Perfect Getaway is a resort cruise simulation game for Facebook from massively multiplayer online developer Perfect World Entertainment. The game got off to a rough launch several months ago, but appears to have blossomed into an official launch early this month that landed it on our weekly growth charts.
The game casts players in the role of captain of a cruise ship that services a variety of regions across the globe. Early stages of the game have players setting sail between North Atlantic island destinations such as Cuba and Jamaica. Players much manage passengers’ satisfaction levels by supply entertainment, food, and the occasional mood activity boost like “Whale Sighting” or “Captain’s Announcement.” Individual attractions like food stands and lounge chairs can be harvested like crops to gain experience points, energy, and “leisure,” which is a sort of secondary soft currency.
The leisure currency creates a strange challenge to the game. You need it to supply food stands and you can only generate it through harvesting attractions, but your total capacity of leisure is limited by how many decorations you’ve placed on your deck. This creates an awkward trade-off where players have to sacrifice deck space on their ship for decorations instead of placing leisure-generating attractions or primary soft currency-generating food stands.
The primary game mechanic appears to be balancing cruise time with the amount of currency and energy available to keep passengers happy. Each cruise costs a certain amount of soft currency and a “stardust” item that can be obtained for premium currency or as a gift from friends. Cruise length determines how much XP and other rewards a player gets for completing a cruise — and the longer the cruise, the more energy and soft currency the player winds up spending to keep passengers happy.
Social features appear limited to hiring friends to work the food stands and visiting friends’ ships to harvest their attractions and food stands. Friends do not need to agree to work said stands, so there is no “friend gate” preventing a player from progressing through the game in the early stages. Additional cruise destinations require question completion, which may or may not call for recruiting friends to play the game.
As for monetization, Perfect Getaway offers a premium currency called Anchors in exchange for Facebook Credits. Anchors can be used to purchase better decorations and attractions as well as customizable features for players’ captain characters. They can also be used to complete a cruise instantly. At time of press, the pay flow is a bit confusing as it appears as though the game is still accepting PayPal and credit card payments for Anchors — which would be a violation of Facebook’s updated terms of service that require social games to accept only Facebook Credits as a means of payment. As it turns out, however, progressing through several screens of payments eventually yields a transaction of PayPal or credit card to buy Facebook Credits, which are then converted to Anchors. It’s an interesting pay flow that may help the developer keep its audience’s Facebook Credits entirely within Perfect Getaway as opposed to potentially selling a player Facebook Credits that the player might go and spend on other social games besides Perfect Getaway.
Representatives from Perfect World Entertainment did not comment on Perfect Getaway’s future features, though they were clear about the use of Facebook Credits in the game. We observe that the game recently added a Far East destination content update that introduces Asian themed items and locations. Similar content releases are likely in the game’s future.
The broadly defined genre of service industry simulation can range from running a theme park to managing a business, but we find that these games tend to fall more in the restaurant simulation category than anything. After all — whether you’re visiting a fair in the woods or setting sail to the Bahamas, people need to eat. Nevertheless, Perfect Getaway appears different enough from competing titles like Ravenwood Fair to have attracted attention. The fact that its a vacation-themed game released in the middle of summer probably makes it more attractive.
You can follow Perfect Getaway’s progress on Facebook using AppData, our traffic tracking service for social games and developers.