Friday, June 25, 2010

Strategies and Goals in Fantasy Kingdoms

Fantasy Kingdoms is a farming simulation game on Facebook. As with any of the games on Facebook, its primary goal, apart from entertaining users and sustaining their interest is to encourage social networking.

As a player, your primary goal is to expand and improve your Kingdom by growing Crops, Trees, adding buildings and other structures as well as Creatures, Pets and landscaping in the form of artifacts and decorations. To do any of this, you need Mana. Mana is a concept familir to most players of traditional RPGs and can be translated loosely as 'Energy'. Unlike combat games like Castle Age, however, Mana is currency as well as the energy needed to cast spells. Any sort of Farming in Fantasy Kingdoms is a form of Spellcasting. Whenever you till the soil, plant seeds, you use Mana. When you harvest grown Crops or 'Fruits' from Trees or tend your buildings and artifacts, you gain Mana.

Crop Seeds in the form of Magic Potions are very beautiful and creative, combining traditional Northern European folk magic and medicine with wit.
Some of the Seeds available at the start include Cattails, Fresia, Sunflowers, Foxgloves and Chickens and Hens.

The Foxgloves and Fresias resemble the actual medicinal flowers in the real world, but Sunflowers are exquisite sun lamps that grow and 'blossom' into full suns when ready to be harvested. Spider Flowers are crops that grow spider webs. Fantasy Crops that do not exist in the real world include Eye of Newt with blossoms in the form of eyes.

Neighbours can visit your Kingdom to perform small tasks for you and to enchant your Crops so that they grow larger and have more potential to yield special items when harvested. You can succeed in your game without a large number of neighbours, however. In this respect, the game differs from other Facebook games such as Castle Age or Yoville, where the number of individuals you persuade to join the game affects your earnings and success.

There are two forms of currency in Fantasy Kingdoms. One is Mana and the other is Kingdom Cash, abbreviated as KC in this Guide. Kingdom Cash can be purchased with real money by credit/debit card or even through PayPal but you will earn Kingdom Cash as well as Mana in the course of gameplay.

Fantasy Kingdoms is less aggressive than many of the other games on Facebook in attempting to persuade you to 'add' friends to the game. Although you can send an unlimited number of free gifts to your neighbours and visit their farms in order to 'enchant' their Crops and aid them in other tasks, you can pursue your game alone without many interruptions. In this respect, I found it refreshing and less commercial. Unfortunately, like almost ALL the games on Facebook, it does include external links on a separate page to businesses where you can earn Kingdoms Cash by subscribing to the services offered there. These include subscriptions to periodicals, Disney DVD clubs and so on.

In my opinion, one of the goals a player should have is to play these games without being forced to invest real money in them. On the other hand, Fantasy Kingdoms appears to be relatively new. The cost of Kingdoms Cash is as follows:

19 Kingdoms Cash: $4.99
39 Kingdoms Cash: $9.99
79 Kingdoms Cash: $19.99
199 Kingdom Cash: $49.99
399 Kingdoms Cash: $99.99
799 Kingdoms Cash: $199.99

If you study the price lists of the items at the Market, you will see that 19 Kingdoms Cash can buy quite a number of items. An investment of $4.99 really is not outrageous expense for a game that is clever and very beautiful in terms of its graphics.

Apart from this, one goal as a player of Fantasy Kingdoms is to earn sufficient Mana to be able to invest in all the landscaping items, Crops and Trees that one desires. There are a few methods of doing this.

The easiest and quickest method of earning Mana is by tilling the soil and planting Seeds in the form of Magic Potions purchased from the Market. Here the strategy is the same for all farming simulation games on Facebook. Your success or failure somewhat is determined by your own knowledge of your online schedule and your ability to match appropriate Crops to that schedule.

All Crops have definite time limits for growth and harvest. If you do not harvest them fairly quickly once they are fully developed, they will be lost. In traditional Farming games like Farmville and Farm Town, the Crops wither and die. In Fantasy Kingdoms, they become 'bewitched', which amounts to the same thing.

There are some similarities to Harvest Moon in these games in that you have the freedom to grow whatever you wish, but a basic knowledge and interest in mathematics will be to your advantage. An ability to tell time is essential.If

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