While there are plenty of pet simulation games on Facebook (PetVille, Pet Society and Happy Pets, to name just a handful), ModernMom, Grab.com and 6waves Lolapps (phew, what a mouthful) have partnered to create a childcare simulator, that also focuses on the needs of moms. The game is called Baby & Me, and as of this writing, it has climbed to over 1 million monthly active players.
Upon first starting the game, you'll be able to name your child, although it doesn't appear as though you can choose the sex of your baby; rather, the color of the stork's bundle will tell you if you've become the proud parent of a girl or boy. You'll be sent straight into the role of mom with little time to prepare, as your nursery is an absolute wreck, the baby is dirty and you're already a little stressed. You see, the game here is about balancing your work as a mother to your baby, and as a caretaker of your own self, so you can go back and forth between actually interacting with your child and exercising, among other tasks.
First things first, you'll want to take care of your baby. This is done by simply clicking on the child, which zooms in your view for a better look. Individual buttons allow you to change its diaper, give it a bath or feed it, and only after its basic needs have been met will you be able to play games or participate in other activities with the child, like coloring, peek-a-boo and so on. Mini-games are introduced here, as you must use your mouse to wash dirt from your baby's face, or click your mouse in a steady rhythm to burp the baby after it has eaten.
Of course, it still can't be as simple as all that, as you'll also need to craft new diapers and bars of soap, as examples, to actually take care of your child. You'll earn collectibles as you play the game which must be turned in to "craft" these items, as seen in so many other social games, and the better items that you craft, the longer your baby will feel the effects, and the less often you'll have to come back and take care of those same needs. Once it's satisfied, you can even put the baby down for a nap, allowing you up to eight hours (at the start of the game) of peace as the baby sleeps.
On the mother's side of the game, you're given your own special room for "mommy time," where you can watch videos from ModernMom, or purchase luxuries to boost your character's mood. You can exercise, which is an automated process, or you can simply go shopping for something fun (including spa treatments) in the store, using coins you've earned by simply playing the game. You can even change your character's appearance by purchasing new clothing items and accessories.
A quest system and an overall town map add even more features to the experience, including an energy bar and more timed events. You'll be able to schedule parties and events at your own home, at the local restaurant and so on, or can spend some energy to travel down to the beach to play hidden object scenes for additional coins and other bonuses.
Rounding out the package are some light social features that see you taking your child to your friends' homes for a play date or even to help them clean up their home, or chatting with other users in real time below the gameplay area.
All in all, Baby & Me seems like the perfect game for moms who love being moms, especially if they've perhaps watched their youngins' grow out of this stage and want to relive some of the better memories. If nothing else, the game contains a surprising amount of depth and aside from a few odd graphical glitches, runs really well. It will just be interesting to see if this specific of a gameplay theme can hold onto this many users in the long run.
Play Baby & Me on Facebook --->
Have you played Baby & Me on Facebook? What do you think of the game? Let us know in the comments.