Thursday, February 21, 2013

Game Review: Smurf's Village Takes Me Back To 1981

Beeline Games' The Smurf's Village

I decided last year to save up some money and buy a tablet pc. It's been years since I've caught up to technology. I've never had a true smartphone mainly because my employer pays for my cell phone (a basic flip phone until recently) and that was good enough for me. As the Apple and Android market grew and I could see what my friends could do with their phone, I decided to finally save up and buy a tablet. Thanks mainly to Amazon gift cards through Swagbucks and Bing Rewards, I saved over $200 in Amazon credits to buy a Google Nexus 7 back in Dec 2012. Now that I have it, I've been app downloading machine trying to catch up with my friends.

One game app that I just discovered a couple weeks ago is Smurf's Village. Growing up a huge fan of the Smurfs, I'm immediately attracted to anything blue with a pointed hat. When I downloaded the free game and showed it to my boys, we were instantly hooked. If you are one of the 100 million people who has downloaded it for your iOS or Android device or played on Facebook since 2010, you know what I mean. It's definitely addictive and not for everyone (Think of it as Farmville with Smurfs,) but if you can play it for what it is, you'll enjoy the trip back to Saturdays mornings in 1981.


The premise for the game states:

Gargamel found the Smurfs’ village and scattered the Smurfs far and wide. With Papa Smurf's guidance, it’s up to you to build a new village for the Smurfs to call home. Based on the original cartoon and comic art, players begin the game with only a single mushroom house and a lone plowed plot of land. From there, things quickly progress, allowing players to build specialized houses, elaborate gardens with colorful crops, bridges to span running rivers, trodden paths, and more.


This post is not meant to be a game review or a recommendation, just my experience. The upside to the game is being able to build your own village and interact with the Smurfs, something we all wanted to do back in the day. I've had fun building the mushroom houses and unlocking my favorite Smurfs like Jokey and Handy. The downside to the game is the setup makes you want to advance quickly in the game and tempt unmonitored kids (or adults) to spend insane amounts of money to do so. In fact, a lawsuit was filed against Apple in April 2012 over such an occurrence where an 8-year old ran up a $1400 credit card bill on the game.


Changes were made to the game to setup more checkpoints to purchasing the expensive Smurfberries as a result of the lawsuit. (I still highly recommend adjusting the security settings on your devices or even disable in-app purchases if you have children playing the game.) As much as I approve the development of nostalgic 80s franchises into games such as Smurf's Village, I would ask Smurf fans to play this game for the fun of it and save your money for collecting vintage memorabilia.

To delve further into the Smurf's Village network, check out the unofficial fan site at MySmurfsVillage.Com for updates about the game and to connect with other village owners. Would love to hear your feedback on Smurf's Village and any other games that have brought back our beloved franchises!