My fellow comrades, there is an interesting game on Facebook; one I wish to urgently discuss. The name of this game is Frontierville.
The object of this game is to build up a thriving frontier town and tame the wilderness. The game combines management skills of resources and money, while also promoting the skillset needed in providing for a family. The game has a social aspect as well, as you can visit “neighbors” who are actually your Facebook Friends who play the game.
On the surface, the game can be very fun and educational for all ages. There is, however, a very dark and frustrating part to this game. So frustrating that it can drive you to the point of cursing the game’s creators and wishing death upon a certain, annoying farmer who ominously lurks about and is as persistant as a dancing swarm of flies at a summer’s picnic.
Meet Frontier Jack, the single character who ruins what could be a game as fun and entertaining as the Sims, but online.
My main qualm with Frontier Jack is that every other time you click your mouse, to do anything at all, you will get a visit from a snaggle-mouthed farmer who literally begs you to tell your friends about every aspect of the game. We get it: the game’s creators want the game to become a viral hit, spreading through Facebook.
Frontier Jack is ruining everyone’s experience by popping up at every turn possible, and then when not even possible. Not only does he want you to tell your friends, but he also wants to point out the absolute obvious. For example:
1) You done clobbered a snake! Tell your friends.
I know “I done clobbered a snake”! I was there! I used all my 10 points of energy doing so and now I have none left! Well maybe if I visit one of my neighbors you have forced me to add, I can get more energy. Let’s see!
2) Visiting Your Neighbors: “You’ve did done all you can today! Tell your friends.
So, you proceed to your neighbor’s to do your ‘good deed’ for them, be it chop down trees that can somehow grow to magical Lord of the Ring Ents heights in between Facebook visits or maybe clear out some sprawling wildflowers. You’re really just there to get some energy that you spent up ‘clobbering them snakes’ and you know it.
So, you finish up at your neighbors. You did your five clicks of work you can do for the day. All is well and you’re peacefully collecting your tools, preparing to go back to your Frontier so you can plant some crops or finish building that blasted barn that takes everything from nails to the magical crown of Narnia’s unicorn fairy to complete.
Who shows up? Who shows up for no reason at all. Frontier Jack.
“Well, you done did all the work you can do for the day!” Well, really?! I had no idea that the fact I can no longer click anything and five icons on the screen telling me “Go home here!” means I can’t do any more work and should go home! Wow, thanks, Frontier Jack!
But really, why is Frontier Jack there…
“Hey, why don’t you share your tools! And tell your friends you did.” No, Jack, I will not share my tools. I need those, along with my peace of mind, reputation, money, energy and experience. And most of all, my sanity.
Frontierville is becoming as annoying as those ads where the girl goes, “Congratulations, you may have won a Free Ipod Nano!”, at sound levels that put jet engines to shame. Yes, that annoying. Or even that once ancient mosquito ad from when Myspace was actually a fun site to visit.
You get the drift, comrades. The creators of Frontierville are ruining the game with their greed and Frontier Jack.
You’ve likely experienced a taste of this frustrating game, and perhaps like myself and others, you have your grievances. Here’s what one user had to say, which I think puts the problems of this game in terms with which everyone can relate:
1.) Frontier Jack constantly telling me about things. I can’t get anything accomplished like harvesting my crops or any of the missions because I am constantly bombarded with Frontier Jack telling me, literally, every 10 minutes to invite my friends, that I’ve clearly done something magnificent, telling me the obvious things like I’ve run out of energy, I’ve completed a collection, or I need various objects to complete my buildings! I have just about had it with the constant invitations of inviting friends to come and join! The more you allow this to continue, the more likely I will tell my friends to not even bother with the game!
2.) Lately, I’ve been experiencing a very strong lag in the game whenever I do manage to harvest my crops. I merely click the refresh button at the top of the page and then when I am taken back to my Frontier ALL of my energy is gone when I had only used a few of it! I do not take it lightly that my energy has been stolen by you guys!
3.) When I wish to sell some things on my Frontier, I have noticed that the prices for which I am selling them are NO WHERE NEAR what I bought them at!! I feel cheated and tricked! What the hell is with that?! Did you guys seriously think people wouldn’t notice that? Something that costs 200 coins SHOULD NOT BE SOLD for 10!! What kind of scam are you running?!
4.) Things in the market are over priced! You should at least make them affordable to the players of the game if you fucking want anything from them without stealing from them! I’m sure it would make a world of a difference!
5.) When completing the fuctions of helping out neighbors, the first thing you see is Frontier Jack telling you the obvious thing of, “you’ve done all you can today…” and then having another box pop up asking if you want to leave tools behind. By that time half of my reputation, experience, and coins have disappeared!! I’m pissed about that! I can’t get anything accomplished with Frontier Jack constantly asking, telling, or demanding the obvious shit that goes on around the Frontier!
You guys need to shut the Frontier down and fix some serious shit around it. Price things where they should be, fix the lag in the game when harvesting crops, and just get your guys’ shit together in general! I’m so tired of being cheated, tricked, and scammed on the Frontier!! I don’t want to be this rude to you, but I’ve had enough!
We must rise up against these things that are sullying up our frontiers. This game is the lifeblood of people at home, in offices and at school’s nationwide. Your friends play it, and you likely do too, because it is fun and also, because that blasted Frontier Jack will not stop harassing you to invite everyone.
Still! The game is fun. There are great aspects to it and it would be nice to see it develop into a true gaming platform. If these pitfalls persist, however, I fear that our dear game will become a land as cluttered and forgotten as Xanga, Friendster or ICQ.
Zynga, the game’s creators, need to know that they’ve created a great game, but are ruining it for fans who have invested a good amount of time and patience (which I’m sure a few people do not have these days) into this platform. They can only silence fans so long (we’ve seen the complaints of deleted complaints, ironically, on Frontierville’s Facebook page forum) before an official boycott takes place.
Join us in “Liking” this article on Facebook, so hopefully Zynga gets the message. Stop screwing us over with low energy levels, attacks by crack addicted animals and Frontier Jack bombarding us with dumb questions, always ending with a variation of ‘spreading the news to our friends’, like a new sort of door-to-door salesperson.
Comrades, fight with me to to make this game take a turn, back for the better, out of the drug-scented hands of Zynga’s programmers who seem hellbent on ruining the game to support their potential drug habit. Really, crack addicted groundhogs and bears?
That’s another issue in itself. Let’s just get this game back to being good, so we can all enjoy it. We deserve that much. That’s the way it should be. Fun.