ngmoco Previews iPad Social Games: We Rule and Godfinger

Yesterday, ngmoco announced two “social strategy” games for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad: We Rule and Godfinger. The games utilize mechanics found in games like Farmville and other social networking games, and are likely aiming to bring that type of gameplay and monetization potential to the iPad and iPhone.

We Rule is an empire-building akin to Farmville or SimCity but with a setting of medieval kingdoms. The gameplay revolves around planting crops, selling those crops and earning more money to grow your kingdom and business. You have to manually click on your various farms to ‘tax’ them and improve the kingdom itself. The social element revolves around working with friends to exchange goods and services, which helps you both grow faster. For instance, you can buy magic goods from your friends’ shop, and you get special rewards for participating in cooperative play. He/she also gets rewards in this situation.

The game is free-to-play, and utilizes in-app microtransactions to gain “mojo”, which accelerates the speed of your growth of crops. This is familiar to anyone who plays Farmville or Mafia Wars, and it seems that we’re seeing this “freemium” model (free to play, pay for premium goods) emerge as the preferred style for gamers and businesses alike.

Godfinger, the second social game from ngmoco, is a game where you act as a god and amass followers who worship you and help you create your planet. The social element involves setting worshippers to your friends’ planets, at the benefit of the both of you.

One of the interesting notes here is that iPad games start to blur the line between a Facebook application and iPhone/iPad applications, at least in terms of graphics and interface. Since games like this will be easily portable to the larger system, we’ll be able to play a game very similar to Farmville, with similar social elements, on our iPad, whereas we won’t be able to play Farmville there (since Farmville is web and Flash only). This could lead to a shift in game popularity as the iPad gains market share.

Read more about the games here.