Six Flags Mascot Park advergame flops on Facebook
Six Flags, the giant theme park chain, launched a new Facebook advergame called Mascot Park. It starts off simple enough -- customize a mascot and then, well, that's where everything starts to fall apart. Your mascot must perform on a series of themed stages to earn coins, which can be used to buy more clothes and items for its trailer. Decorate a stage and then string together moves to create a performance -- the better it is, the more coins you'll earn. You can also send these performances to friends, but do so at your own risk -- watching these mascots dance is about as exciting as waiting on an hour-long roller coaster line at a real-life Six Flags.
Mascot Park houses two other mini-games that don't fare much better. The first, Mascot Melee, is a side-scroller where you beat up friends' mascots with rubber chickens, lollipops and shoot them with bunny guns (as in guns that shoot bunnies) until their heads fall off, which you then collect before moving forward. The concept seems fun and irreverent, but that cheekiness gets lost among the confusing, unresponsive controls and gameplay that, frankly, just isn't that entertaining.
The same can be said for the second game, Cannonball Chaos, where you shoot your mascot from a canon and see how far you can make it fly, flop and bounce before it loses momentum. Again, it's easy to see that the creators were going for a tongue-in-cheek vibe (who doesn't want to see an annoying theme park mascot land on coals and catch on fire?), but somehow that isn't funny enough to overlook the game's general lack of polish. There's no real instructions on what to do, so end up randomly clicking on stuff trying to keep your mascot airborne for as long as possible.
At the moment, that's pretty much all there is to the game, other than decking out your mascot's trailer and checking out other friends' scores and performances. The lesson learned? Advergames still haven't been able to prove they have what it takes to attract discriminating consumers. Just because Facebook games are called 'casual' doesn't mean they should be casual in execution.
Disagree with my assessment of Six Flags Mascot Park? Leave a note in the comments below.