A little guide I wrote for Fantasy Kingdoms now is published on IGN, although I created a page for the game as well:
Fantasy Kingdoms Guide on IGN
I still am extremely impressed with Fantasy Kingdoms. Although there are marvelous Buildings and Artifacts that require Kingdoms Cash to purchase and easily might seduce a player into investing real 'coin of the realm' in the game, they make it easy to play the game and to enjoy it without investing a single penny. Furthermore, I have been rewarded again and again for my interest in this game in the brief period in which I have played it. When the game was inaccessible, I received a Chest containing 900 Mana with an apology. I had not contacted any one or complained, incidentally, but the apology and Mana Chest (currency) were generated automatically. Yesterday, an email containing a 'coupon' for an Artifact, the Unicorn Topiary, ordinarily purchased for 2000 Coins, was sent to me. I contrast this generosity and concern with the unsatisfactory responses that I received so far from Farmville Support.
Although I love Fantasy Kingdoms personally because the concept and graphics are developed from a traditional 'fairytale' universe, I must make it clear that this game does not require deep strategy. It is more of a visual delight and a form of creative 'meditation' for me, in that designing the landscape of a Kingdom is sheer joy and dissipates some of the stress of my daily life. If a player is looking for a game that requires strategy, Fantasy Kingdoms would not be the answer. It is a work of art in which the player can participate and shape to his/her liking.
On Friday, I wrote: I am not certain if I will pursue work on a guide for Farmville any further, even though there is some strategy involved in playing the game successfully, as I am not entirely happy with a response I received from Zynga when they failed to deliver an item promised to me.
When I contacted them initially, they simply requested my User ID and the platform on which I was playing the game. When I sent that information to them, however, they then demanded a screenshot of the Carrier Pigeon message.
The Zynga response on Friday asked me to capture a screenshot of last week's Message from Zynga on Farmville telling me that they were going to give me Carrier Pigeons. The Carrier Pigeons never were given to me. Other players have received them. I did not. I am at a loss to know how I possibly could capture a message that appeared on the screen almost a week ago. It seems to me that as they generated the message, they should have a record of the offers they make to players, and it shouldn't be my responsibility to supply the impossible. It is a trivial matter, and I only post the issue here because I have been reviewing Farmville, along with a few other Facebook games, and this response reflects poorly on the company.
On Saturday morning, I received another email from Zynga about the issue. This one was from a different representative who apologised for the fact that I had not received my Carrier Pigeons and announced that they had been sent to my Gift Box. The issue therefore is resolved now. I still am rather disgusted by the endless hoops through which the first representative made me leap, and especially his demand that I perform the impossible, but perhaps he has received a little scolding from his superiors. I certainly have no cause for complaint in the quick response of the second representative and his willingness to solve the problem at once.
I therefore intend to continue to work on the little Farmville Guide at this point in time. Once Grand Bazaar is released, however, I doubt I will have much time for anything else!