Breaking News! Zynga's FrontierVille arrives on Facebook

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frontierville on facebook
FrontierVille rides into town on today, courtesy of FarmVille creator Zynga. The new western themed Facebook game is best described by Zynga's Chief Game Designer Brian Reynolds, who calls it "Oregon Trail meets Little House on the Prairie meets FarmVille."

The goal of the game is to build your own frontier town, while growing your family and keeping the wilderness at bay. The game begins with a covered wagon and a plot of land, and from there you plant and harvest crops, custom create a log cabin, take on a spouse and make frontier babies (it's all very G-rated, don't worry). You'll be able to put the entire family to work, taking on quests and keeping snakes, bears and groundhogs from treading on your property.

frontierville on facebook

FrontierVille's social elements revolve around helping neighbors with their frontier towns, hiring friends to get jobs done quickly. The game also has a built-in reputation system -- the more favors you do, the better your reputation -- which in turn will make you more useful to friends who hire you for work.

Like other FarmVille and other Zynga games, FrontierVille will be updated with expansions and new items regularly and will be powered by a microtransaction system, which will allow you to use real-life cash to buy in-game currency which can then be used for special power-ups or premium virtual items.

Expectations at Zynga are big for this new game. EReynolds, who we interviewed about FrontierVille, wouldn't give us any specific numbers they're trying to meet, he says it would be a good thing if the game beat Zynga's fastest-growing game, Treasure Isle, which attracted 5 million users in one week. Our full interview with Reynolds will be coming shortly.

FrontierVille is the first social game for the video game vet , best known for creating multi-million dollar strategy games such as Civilization II and Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri. Even though other Facebook games have been built by video game alums, it will be interesting to see how Reynold's experience will make this wild west game stand out from the pack.

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