Thursday, April 5, 2012

Social Game Gangs of Boomtown is now on Facebook

Digital Chocolate’s Old West-themed social game Gangs of Boomtown is now available on Facebook following a 30-day exclusivity period on Google+.  The game casts players in the role of a mysterious wanderer who has been targeted by a gang of assassins. Throughout their adventures, the player must achieve two main goals: take down the assassins and help rebuild the ruined settlement of Boomtown.

Gameplay unfolds in a very familiar manner, combining elements of role-playing games and citybuilders. Players are introduced to basic game concepts through a brief tutorial and are then guided through the game’s story via a series of quests. These tasks will lead the player from location to location in the Boomtown world in order to fight enemies, collect items and make a name for themselves. Upon returning to Boomtown, the player is able to clear the burned-out debris of the original settlement, construct buildings, plant crops and make use of various special buildings in order to upgrade their weapons or increase their population limit. All actions in this “PvE” part of the game cost energy to perform — this replenishes over time and at every level up. Constructing certain buildings requires specific resources which can be acquired by expending hard currency or asking friends, and the construction of some special buildings (typically those which allow the player to expand their population) is also friend-gated — though as usual, this may also be bypassed with hard currency.

Players may also travel to a special “Ghost Town” location which is populated by avatars of other players. Here, the player is able to “duel” opponents in order to gain money, experience and special items often used for construction. Dueling has its own independent energy bar, allowing players to indulge in some PvP while they wait for their PvE energy to regenerate. The PvP energy bar is much smaller, however, meaning it runs out relatively quickly — it’s also considerably slower to recharge. The odds of victory against each opponent are clearly displayed above their heads, allowing players to pick their targets carefully — though taking a more risky gamble potentially offers greater rewards. Unlike some other PvP-based social games, there is no means of notifying an opponent of when they have been defeated, nor is there any way to communicate with them beyond manually searching for their Facebook profile.

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