JollyWood is an animal-themed citybuilding Facebook game from Tecmo Koei Singapore Pte, Ltd, an affiliate of Japanese holding company and video game publisher/developer Tecmo Koei. The game officially launched to the public on June 1, 2011, though it had been active and available since late May.
JollyWood is a light-hearted, cartoony game based around building habitats for wild animals. The game’s objective is to build platforms, ladders and facilities onto a tree and attract forest creatures to come and make use of them, not unlike the core gameplay mechanic of Ravenwood Fair. The more animals that visit, the more virtual currency, resources and experience the player earns to then spend on more building and customizing options. Different decorations or structure components generate varying amounts of currency and resources per use by visiting characters. How happy a visiting character feels in a player’s tree contributes to an overall “Zest” score for the tree and to whether or not the visiting character will come back again.
The game’s social features stem from the ability to visit friends’ trees and “assist” them with operating their facilities as staff characters. Assisting players earn experience and other resources that can be taken back to their own game. Gifts can also be exchanged with other players, and progress can be shared on a player’s Wall.
The game is monetized through the sale of premium items that cost Facebook Credits. Certain quest objectives can also be bypassed through the use of Facebook Credits if players wish to skip them and get right into a more “freeform” style of play. Premium items include energy boosts, unique facilities and decorative items, though none of these are required to play the game. Quicker progress may be made earlier by making use of them, but otherwise the vast majority of items are available using only the game’s standard currency, leaves.
Tecmo Koei representatives didn’t get back to us by the time of writing so we weren’t not sure exactly what future feature the developer has planned. Other building games rely on steady content releases of new items and buildings, particularly for higher-level players who need something to do in order to keep them playing. Premium items are also quite thin on the ground right now, so it’s likely the team will add some more of these in the future to provide additional sources of income. It’ll be interesting to see what sort of seasonal promotions JollyWood may or may not offer to North American and European players, as the game features some distinctive Japanese cultural influences.
You can follow JollyWood’s progress with AppData, our traffic tracking application for social games and developers.