Playdom Sends Users to the Big City on Facebook

The term “role-playing game” tends to get thrown around a lot when classifying many games. Typically, the average person will classify anything with quests and a story as one. However, in its purest form, the RPG literally has users taking on the role of someone or something they are not. Unfortunately, they rarely incorporate all the aspects of being that someone or something. Well, Playdom seeks to rectify that qualm, at least to some degree with its latest title, Big City Life.

If you hadn’t guessed by now, yes, this is another Facebook RPG. Right now, many people are probably thinking something along the lines of “another mafia-style game,” but they would be only half right. Playdom actually takes all of the familiar elements of your standard RPG, stuffs them into a cannon and fires them onto the social network, using them in new ways.

You see, the objective is to get by in the “the big city,” but as people who live there know, it can be hard. You have jobs, friends, travel, fashion, and all those other things that make life worth living. Actually, that’s a lot like anywhere else.

The game is broken up into three major sections: Play, Work, and Style. Play is going to be the most familiar to Facebook users, as this is your quest (activity) section. All the standards apply: Do an activity, repeat until you’re a “master,” earn experience, money, and random rewards, and buy items needed to actually start them. Of course, guns, swords, and militias aren’t exactly commonplace in metropolitan areas, so if your activity is to work out at the gym, a pair of sneakers will suffice.

Now, this is where the game starts to get interesting. Before doing an activity, you must select a friend to do it with. The game gets you going with a non-player character called Emma (who is the tutorial NPC), but for more, you’ll have to invite your real friends. Doing an activity with them will increase how close a friend they become. Basically, they will start as a “New Friend” and the more you do, the more they will level up, until they become the maximum, “Best Friend.” This becomes extremely important later on when it’s time to use the Work section.

Obviously playing in downtown isn’t going to earn a whole lot of spending money, so like any budding individual in a place like, say, New York, you need a job. Players can start down one of four tracks: Science, Medicine, Entertainment, and Creative. Each group starts the user off as an intern, and they must do X amount of work to unlock better jobs. As an example, a Creative Intern will be able to start unlocking the Apprentice (craftsmanship) and the Blogger (writing). Unfortunately, these are the only two trees – in fact, all categories only have two trees – available at this time. More options on the tress will slowly become available by both doing random tasks under your current job title and having X amount of friends at Y level.

Once the player has met the requirements of the new, upgraded job, they can start doing tasks pertinent to that career move and even earn bonus such as “5% experience increase for Drinking events.”

As for the tasks themselves, these will earn a significantly larger amount of income than the different friend activities. Based on the level of your job, better tasks can be assigned for better money. Initially, only four can be scheduled at a time (though more unlock as you level up), and they each take a period of time to complete. Of course, do actually do them, you need to allocate enough stat points (earned every time you level up), which include Smarts, Charm, and Fitness.