WestWars on Facebook: If FrontierVille and Mafia Wars had a baby...

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West Wars on Facebook
Like many celebrities find themselves in strange mash-ups of names (Brangelina, anyone?) so do Facebook games, at times. This time, we're looking at FrontierWars--er, WestWars, my apologies. Developed by Hamburg, Germany-based Innogames, WestWars combines the best of FrontierVille's theme and Mafia Wars' gameplay. While the game's combat offers some depth, this style of button-click gameplay simply can't hang with games like the real FrontierVille or The Oregon Trail on Facebook. WestWars is one finely crafted, polished social game, but it's a few years too late.

For those familiar with Mafia Wars, much of the progression is identical: Click on job button, earn XP and lose Energy, repeat, wait for more Energy, repeat. Every once in a while, you will need an item to complete a job, which modifies the pattern slightly: Click on item to buy it, then click on job button, earn XP and lose Energy, repeat, wait for more Energy and, again, repeat. A large portion of your time playing WestWars will be spent doing this.

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However, upon launching the game you must choose between three classes: Duelist, Soldier, and Adventurer. Each has its own specialties and flaws, so choose carefully. This creates a sort Rock, Paper, Scissors dynamic to the game's combat system. By the way, it's entirely passive--you simply watch a repeating animation that depicts each blow, and it ends. Win a duel with either a real player (asynchronously, of course) or non-player character and earn extra XP and money. Lose a duel, and lose nothing but the wasted Duel Energy point.

This leads us to the statistics system, which is where most of the depth in WestWars lies. Every time a player levels up, they receive five Skill Points to put wherever they please, whether they be in Energy, Duel Energy or the three special stats. Those are Strength, Dexterity and Intelligence, and are what create the triangle effect to the combat. Each class specializes in one of these stats, and it would be wise to follow suit. However, the immersion stops there. If the duels were, say, interactive, then perhaps the stat-crunching would be more appealing.

WestWars on Facebook Duels
But as western games like The Oregon Trail offer fully animated sequences, mini games and somewhat deeper social features than Gangs and Dueling, it's tough to recommend WestWars. The game is executed beautifully and displays some impressive production value, but this is what social games were in 2008.

Click here to try WestWars on Facebook >

Have you tried WestWars on Facebook? What do you think of this style of Facebook game amongst the rest? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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