You can name quite a lot of games that are adapted of or based on popular novels, TV series and movies such as the released SWORT, Battlestar Galactica Online and Doctor Who: Worlds in Time and the upcoming Otherland and Ice Age Online. Regardless of the genre, these games with such ‘background’ usually gain a leg up at first. But in the long run a game must have something of its own to make players stay and come back. The Hunger Games Adventures, as the title suggests, is obviously one of movie-based titles, a social game on Facebook that will disappoint whoever chooses to play purely for the good story.
The shadow of The Hunger Games is traceable in the social game, but the connection just stays skin deep. The game depicts the Forest Escape and the District 12 with many iconic locations. Via cutting scenes, players travel between the retreat and the town, and finish various quests that are scattered pieces of the story.
In the Forest Escape, players need to build various structures to collect certain materials such as meat from traps, bandages, beams and even accuracy of shooting at extended periods of time, adopt animals such as foxes and cats to shelter them, and expand to unlock those areas plot by plot uncovering more usable land and materials. And in the town, activities appropriate to the locations vary from battling to gathering and bribing and to trading. For instance, players need to drive away wolves and snakes with arrows, bake some bread for a hunger girl, get a fabric roll from Moira and trade them for a fish with Raab, bribe the peacekeepers with meat, rescue trapped miners at Coal Mines Entrance, and plant lilies or place cat bowls at the School yard, and so on and so forth.
The quest line is based on the life in District 12 and rich in variety. But quests are more like fragments of a good story that is sucked out of the essence. There is not a main plot to thread all the pieces; instead, they are separated and randomly chained from one to another. And frequent cutscenes make the inconsistency more acutely felt.
To set aside the story, it’s just a typical Facebook game with the usual setup of Energy bar, coins, XP, store and friend list, etc.. All actions except the collection of materials in the Forest Escape cost Energy, which is never enough to sustain over 10 minutes’ playing. It usually takes couples of clicking to finish one of the multiple tasks in one quest. To make up for the quick drainage, players can collect x amount of Energy points from the rent built in the Escape. Mind you, don’t collect those energies when the bar is still filled in large amounts, for you can only have the maximum of the bar at most. To collect early causes waste.
Being a social game, it doesn’t introduce anything new or innovative. Build the base with structures to harvest materials required in completion of quests, finish quests to earn coins used to buy more structures and unlock more lands, and ask friends for certain materials or favors. Animation makes the game live. Yet the game is one rhythm slower than most social games. It takes time to see the character finish one move, prolonged and laid-back. Drama is locked out of the story; and tension is out of the animated action.
Overall, The Hunger Games Adventures is just another social game that is inspired by a ready story. It doesn’t mean that the game is a bad one. As a social game, it’s a quality one, only that it doesn’t live up to the popularity of the original novel and movie.
The Hunger Games Adventures Screenshots: