In their first game, Stack’Em, Gogogic created a fairly entertaining venture that merely dealt with the stacking of frantic sheep as high as you could, but despite simplicity, the game was made fun by the amusing sounds, and entertaining animations. Now, Gogogic has released their 2nd Facebook title dubbed, Who’s Your Friend?
This Flash game utilizes a very simple game mechanic that is directly connected to your Facebook friends (hence the name). When the player begins, they are granted 90 seconds and are presented with random profile pictures of their friends. However, when the image is shown, it begins as highly pixelated and slowly becomes clearer, with the objective being to recognize them as soon as possible and select their name from a list of four. Obviously, the faster you answer, the higher your score will become, and as such you are ranked amongst your friends via a high-score table at the bottom of the game, thus making both the means and the end social. However, despite this social core mechanic, the concept it is not without some serious drawbacks.
The first and most prominent issue with the idea of a visual quiz using friends is that it really doesn’t seem to have a whole lot of replay value. While it is somewhat fun to play through a couple times at first, how many times can you try to recognize your own friends before it gets old? Simplicity is a good thing, but often you would want something to be simple to learn, but contain some form of depth behind it (games like chess are a perfect example, as you can learn to play in about two minutes, but take a lifetime and still not master it). Beyond that, there lies an issue in numbers that is two-fold.
One of the two issues comes into play if you do not have many friends saved on Facebook, the game simply repeats the same few over and over again, thus defeating the purpose of the game completely. However, while this is possible, the more likely scenario is too many friends. You see, someone that plays Facebook games regularly probably will not have the issue of too few friends, but that same person will likely have dozens or more. Why? Considering that some of the most popular titles (i.e. Mafia Wars) require more friends to advance, many people will add large numbers of people to their friend’s list either to communicate within guilds/mobs/armies/etc. or to just increase their solo play capabilities. Regardless of the purpose, it becomes somewhat difficult to recognize people that you may not actually know personally.
In the end, Who’s Your Friend? is a decent idea with a simple plan, but it doesn’t come without its drawbacks. The game simply loses its novelty after a few plays, and if you have too few or too many friends (via mass inviting other social game players) within your Facebook profile, then the game play becomes either pointless or impossible, respectively. Nevertheless, if you don’t fall under either of those two categories, then the game is worth look.