coffin-shaped table (a coffin-table, get it?), fridge with Halloween magnets, and a side-table with a bowl of candy.
In terms of social interactions, the game is fairly limited so far. If other Facebook friends have added the game you can visit their parties to earn bonus energy. Beyond collecting this daily bonus, however, there's no actual interaction.
Party Central is clearly a work in progress and comes off as a little sparse on comparison to other games of its kind, although it boasts a stylish look that definitely shows promise. The ability to expand the house into multiple rooms and shop for furniture by theme are two of the features listed as coming soon. The game is still missing any meaningful social features too, like the ability to interact with other peoples' guests or send gifts, but with a major publisher like Ubisoft behind it hopefully we can expect great things to come.