Cloud-Village--iOS-Review Cloud Village iOS Review

   19/10/2012 at 18:03       Drew Bower       2 COMMENTS. - Score 3/5
 - Sneaky Games, Fantasy Kingdoms, Freemium, Farming, Social

The ‘freemium’ model of selling games has really taken off, especially on mobile devices. The idea of giving away your game for free, with the enticement to players of speeding up or enhancing their gameplay experience with in app purchases seems like a win-win situation. Frugal and determined players can grind things out over a period of time, whilst those willing to spend a few quid can give themselves a helping hand by spending money on a game they know they already enjoy playing.

Of course, there is a fine line between giving players a fair crack at genuinely having a freebie experience or making things so drawn out that stumping up some cash is the only real way of making progress. Does Cloud Village walk this line, or have Sneaky Games been, er, sneaky and fallen over the edge?

The story of Cloud Village begins with you introduced to race of elf-like creatures known as Cloudlings. The poor little guys have had their village destroyed by an evil curse. Instead of sitting around moping or waiting for charitable aid, the industrious fellows show plenty of can-do spirit and begin rebuilding a new one – with your help of course.

The game works on a simple mechanic of spending a few coins on creating something – a garden crop, potion, etc and after a period of time claiming back more coins and XP points. To create and maintain most things requires the busy hands of one Cloudling. Building a house allows one extra Cloudling to live in the village and work for you. Once you have a spare pair of hands you can put them to work tending to various plants, building new houses, or other quests asked of you by the Clouding’s mother. You can also partake in mini-games (once you have the appropriate building) such as the greenhouse game where you have to quickly plant, grow and harvest a group of crops repeatedly in a minute. Doing so will give you bonus XP and coins.

Each new item you create takes a set period of time to come to fruition. Times can range from a few seconds, to a few minutes, hours or even days. Usually the longer an item takes to build or grow, the higher pay off in coins and XP. This varying time mechanic also requires you to plan your daily routine so as to maximise your workers time. For instance, it’s wise to plant a load of 5 minute crops whilst you are waiting for a bus to setting all Cloudlings working on 12 hour jobs whilst you sleep.

Every task can be completed instantly via the use of gems. Tapping on a build in progress shows you the real time left before completion and the number of gems that it will take to complete instantly. Gems are awarded each time you level up through XP points, but naturally the suggestion is to purchase a quantity of gems to speed things up.

So the question to answer is, would it be worth spending some money on gems? Well purchasing a ‘bag of gems’ (55) for £2.99 would get you to at least where I got to – and probably well beyond - in roughly 3 days of casual attention. In that time, I had built a number of houses, utility buildings and felt things were starting to tick over quite nicely albeit still in a time restricted manor. If you have found yourself becoming attached to the little Cloudlings and your steadily growing village, then it’s a fairly small price to pay to speed up and enhance your experience. It should also be noted that you can purchase gems with your in game coins too, should you be ultra determined to hold onto your real life shrapnel.

The fairy tale style graphics add a certain charm to the fantasy Cloudling creatures village. There’s usually always something that you can do or keep an eye on, but the whole experience will depend totally on how much time or money you’re willing to invest and how many friends you have to trade items with.

Stars
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