Go Big embodies everything wrong with Facebook advergames


Real-time action sports games are few and far between on Facebook, so I was pretty excited when I first heard about the appearance of snowboarding title Go Big on the site this morning. That excitement lasted roughly five seconds into the game, which is a pretty sorry excuse for even an ad-based snowboarding game.

The point of the game, such as it is, is to complete as many tricks as possible by spinning and grabbing the board during jumps, before landing safely parallel to the ground (or the roof, or the tops of the snowplows that inexplicably line the courses). The problem is that everything about the game, from the grainy, washed-out graphics to the sluggish controls to the choppy animation, make playing more of a struggle than a joy. It all comes off as rushed and cheap and extremely derivative of dozens of other free to play games that litter the net.

But the really galling part is the lack of actual social networking content. Sure, you can share your high scores with friends, but there's nothing else that makes the game even the least bit "social." Why bother putting your advergame on Facebook when you're not going to take advantage of the platform?

The answer, most likely, is that the game's sponsors -- HP, Intel, Best Buy and Rossignol -- figured going on Facebook would be the easiest way to get a game that could somehow "go viral" and get passed around between friends, getting the sponsor's message out to as many potential consumers as possible for a minimal cost. But it's hard to imagine many Facebook users voluntarily sharing this game with their friends, no matter how easy Facebook makes this process. Just because people can share your game doesn't mean they will unless you give them some sort of compelling reason (such as, I don't know, a fun game).

I suppose the chance to win a weekly drawing for prizes such as laptops, snowboards and gift cards counts as a reason to give this one a try. But really, I'm just tired of advertisers throwing up these kinds of uninspired games on Facebook and expecting the players to come a-running. If you want to get your message out there, take the time to create a compelling game that's worth your players' time.

[Via Inside Facebook]