Over the past few weeks I have been ‘reviewing’ (aka. slowly getting addicted to) a number of new applications on Facebook, with my current favourite being Packrat. It’s one of those games that isn’t entirely obvious at first glance, but once you start playing you will struggle to get anything else done – at least if you’re a fan of collecting things like I am. It’s the perfect example of a good use of the Facebook application platform – the game contains all the right elements needed for keeping people coming back. Namely – a competitive element (compete with your friends, scoreboards etc); regular updates (in this case, adding new items to collect); beautifully designed graphics; not-reliant on inviting your friends; and most of all, great fun!
What is the aim of the game?
The aim of the game is to collect items from different sets to make collections. Hmm, no clearer? How about this then, here’s a breakdown of what you need to do: When you start you’re given a ‘pack’ containing five different items. Each item is from a different ‘collection’ – collections are called things like ‘Ninja Dawn’; ‘Safari Kingdom’; ‘Oh the Drama’ etc, and can be differentiated by a little icon in the corner of each packrat card. Once you have either a set of 5 of the same card, or 5 distinct items from the same collection, you can move them to your ‘vault’, where they’re safe.
So how do you get the items you need? Simple – either steal them from your friends collections, or buy them from the market. Stealing is easy – select an item from your friends pack and choose an item from yours to swap them with. The closer the items are in value, the higher the liklihood of the steal working. Buying from the shop on the other hand requires credits – these you either earn by inviting friends, or finding them on your way round the game (they come thick and fast, so the friends invite thing isn’t mandatory).
I won’t go in to any more detail here now, as their FAQ is pretty comprehensive and will give you a pretty good idea of the rules. I will however share a few cool recipes with you, which existing players might find quite useful. For those of you that don’t know, a recipe is a non-matching set of items which combine to make a rarer (or in some cases, exclusive) packrat card which you’ll need to complete your collections. A few examples below, though there is a more comprehensive list at the Packrat Wiki.