Virtual Villagers: A First Look at Playing God

Virtual Villagers welcomes players to Isola
With today's release of Virtual Villagers, everyone can now play god on Facebook. But official PR aside, how good is it?

Virtual Villagers Quest Clear the LandJohn Passfield, the Creative Director of 3 Blokes Studios, who helped make the game, says that Virtual Villagers "is building on games like FrontierVille." This is very obvious to players once the game's Quest icons appears, which work nearly identically to FrontierVille's Goals. The two games even share a Quest or Goal achievement called "Clear the Land." On top of that, crops need to be planted and harvested, buildings require wood to build, and the plant life takes over when you've been away for too long.

But plenty of differences allow Virtual Villagers to stand on its own. Unlike FrontierVille, arduous loads of clicking have been replaced with drag-and-drops. Your villagers also don't stay still, and each one comes with his or her own stats page, which will develop over time. And while you start off with one villager, you don't have to work your butt off getting hitched in order to have a second pair of hands to work the land. I got another villager just after hitting Level 3! But, the game warns, "Older villagers start to slow down."
Virtual Villager Detail
Also, compared to the boxed homestead setup on FrontierVille, where you're constricted by walls of trees, the play area of Virtual Villagers is vast. You're on a huge freakin' island and your villagers have full run of the place. It'll take you a minute or two just to walk your characters around. But if you want to speed up the process, you're also allowed to use your mighty godfingers to pick 'em up and drop 'em willy-nilly.
Virtual Villagers: Huge Island
If you're waiting between energy refills in FrontierVille and want to try something new, claim your godhood in Virtual Villagers here. Your worshippers are waiting!
Virtual Villagers praying at Idol of Thunder
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