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  #1  
Old 11-02-2012, 09:06 PM
C.Hannum C.Hannum is offline
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Default Meego Village (A Thinking Ape)




I discovered this pretty much by accident a few days ago but am impressed enough to bring it to the attention of TA since it's apparently unmentioned anywhere except an empty holder article in the front page database.

If you've got a soft spot for freemium builders but are tired of the vapid pointlessness in the genre, then you ought to take a look at this. First off, while superficially resembling your run of the mill freemium builder, it's anything but - it's a a real time building sim. It has a lot more to do with the building portion of games like Age of Empires than FarmVille.

You have to procure and manage four resources. Each Meego has three primary stats related to discovery of tech, "bartering" with neighbors, and gathering resources. It's a fairly complex game where you have to constantly make choices about how to manage your resources at hand, figure out which Meegos should be assigned to which tasks (performing tasks raises the related stat), when and which Meegos you need to breed...

Yes, that's the most original hook here: Meegos are born, become adults, grow old, and die over the course of about 5 days. You are effectively god and get to manage the "herd". Do it right, and you improve the genetics of your population (the stats of the parents determine the stats of the offspring), you can introduce strong genes from visitors to your village (you there, breed with my women!). Do it wrong and you can wind up waiting to clear a bunch of gravestones to start over from scratch.

The game is still really new (just came out of a limited beta in Canada/Australia about 2 weeks ago) and many features are still forthcoming, but I'm impressed. Neighbors are automatic through ATA's own network, there's world wide chat, etc.. Perhaps key for some of the more skittish around here, the monetization is coming in well after the game. The game does have a premium currency (crystal skulls) but you couldn't even purchase it for real money until the official launch, it's given out as random rewards when visiting neighbors, and, for now, the only thing it's good for is speeding things up so there's really not much point. Basically, it's a Tamagotchi on the level of an entire village built around a social game backbone that, at least for now, has pretty much zero reason to spend money on except to encourage the devs.
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  #2  
Old 11-02-2012, 09:28 PM
C.Hannum C.Hannum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bramblett05 View Post
So its like the virutal village games from lastdayofwork or at work company?
I've never played those but just looking at the description and reviews, I'd say similar but not the same. This game appears a much more streamlined affair than the kitchen sink employed with the VV games. The breeding is a HUGE part of this game (it pretty much is the game for many based on the chatter in the official forums).

This review does a pretty good job of summing it up: http://www.insidesocialgames.com/201...ge-ios-review/

Last edited by C.Hannum; 11-02-2012 at 09:31 PM..
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  #3  
Old 11-02-2012, 09:46 PM
LostENT LostENT is offline
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I've been playing some monster games recently (trying to find the right Pokemon for iPad game) and all of them seem to be bogus freemium builders. If it's as good as you make it sound, considering it's indie, I'll download it right now.

I personally have a soft spot for Mumbo Jumbo tiki stuff so this sounds like the right fit.
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  #4  
Old 11-04-2012, 05:46 PM
C.Hannum C.Hannum is offline
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OK, so I didn't succeed in lighting the TA community on fire about this game

Still, if anyone is interested in checking this out, you can find my village at username "ChipVille" in game
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  #5  
Old 11-06-2012, 08:43 AM
C.Hannum C.Hannum is offline
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Default Update released

Major update released last night including:

- now universal build with iPad support
- now can listen to your own audio when you switch to the game
- added a "mini game" involving the grack-grack and derp birds
- can now move structures after they're built

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/meego-village/id524586254?mt=8

Still no iPhone/touch 5 wide screen support, but hopefully it's coming. Otherwise, they've now nicely polished the launch content and even added a little something.
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  #6  
Old 11-06-2012, 09:13 AM
xbtran xbtran is offline
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I played this game for about a week a few days ago. I found what you consider to be a hook to be extremely tedious. Resource gathering was unbelievably slow - seems like a huge emphasis was on sensing your guys to other towns. With the resource gathering being slow itself, tying up one character (as the mom) plus losing one every few days (and not getting another until the baby becomes 18) became tedious. To each their own, but I hated that concept. I wish I didn't mind it because everything else in that game is amazingly done. I especially loved the real time chat. I also loved the idea of the birthstones and how their skill builds depending on what they do, but since they died every so often this was something I quickly didn't care about enough to micro-manage.

Keep in mind my thoughts were probably during early build. It may have changed a little, but probably not enough for me to want to play again.

Last edited by xbtran; 11-06-2012 at 09:18 AM..
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  #7  
Old 11-06-2012, 09:55 AM
C.Hannum C.Hannum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xbtran View Post
I played this game for about a week a few days ago. I found what you consider to be a hook to be extremely tedious. Resource gathering was unbelievably slow - seems like a huge emphasis was on sensing your guys to other towns. With the resource gathering being slow itself, tying up one character (as the mom) plus losing one every few days (and not getting another until the baby becomes 18) became tedious. To each their own, but I hated that concept. I wish I didn't mind it because everything else in that game is amazingly done. I especially loved the real time chat. I also loved the idea of the birthstones and how their skill builds depending on what they do, but since they died every so often this was something I quickly didn't care about enough to micro-manage.

Keep in mind my thoughts were probably during early build. It may have changed a little, but probably not enough for me to want to play again.
Everything you say is true, but it's also exactly why I'm passionate about the game. Most freemium builders have moved to the all carrot, no stick approach, e.g. DragonVale. These are great little time wasters but there is no game there in the classic sense of risk vs. reward. Do pretty much anything and you "win", do nothing and everything remains exactly the same - you have to pretty much go out of your way and take deliberately stupid actions to harm your progress in any way.

What I think MV is doing that is unique(ish) is that it returns to having actual penalties for not keeping up with your virtual world, but goes beyond the FarmVille trope of just spoiling everything you invested if you dare put the game down. It's much more in the vein of ignoring your base in an RTS: resource nodes do run out after a few days and you need to move the gatherers, you do need to make "guns or butter" choices about whether to assign someone as an inventor or envoy, whether to take the time to build up a social network of exchanging envoys or going it alone (more micro but generally better rewards with unique bonuses vs. less micro but strictly predictable reward), you need to see to keeping the herd strong. It is definitely not something you can put aside for a week and come back to without penalty, but it's also light years beyond tapping on 50 farm plots, choosing the next crop, and doing it again 2 hours later. There are some timer based tasks (e.g. sending envoys to other villages), but they are a small subset of the tasks and can be participated in minimally (you will need to send enough envoys to get gold but otherwise you don't need to take part in this).

So, no, it's not a game for everyone, but if you are the sort who likes freemium builders and wants to try something with more substance than Tiny Tower or Happy Street, it is well worth the download.

Last edited by C.Hannum; 11-06-2012 at 03:48 PM..
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  #8  
Old 11-06-2012, 11:39 AM
xbtran xbtran is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C.Hannum View Post
Everything you say is true, but it's also exactly why I'm passionate about the game. Most freemium builders have moved to the all carrot, no stick approach, e.g. DragonVale. These are great little time wasters but there is no game there in the classic sense of risk vs. reward. Do pretty much anything and you "win", do nothing and everything remains exactly the same - you have to pretty much go out of your way and take deliberately stupid actions to harm your progress in any way.

What I think MV is doing that is unique(ish) is that it returns to having actual penalties for not keeping up with your virtual world, but goes beyond the FarmVille trope of just spoiling everything you invested if you dare put the game down. It's much more in the vein of ignoring your base in an RTS: resource nodes do run out after a few days and you need to move the gatherers, you do need to make "guns or butter" choices about whether to assign someone as an inventor or envoy, whether to take the time to build up a social network of exchanging envoys or going it alone (more micro but generally rewards with unique bonuses vs. less micro but strictly predictable reward), you need to see to keeping the herd strong. It is definitely not something you can put aside for a week and come back to without penalty, but it's also light years beyond tapping on 50 farm plots, choosing the next crop, and doing it again 2 hours later. There are some timer based tasks (e.g. sending envoys to other villages), but they are a small subset of the tasks and can be participated in minimally (you will need to send enough envoys to get gold but otherwise you don't need to take part in this).

So, no, it's not a game for everyone, but if you are the sort who likes freemium builders and wants to try something with more substance than Tiny Tower or Happy Street, it is well worth the download.
Yes I totally understand what you're talking about. I think I really game differently depending on what I play. I can sit and play a huge session of Borderlands 2, or stay in training mode for hours just finding new tech in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. But I also love freemiums, except I do tend to go towards something that I can get in and out of really quickly. I feel we both have the same feeling about the game in that it does try to surpass the average freemium model, but it's more the player that separates why I dislike it and why you're in love with it.
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  #9  
Old 11-06-2012, 01:41 PM
HLW HLW is offline
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The breeding mechanic seems fun. They'd have to die after a few days for it to work, or else you'd end up with too many. I will see how it goes...

Quote:
Originally Posted by C.Hannum View Post
Still, if anyone is interested in checking this out, you can find my village at username "ChipVille" in game
I sent you two meegos, they are low level though. I'll treat any you send back with love and care, like they were my own...
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  #10  
Old 11-06-2012, 03:35 PM
C.Hannum C.Hannum is offline
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Originally Posted by HLW View Post
I sent you two meegos, they are low level though. I'll treat any you send back with love and care, like they were my own...
Ah, I wondered why someone sent me 2 out of the blue (guessing you're Arkham), I'm used to lots of solo visitors. I will be sure to send some workers your way when my envoy's return/stop raising babies.

I'm trying to work toward getting definite castes of true breeding thinkers, envoys, and laborers. The upper tier birthstones provide their own wrinkle to this goal.

Reds only appear as a mutation from Meegos with Blues, Purples only appear as a mutation from Meegos with Reds. Devs have confirmed there is at least one undiscovered Red, and hinted there are or will be more Purples (only the Sun is known currently).
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