> Zynga's CityVille takes players beyond the farm
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Zynga’s CityVille takes players beyond the farm

Zynga is no stranger to creating addictive social games. FarmVille, FrontierVille, and Cafe World are some of their biggest, boasting fans all over Facebook who just can’t stop clicking. CityVille, however, released in early December 2010, has been an especially popular hit.

Zynga's CityVille takes players beyond the farm

CityVille’s blend of Sim City fun and FarmVille familiarity appeals to those who are already hooked on Zynga games, as well as those who just want the power and control of being Mayor of their own city.

Most Successful “Ville” Launch Yet

CityVille has had the most successful launch of any Zynga game to date, with over 290,000 players logging in during the first 24 hours. This is more than twice of their former biggest launch, FrontierVille, which boasted 116,000 players in its first day. FrontierVille has gone on to attract over 6.5 million players a day, so one can only imagine where CityVille will be in a few weeks’ time.

Social Game Play

While all of Zynga’s games have a social aspect to them, CityVille is especially dependent on having friends, or “neighbors”, to play along with you. A major part of the game is building franchises in neighboring cities, and community buildings need to be staffed with friends and supplied with parts sent by friends before they can open. Doing work in neighbors’ cities is rewarded with experience points and reputation hearts, which build up and create bonuses.

Some of these friend functions, such as community building staffing, can be unlocked with cash instead, but neighbors are still invaluable to CityVille’s game play in a way they are not so much in other games. This may contribute to the game’s success, as anyone who wants to go far in CityVille will be begging all their friends to play as well.

A Mix of Old and New

Anyone who has played Zynga’s other games will find some aspects of CityVille very familiar. Planting and harvesting crops, like FarmVille, and chopping down trees, like in FrontierVille, are just two examples. The levels based on experience points and the goals, or challenges, that advance game play are also familiar concepts. The appeal of CityVille, however, is taking these familiar aspects and throwing in a new financially oriented theme as well as the thrill of controlling an entire city. This is truly a game for fans of both FarmVille and Sim City alike.

Zynga’s CityVille is a true success at bringing something new to a game experience millions of people are already enjoying on Facebook with the other “Ville” games, Cafe World, and others. It is familiar without seeming repetitive and is bringing a whole new social aspect to casual online gaming that forces players to rely on each other. It is a welcome companion to the other Zynga games. After all, who doesn’t want to be mayor of their own city?

Free Games and Things to Do When Bored

When boredom strikes, figuring out what to do can seem like a insurmountable task, especially when the budget is tight. For the most part, however, boredom can be overcome with a little creativity, learning something new or simply distracting the brain for a while.

Free Online Games

Free games on the internet are a great distraction in short bursts and some can stimulate logical and creative thinking. Many of the game websites have sections that are for free game play. Most of these are made available as a means to draw in members for their paid sections so they offer popular games for free, but with limited capabilities or as trial versions. Some sites, like Pogo.com offer free games that are interrupted for occasional commercial breaks. With a paid membership, these interruptions can be eliminated which is why they can offer their free games fully functional.

Online Social Networking

Sites such as Facebook make games available to their members through advertisers and developers that create “apps” for their sites. Most of these games link friends together, creating a competitive or helpful atmosphere, depending on the game which can help to add to the fun of the game.

Online social networking is also a popular way to keep up with friends and coworkers as well a to interact with strangers who share common interests.

Make Some Money on Online Writing Sites

Nothing helps get rid of boredom like sharing knowledge of interests with others. There are some internet sites that offer payment to writers for their knowledge about particular topics. Some, like Demand Studios pay directly per article that is submitted and some pay residual income over the lifetime of an article dependent upon the number of hits an article or its advertising receives. Sites such as Suite101 or Examiner are examples of this kind of site.

Online Games For Somewhat Twisted Minds

To break the boredom in a way that is a little different, the folks at Addicting Games have some games that display a bit of a twisted mind like “Septic Tank Smackdown”, “Potty Racers” or “Adventure of the Dude”: sheer entertainment and mindless fun coupled with a bit of humor. Their ability to provide free games comes from their advertisers, some of whom have developed games based on their products such as “Skittles Street Soccer Cup” or “The Last Airbender Elemental Battles”.

Boredom Relieving Activities NOT Involving a Computer

There are a great many things that can be done to when boredom kicks in that don’t involve a computer.

Get out and get some exercise: Simply getting up and taking a walk can help to alleviate boredom.
Plan a room or house renovation, or draw out ideas for a new landscape design. Even if it doesn’t get done, planning it is fun, creative and can get the mental juices flowing.
Sit under a tree and just enjoy the air outside. Watch the animals and insects that pass by.
Inflate a beach ball and see how many times it can be knocked up without falling on the ground.
Play handball with a small ball, hitting it against any bare wall using your hands.
Play solitaire such as Pyramid Solitaire.
Find a few kids and play some games that are made from recycled materials.
Start a garden: Plant those seeds that are in the junk drawer.
Draw on the sidewalk with chalk.

There are a wealth things that can be done when a person is bored. Mostly, the thing that the mind needs the most when it is bored, is a little stimulation and anything that stimulates the brain can be a great way to break up the boredom and jostle a mind out its funk.

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