Trade Nations: A Social Game for iOS That Doesn’t Punish You for Having a Real Life

I spent a few months playing ngmoco’s addictive We Rule (now We Rule Quests) on my iPad. Like most Farmville-variant games, We Rule is peaceful game that requires the player to tend crops, shops and a bit of infrastructure. This activity is rewarded with coins and “Mojo” that buy more components to the game and increase the size of the kingdom. The game does not take a lot of time to play in any given session. You can also trade with other We Rule players. And, you can spend real money to buy virtual goods to advance you faster in the game.

A few minutes can usually take care of all current game activity. However, it is a demanding game that requires the player to harvest crops within a certain period or lose them (they rot away). I knew that things were bad when I started setting alarms on my iPhone to check deal with crop harvest cycles in We Rule. At one point I decided to pull the plug and uninstalled the game from my iPad to remove any temptation to play it.

So, what is a wannabe virtual farmer/ruler to do? Enter Trade Nations for iOS by Z2Lvie.

Trade Nations (iTunes App Store)

Like We Rule, Trade Nations is a free app with very similar game play to We Rule. Substitute Magic Beans for Mojon in this game. And, instead of just crops, you also have rocks from a quarry and wood from the forest for your material. There is also a social component to let you interact and trade with other players. The big difference between We Rule and Trade Nations is the demand level its places on the player. There doesn’t seem to be a huge negative associated with skipping play. You don’t lose crops and the money needed to by seeds for crops. I like the idea that I can deal with real life in real time and play Trade Nations when it is convenient for me.

I played Trade Nations on an iPad. However, it also works on an iPhone or iPod touch.