My Conservation Park is a Facebook game that attempts to bridge the gap between the web and reality in a different way. Developed by Toronto-based Good World Games (they have an office in Liberty Villate), the premise is to run your own conservation park which would, inevitably, show a real-world difference by contributing part of the game revenue to a non-profit partner’s conservation program.
The game is pretty standard in terms of browser-based fare: your conservation park (based around one of five animals – mine was tigers) is laid out in a grid with random vegetation. Your goal is to both protect and enrich the park that you are looking after. Appropriately enough, those are the names of the two modes that allow you to interface with the game: Enrich Mode allows you to buy items and creatures from the store using in-game currency to enhance your park while Protect Mode has you actively looking after your park by chasing down poachers, collecting garbage and other tasks important to saving the wilderness.
The graphics are cutesy, but it’s not so bad once you realize what the game is for. Everything is click-based so your right index finger (or left index finger for you Flanders’ out there) will get a decent workout. Essentially, most of the action happens in Protect Mode; as your animals wander around, threats appear and you have to deal with the right away. For instance, someone may have laid an animal trap in the park, at which point the game will suggest that you deal with this by hiring a ranger to disable the device.
You will get cavities from this game – but they are worth it.
Everything in the game costs virtual money (conservation cash). Whether you run out of virtual money or not, you may spend real money to add to your park’s coffers. As with many games, if you are in it for the long haul (and are cheap), you had best be patient. Of course, what’s the point of playing this game if you’re not really intending on helping out with the relief effort for those animals in need?
And that is the only reason why I play this Facebook game. There are lots of features to keep players hooked like daily lotteries (that can result in conservation cash being added to your bank account) and challenges. There are tons of facts about the different flora and fauna in the game, so it’s an ideal candidate for keeping kids busy (so long as you make sure they don’t spend your real money without permission).
I think that Good World Games is doing something great with this title. I hope it makes a difference because we could use more positivity on this planet! If anyone wants to play this game, I have codes to give away for creatures in the game (thanks to GWG for these)!