Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Theme parks offer boundless levels of fun or at least they attempt to. Sure, much of the time might be spent queuing up to have a go on any of the rides or eyeing up the hideously high rollercoaster and chickening out (for me at least) but there's still something about them that reel punters in by the thousands.
Funpark Friends dispenses with the queues and the vomit inducing rides as it's a freemium game that allows players to run their own theme park. It's quite fun at first too until players come to realise that it's all a little too quiet. Social features offer no way of stumbling across new friends which means enticing friends from Facebook or via email which can cause some problems for those with friends who have no interest in social gaming. Yes, that does unfortunately include many of my friends!
Building a theme park in Funpark Friends is fun though, albeit a little slow at gaining momentum. There's a varied selection of rides, shops, carnival games and decorations to place around the arena. Each costs a mixture of money and time to complete. As is frequently the way with freemium titles, waiting can be circumvented by using up stardust which is gradually provided by the game but much quicker to attain by using in-app purchases. Time is most definitely money here.
A series of tasks are also on offer to provide some form of structure to proceedings. These tend to be the likes of 'build x number of carnival games' or a set number of decorations. Perhaps not the most inspired of tasks but sufficient to motivate players into growing their theme park ever more.
These tasks also boost players' experience levels which in turn unlocks new bits and pieces to build for the park. It's all a trickle effect that ensures that players will return to their creation. Funpark Friends does lack personality though. While the basic building blocks are there, there's no way of handing out gifts to friends or discovering new players around the same level. The social aspect feels a little lacking.
One final niggle is that Funpark Friends persisted in telling me whenever there was money to be collected from a ride via a push notification. When it first happened I thought I'd be fine to go switch them off. However I couldn't find the relevant switch anywhere in the game or in the iPhone's settings section. I'm still a little baffled as to how it happens but regardless, it's annoying!
Niggles aside, Funpark Friends is respectable enough, it just needs some work doing to it. With a few more social features and a little more functionality in terms of things to do, such as more interaction in the running of the park, this might be something pretty cool.