Tuesday, June 21, 2011

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"A Better World" is a Free-to-Play Facebook Game About Doing Good

Although I have played other online games, I have never tried a Facebook game.  At best, I would describe myself as a casual gamer because of the limited amount of time I have for playing.  This means I usually go for PC games that do not involve extensive interaction with other players.  A Better World is a game that allows me to play as much or as little as I would like because my progress depends solely on myself and is not part of a group effort.

Our oldest son will be officially a "tween" next January and has already begun showing interest in PC gaming.  Because of this, I understand the concerns of parents who may be worried about the unsavory themes that accompany some of these games, such as being rewarded with gold or treasure for the act of killing something, looting, and over-the-top rivalry.  ToonUps, the creator of A Better World, has created a game where the players are rewarded with Do-Good Gold and Positive Points (needed to level) for doing good.  Some examples would be . . .

  • Registering their real-life good deed for the day or giving someone a thumbs-up for their good deed at the Department of Do-Good
  • Sharing a hope for the future or lighting a candle to show support for a hope someone else has shared in the Sanctuary of Hope
  • Posting something they are thankful for or giving feedback about someone else's post at the Gratitude Grotto
  • Sending a positive message or a heart to a friend on Facebook
  • Leaving a gift in a friend's home

Please take a minute to watch this video showing you some of the highlights of A Better World . . . 

If you are a fan of shopping, then this is the game for you.  After you have earned some Do-Good Gold, you can spend it at the various establishments on East and West Main Street.  My favorite places to spend my gold are the Home Decor store, the Clothing Boutique, and the Emporium.  The Salon was quite fun, as well.

In addition to doing good deeds and supporting others, there are opportunities to be good to the Earth by planting flowers, bushes, and trees in the Community Garden.  One of my favorite ways to earn Do-Good Gold and Positive Points is to play the "Positive Puzzler" game in the Arcade.  It is a game where you need to use your brain to solve the puzzle by filling in the letters.  The sooner you solve the puzzle, the more Do-Good Gold and Positive Points you earn.  The puzzles involve book titles, song titles, sayings, magical places, and people who do or have done good for the world.  Everyday you login, you will receive a new Daily Mission with 3 optional tasks to complete to earn Do-Good Gold and Positive Points.  The goal of these Daily Missions is to get you to try out different aspects of the game that you may not have explored on your own.  There are 15 places to visit thus far and there will be new ones added in the future.

A fun feature of this game is that it allows you to take snapshots of your character to post on your Facebook page.  Here I am after getting a makeover at the Salon, buying some new clothes at the Clothing Boutique, and furnishing my new bedroom at Level 5 . . .

Everyone is allowed one character.  You can customize your character's gender, skin color, face shape, hair style and color, clothing, and shoes.  Each character comes with a one-room house, some Do-Good Gold, and some furniture to start.  New rooms and additional floors are added onto the house as you reach certain levels.  Here I am at Level 10 in my newly purchased jammies standing in my newly furnished dining room . . .

There are 3 other things you should know about this game . . .

The first is that it is free to play, but there are items that are only available for purchase with Facebook credits, which requires real life money.  That being said, I have not spent one dime out-of-pocket and have been able to enjoy the game, purchase clothing, get a makeover, and furnish three rooms of my house.  I was not able to, however, purchase a pet in the new Better Pets shop.  Hopefully, in the future, the game will sell pets for Do-Good Gold and not only Facebook credits.

The second thing you should know is that there are many younger players in this game.  As a parent, I completely approve of the way this game is set up.  The only way characters can communicate with each other are by leaving each other notes at the other player's in-game house or by sending the person a Heart or a Positive Post to their Facebook wall.

The third thing is that you will constantly have to uncheck the box "Post to Facebook Wall" if you do not want an abundance of consecutive updates from A Better World on your wall.  Almost every action you take in this game will be posted on your wall if you do not take care to uncheck that box.

Aside from that 3rd thing and that the Thump-A-Thought game in the arcade is always laggy for me, I wholeheartedly approve of this game.  If you are having a bad day or are just feeling down, you can go to the Gratitude Grotto and read what other people are thankful for or go to the Sanctuary of Hope and read about what other's truly wish for.  I have to say, it is wonderful to read how people, both young and old, appreciate the important things in life and to see how many strangers can support each other's hopes and dreams.

To learn more about A Better World, visit A Better World on Facebook, where you will find the link to enable the A Better World game app.

I was given the opportunity to share my thoughts and opinions on A Better World. I received a gift card as a thank you for my participation. All thoughts and opinions are my own.