New Boyz: The World on Facebook: If the New Boyz came to YoVille...

New Boyz: The World
It would probably be a lot like their new social game, New Boyz: The World, which launches on Facebook today. Quite honestly, the game is somewhat of a technical feat. It incorporates several features from less-established games into one virtual world surrounding both the New Boyz and hip hop culture overall. So what if the game, developed by Funtactix, is a lot like YoVille--consider this YoVille with a purpose (and much better looking).

New Boyz starts players out with the usual character creation, though not many options are available to begin with as most clothing options are bought using in-game currencies. Once inside the game, you'll immediately notice the beautiful, almost life-like artwork.
New Boyz: The World
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New Boyz: The World on Facebook: If the New Boyz came to YoVille...

Sure, the backgrounds are drawn, static backgrounds, but it's what works on Facebook best. Not to mention the artists at Funtactix have made excellent use of the Flash platform to draw animated, detailed cell-shaded avatars. And because this is more of a virtual world than a game in the traditional sense, everything happens in real time with up to 20 players per server. This, combined with the likely taxing artwork, could put lots of stress on the infrastructure, which stuttered a bit during our preview.

Once inside the game world, many of the other preview attendees began dancing (it's a weird thing we gamers do), while Funtactix marketing director Casey Dixon guided us in the direction of the New Boyz themselves. There they were, just standing on the street, waiting for us to say "hello." Of course, this isn't the real Legacy and Ben-J, but it easily could be. Dixon tells us that, at any point in time, the real Legacy and Ben-J have the ability to assume the role of their in-game counterparts and interact with their fans. The duo could do this whenever they please or, though specifics haven't been released yet, to promote certain major events.

New Boyz videos
Alas, their main purpose is to provide players with quests--in the most abominable dialog possible. After trying New Boyz for the first time, you'll likely notice the writing. It's sad to say that the writing in New Boyz looks like a shoddy attempt at capturing what the culture is all about. While I'm far from the authority on what sounds "hip-hop," I'm almost certain it doesn't read like, "Tight! Quest Complete!"

Now, there isn't any combat in New Boyz: The World, nor is there a final goal. Frankly, it'll make you feel as if there is no purpose to the game. Thankfully, Funtactix included an interesting feature: the ability to watch New Boyz music videos and other content from within the game with your friends. Imagine why websites like Ustream are so popular, throw that into this game, and you'll understand the significance. On top of that, there are a few minigames to pass the time, which aren't much more than varieties and spin-offs of games like Bejeweled. Regardless, they net you XP, which you'll need to access new stuff in the shop and to take on more difficult quests.

For super fans, this your Facebook game. Funtactix will work with the New Boyz and their partners, Warner Music Group, to give players inside, first-look access to new tracks and music videos before anyone else. (Suck on that, MTV.)

However, the game seems to rely heavily on social interaction and a large pool of friends. While the New Boyz certainly have a massive following, is this enough to sustain a single game with enough players to keep things interesting? We'll see soon enough. But if the New Boyz are a hit on Facebook, games like YoVille are going to have to change their approach.

Click here to try New Boyz on Facebook Now >

Are you a New Boyz fan? Would you play this game if it meant exclusive access to new New Boyz releases? What if you aren't a fan? Share with us in the comments. Add Comment.
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