On Thursday, Capcom announced Smurfs’ Village for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Smurfs’ Village is a free social game where players must help the blue cartoon characters rebuild their home after the villainous Gargamel discovered it and scattered the Smurfs throughout the forest. You’ll recruit recognizable Smurfs from the series, like Brainy Smurf, Papa Smurf, and Smurfette, and make the new Smurf village better than the last.
While the app seems inspired by games like the popular Zynga app, Farmville, Smurfs’ Village will stand out because the gameplay will offer more than just simple, mindless clicking. Entertaining mini-games litter the village, offering simple but varied fun. You’ll quickly learn there is more to Smurf culture than blue skin and farming.
The scenery in Smurfs’ Village is, well, Smurfy. The developers at Capcom produced a world that’s nearly identical to the original cartoon, and every house, Smurf, and rock is colorful and cute. While the game doesn’t focus on specific characters or stories, it isn’t unusual to spot Jokey and Handy Smurf in the crowd, or to see Smurfette batting her lashes at a passing boy Smurf.
Papa Smurf serves as a mentor in the game and through an extensive tutorial, users learn to complete mini challenges and puzzles to earn money and unlock prizes. Mini games include quick tasks like completing a painting within a short time limit or keeping track of a dozen baked goods to ensure they don’t burn.
Another major component of Smurfs’ Village is growing crops, and as in Zombie Farm or Farmville, the gameplay takes place in real time, so players must punctually check back on their harvest to avoid spoiling any goods. Crops can be sold for game currency, which can be used to construct mushroom houses, roads, and other landmarks in the new Smurf Village.
While the game will be free in the App Store, players are encouraged to purchase Smurfberries (using real money). Smurfberries unlock specialty Smurfs, growth formulas, and other bonuses— allowing users to further customize the appearance of their village.
Smurfs’ Village will be available on iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad in the App Store in late November.
[Stephanie Kent is an editorial intern for Macworld.]