Treetopia: Grow your village, quest, and be a tribe chieftain

Treetopia is a brand new game that just released from Playdom, makers of popular games such as Tiki Farm, Tiki Resort, Wild Ones, Social City, and Sorority Life. We are super excited about this one, because it's unlike anything we've seen on Facebook so far. No farming in sight! We gave this new game a spin tonight to see how it plays, and we have a full wrap-up and guide for you to help you get started.

Starting out in Treetopia is similar to most other Facebook games. You're greeted with a quick screen explaining the basic concepts before jump starting a rudimentary tutorial. Don't be like us and skip through these screens, Treetopia is actually a more complex game than many others and it's easy to find yourself overwhelmed at first. Read through the tutorial screens and familiarize yourself with the overview before heading out on your own. We suspect that more of a handholding new user experience will be coming in the near future, because this game is actually quite difficult to figure out at first. Hopefully we can help you get started without too much trouble!

The setting of Treetopia is that you are a village chieftain and your duty is to increase your village population and keep your villagers happy. Your job requires building homes for your villagers and buildings that will create resources that you need to complete quests. Completing quests requires you to have a certain amount of villagers, the required level, and all of the necessary resources. Questing is the main way to not only raise your level, but also unlock new and exciting story in Treetopia.

The tutorial walks you through customizing the appearance of your male and female villagers and shows you how to build homes. At first, you can only have two villagers. You can grow your population by buying homes for them, but your maximum population is dictated by what your level is at the time. If you're not high enough level, you will not be allowed to buy new houses to increase your population. Keeping your villagers happy is another part of the game. Occasionally, weed monsters and scary beings will grow on your farm and you will need to click them to eradicate them. Getting rid of these creatures will make your villagers happy. You also have a large tree in your village that you need to click regularly to grow it.

One thing that really sets Treetopia apart is the questing system. In a very Oregon Trail type of experience, your villagers will embark on quests. These quests do take resources such as Beads (the free currency in Treetopia), Wood, and Stone. You can get Wood from Wood Works and Stone from Limestone Quarries. While taking part in these quests, scary things can happen that will take additional resources in order to defeat. Completing the quests earns you necessary XP and also more beads.

We are really enjoying Treetopia so far. Where most Facebook games give you a short play session yet encourage you to come back frequently, there seems to be enough real-time fun in Treetopia so that you can have a long play session and enjoy your time without needing to leave and come back. The game also has a very Tiki Resort-esque overhead view that lends itself well to decorations and features across both games. The music is pleasant, the game is polished and adorable, and it is definitely on its way to success.

If we had to pinpoint a negative aspect of the game, we'd have to say that the complexity is a tricky line to walk. While it may be true that Facebook gamers are ready for a deeper gaming experience on Facebook, we feel that the new user experience in Treetopia has quite a way to go before players will grasp the concepts and be likely to stick with it long term. Hopefully there are plans to really increase the handholding and help players further into the experience to increase chances of retaining an engaged player base out of the gate.

Treetopia is promising. It feels like a hybrid of My Tribe, Tiki Resort, Oregon Trail, with a little bit of My Empire or Social City thrown in for good measure. It's a unique and exciting game that brings it's own flair to the ever-growing world of Facebook games, and we're eager to keep a close eye on this one.
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