December is a time when most companies prepare something special for their players whether it is an event, new feature or just temporary visuals and skins containing snow and Santa’s hat. During holidays, I played three casual games with interesting live-ops and prepared a short description, what they brought to their players. Those games are Lili’s Garden, Township and Atlantis Odyssey.
Lili’s Garden – Under The Influence
Lili’s Garden from Tactile games is a traditional collapse style match three game, with strong narrative element. The story isn’t only about renovation of an old house and garden, but it’s influenced by romantic relationships and specific humour. Maybe you can remember ad commercials to this game, which appealed mainly to the female audience though topics like cheating, pregnancy test and excitement from flirting with new people.
Under The Influence is a big event with side storyline, custom map and custom levels. The game loop is exactly the same as in the main story. Play event levels and win special Christmas tokens, which allow you finish tasks and move the story ahead. As I mentioned earlier, the narrative part is important for this game. Tactile games added an animated intro, where you watch how main protagonists travel a few days before Christmas to visit Lili’s mom. They are meeting old friend Tina, who asks for help. She wants to win global influencer event and only you can help, because you renovate skills. And that’s just beginning. Prepare for a lot of Christmas decorations, losted moose and dialogues.
And what else developers prepared for players?
- Levels and mechanics – as I mentioned, the event contains new levels with custom counter and new mechanic – paper plane. You could see this mechanic in other M3. After you match 5 or more tiles they transform into a paper plane. If you click on it, the plane will fly away and help you by destroying random tiles which are important for fulfilling the level’s objective.
- Tiered offer – special tiered offer consists from three tiers – bronze is free, silver for 6.99 and third gold for 12.99. To unlock the gold offer, you have to purchase the silver first. The special bonus for purchasing all tiers is Reindeer Rudolph, which will live in your garden.
- Christmas decoration in the main story – Authors didn’t forget the main story, so when you are choosing which bench you will put into your garden, you have always plus one special christmas option.
Township – A Surprise for Santa
Playrix’s Township does not have to be specially introduced. The game is more than 8 years old and still has a lot to offer for players. The first thing that comes to my mind when we are talking about Township is “minigames”. Events which bring a new kind of gameplay into city builder/resource management game is an interesting concept, which is not so spreaded. As you may have guessed, Surprise for Santa is a minigame. Or maybe two connected minigames.
Santa needs to open a second gift production line in his village. Your role in this event is simple – help him to renovate his old, abandoned workshop and make it a cozy place with a fireplace, conveyor belt and all required stuff for this place. And there is a cat. Nobody knows why, but it’s nice. This concept isn’t new in Township but the power of self expression layer is questionable (customizing of 2D postcard). Whole renovation works more as a progression mechanic.
All renovations cost you tickets, which can be acquired through a second minigame – Snowboarding. In this simple arcade you ride a sheep on a snowboard and collect tickets lying on the track. Controls are also pretty simple – by swiping you can change the track or by tap you jump. Is important to avoid obstacles. The number of rides is time-limited and if you want to get all collected tickets, you have to come to the finish line without any fall. But if you hit an obstacle and you want to continue, you have a very direct option – spend hard currency. Ofcourse, you can collect temporary boosters or bonus materials during the race and make it a little bit more interesting.
The price for reconstructions is growing and you will have to collect a solid amount of tickets to get all rewards. They are locked on your progress. And what you can get? Except precious materials you can receive upgrade coupons and exclusive profile picture.
What else will you find in the Holidays event in Township?
- Goldpass – The price is set to 5.49 Eur and basically it’s regular battle pass. Acquiring points isn’t connected to Santa’s Workshop so you have to collect them by regular gameplay. What surprised me is the fact that Golpass in Township looks more like Supercell’s battle pass and not as batlepasess in other Playrix games.
- Time limited offer of Santa’s decoration which you can purchase for hard currency
- Charmed Tickets – offer during which you will get 2x more tickets from your rides.
Atlantis Oddysey – Christmas Adventure
In case that you don’t know Vizor’s Atlantis Odyssey, maybe you will be more familiar with their older sibling Klondike Adventure. The main gameplay consists of exploring losted Atlantis islands with the crew of survivors and one native citizen, who became your friend and guide. Exploring is costing energy, which is replenished by fulfilling tasks by crafting materials and food for crew members in your base camp.
Together with Mi’ara (your Atlantis guide) you will visit Christmas island covered by snow and ice. Not so long later you will find out that the island is home of San’dar, but he is trapped in his frozen cottage. During rescuing and helping him to fix his hi-tech toy factory you will learn more about Atlantean Winter Festival traditions, which are surprisingly similar to our Christmas – gifts, decorating trees, letters to San’dar etc. For finishing quests you will get special event coins, which you can spend in a limited time market, mostly for decorations or gift-producing buildings which you can place into your camp.
Except for a new location, Christmas Adventure offers a few interesting mechanics connected to this event.
- Upgradable Christmas Tree – during your adventure you can find decorations, which can be used for upgrading Christmas tree. At the end of the event (or optionaly earlier) the tree will be turned into gifts (materials). The higher level the tree is, the better rewards you will get.
- Gingerbread Man – San’dar house produces one gingerbread Man every 30 minutes. It adds you some amount of energy. But there is always capacity only for one.
- Christmas errands – basically the list of optional tasks which you can complete in this location. Every task gives you some amount of points which are accumulated in a progress bar. If you will get enough points to meet one of four checkpoint, you will get a reward
Except for regular special offer containing energy, dynamite and hard currency, there isn’t any special monetization mechanic. This is a little surprising for me, especially because Christmas errands mechanic is not so far away from simple battle pass.