Possible Ubisoft Game, Gone Amazon, Launches on Facebook

Gone AmazonWord on the wind is that Ubisoft has a big social gaming announcement on the horizon, but in the meantime we’ve found a game on Facebook that may well be a stealthy release from the developer. Based on the data calls of a new game by the name of Gone Amazon, the title is from the giant French developer. Although Gone Amazon has been around since June, the title had only a handful of players until a few days ago, when it began to spike upward to its current 173,475 monthly active users.

Essentially a virtual space with basic society-sim mechanics, the game takes on a satirical role, poking fun at pop-culture standbys. It’s a game that’s fairly fun at first, with an amusing and comical style. That said, it suffers from repetitiveness and a general lack of things to do. In addition, the player’s progress in the game seems to stagnate and plateau early.

One of the few non-role-playing games with any semblance of story, players start out in Gone Amazon with a short cut-scene that plays homage to the popular television series, Lost. In a comedic fashion, users crash land in the middle of the Amazon, and using a small spit of land, must survive and thrive. All the while, they manage themselves and any other survivors that they might find.

Resource StructuresThe key to Gone Amazon is constructing resource structures in order to produce coins. These include banana trees, paper trees, and so forth. In order to produce anything, however, one of the survivors must man the “structure” (simply click the survivor then click the object to assign them to). Depending on the level of the object, it will earn more money over longer periods of time.

As a moderate resource management feature, each survivor also has a set amount of energy. This signifies how long they can work for, and equates to about 12 hours of work. Once exhausted, they have to rest. This mechanic works in a similar nature to that of ngmoco’s GodFinger, in that spent characters must relax and rest for a period of time, in order to do more work.

Assigning a survivor to rest works the same as telling them to work. The only difference is that this functions in a reverse fashion, in that the better the rest object, the less time it takes to recharge the survivor. Of course, these are also higher level items.

SatireIn addition to the two types of “structures,” players can also purchase decorative items and expand their virtual space. Obviously, this has no real functional element – aside from having more room to build stuff – but is merely present for aesthetic gratification.

Beyond this, players can also up the resource structures to produce a greater output of coins.

Of course, coins coming out of trees doesn’t make too much sense, but Gone Amazon is well aware of it and makes a conscious attempt to make jokes about the mechanic. Moreover, the game is literally broken up into “Episodes”, with each level having its own satirical title. Prefacing these Episodes is a tutorial narrative that also, occasionally, pokes fun at, or at least references, popular culture. Unfortunately, this won’t appeal to everyone, and is completely unskippable — something that should always be an option.

On the social side, Gone Amazon consists of the basic visitation of friends’ virtual spaces and gifting, but also has the nice addition of linking friends to the various survivors. For example, the first personality is “The Neurotic,” and players can assign their most negative friend to this role. There is also the ability to, when visiting a friend, open bushes that will reveal either gold or an animal. Should it be the latter, players will take a snap shot of the creature that reveals a small portion of a full picture. Once the picture is complete, players can put the animal in their own virtual space.