Atakama Labs’ Little Cave Hero is a city building game that stands out on Facebook with a retro 8-bit art style and humorous quest text. The game launched April 14 after a short beta period, which began March 24.
The game blends RPG elements by sending the player’s little hero out into the caves to complete missions. Tongue-in-cheek, the game informs players that their existing town was destroyed and that they need to rebuild it. Players can construct farms, quarries and carpentries, as well as social buildings like a town square. The social element to gameplay comes from an invite system where players’ friends can populate farms and assist the king in a number of quests.
Core gameplay comes from exploring caves that are arranged by grids of squares. Clicking a square clears that portion of the cave, netting the player experience points and in-game currency at the cost of the player’s energy per square clicked. Caves also feature monsters and a single treasure chest. The “trick” is to reach the treasure chest using the least amount of energy. The treasure chest provides you a score card and rewards you on your performance. Caves become increasingly complex as players unlock new ones to explore by completing simple “rescue the princess” or “find the treasure” quests.
One of the most interesting features Little Cave Hero offers players is a design studio where players can customize their own 8-bit decorations, or design them from templates. Only two “custom” items can be saved to a player’s game at one time, but the player may build as many of the custom decorations in their village as they like without having to spend in-game currency on the construction.
So far the design studio doesn’t feature any monetization. Little Cave Hero monetizes by selling a premium in-game currency, crowns. Crowns buy equipment that also can be produced in game, single use “super” equipment for clearing out rocks in caves as well as additional energy packs, resources for building and production as well as decorative items.
The social aspect of Little Cave Hero is set to develop beyond building farms and inviting friends to inhabit them. Atakama tells us that it’s tweaking the feature so that friend population affects production time, which will encourage players to invite others to play. Players can also visit and assist each other in the clean up their cities of blocks that respawn in the town like trees do in Ravenwood Fair. Keys to treasure boxes that spawn in town are also obtained by visiting friends.
You can follow Little Cave Hero’s progress on AppData, our data tracking service for social games and developers.