Editors’ Choice Facebook Game
Review by Angie Kibiloski (September 2012)
There’s a cool new Facebook game that’s caught my attention, called myVegas, from PlayStudios and the good people at the MGM Resort. Not only is it a virtual casino, with cool slots and blackjack tables, along with your very own version of the Strip to build as you progress, you can also work towards earning real-life rewards in Las Vegas, courtesy of the MGM Resort properties. A free-to-play game that earns you free rewards in the real world…what could be better than that? At the moment, there are 4 slot games and 1 blackjack game to unlock and play, but the game only just launched in July, so keep an eye out for more fun to be added soon. Invite friends, level up, build casinos on your virtual Strip, collect coins, earn rewards, and above all else, have a hugely fun time!
The slots games that are currently available are all super fun, each one with really unique game play, and cool bonus games as well. Excalibur is a 5-reel slot, with a free spin feature triggered by collecting kisses from the princess of the castle. Make sure to keep an eye on the animation to the left of the screen as your prince makes his climb up the tower to the princess, and the actions of the king when your spins are used up. So cute! There are 2 other bonuses that can be triggered, where you will either be asked to choose whether the red or black knight will win a duel, or which present of flowers or a gift box will please the princess. Choose correctly and get bonus coins, choose wrong and get nothing. Either way, you’ll get to watch a funny little animation. I think out of all the slot games, this one has become my favorite. This is also the first one to be available when you initially start to play myVegas. The next slot game to unlock is called Bet the Farm, which is a 3-reel slot instead of a 5-reel. Collect various crops on the reels to plant and grow on your farm. When you harvest them, you’ll get bonus coins. The other bonus for this game has you spinning a wheel of clouds to win different amounts of coins. You can either collect that amount, or you can risk it with another spin. The second spin, and third if you choose to keep going, have disaster spaces spread among the coin spaces. If you land on a disaster, you loose all the coins you wagered, but you do get to see an adorable animation of the unfortunate event, like a plague of frogs, or an alien making crop circles. You can also buy insurance from a very salesman before you make your bet, if you aren’t feeling terribly lucky, who will compensate you if disaster should strike.
The next game to unlock is actually the Blackjack table. This is your standard game of blackjack, with the basic bet, double down, split, and other play option. You can unlock and play up to 3 hands simultaneously. As it IS just a standard blackjack game, I found this to be the least dynamic and exciting of the currently available games, but then I’ve always preferred slots to table games, even in the real world. After reaching the needed VIP level, which I’ll talk about in a minute, you’ll get to unlock the next slot game, Lost in Time: Jewels Verne. This is a 5-reel slot again, with a very unique bonus game. As you play, you will collect time machine icons on the reels. Each icon sends the number counter at the bottom spinning. Once all the numbers on both halves of the counter match up, you will be able to travel to a different time and location. This will take you to a hidden object scene. Find the listed items in the scene to complete the bonus game. The number of objects you find, and the speed in which you find them, will determine how many bonus spins you’re awarded. I have never seen a hidden object bonus in a slot game before, so this was a real treat. The last slot game that is open to unlock at the moment is Lucky Birds, which might be the cutest game they have. In this 5-reel slot, the bonus game is a bit different, in that your bonuses are really earned after you start spinning the reels again. During the short bonus, you will simply pick a number of eggs to hatch. These brightly colored chicks will fly back to the main slot screen with you and sit perched at the top, awaiting their turns. When you spin certain combinations of symbols on your reels, one of the 5 types of birds will be activated, and descend upon the reels to go a little wild and earn you extra coins. They each have a little different function and personality, and it’s super fun just to watch them in action. I’ll let you enjoy discovering what each of them does on your own.
In addition to all of the fabulous fun of the bonuses and the games themselves, there are 3 other things that will be happening while you play. Oftentimes, a red V will appear of one of your reels. This is a myStrip build symbol. Collect these symbols to earn various buildings and other structures for the resort you are currently working towards constructing. Each consecutive resort requires more and more V symbols to build. Once you have completed the resort collection, a friendly construction worker will let you know it’s time to get the job done. You will be taken to the myStrip screen, where you can see your resort being built. Once finished, you can collect coins from each property that you’ve completed. Each one refills at a different rate, and you can come back at the end of the waiting period to collect more coins. Some resorts may require higher VIP levels, so you may have to wait to build them until you have played more. On the myStrip screen, you can also see all of your myVegasfriends walking around with their levels displayed in little bubbles over their heads. Clicking on them will trigger a funny little greeting, and also bring up some info about them. Back in the games, every time you make a bet, you’ll earn VIP Points. These are what propel you upwards through the levels. Your level, as well as how many VIP Points you have, and how many you still need to reach the next level can be seen in the bar at the top of the screen. At higher levels, you will unlock new games, higher maximum bets, and the ability to build more hotels on your myStrip. You will also be given a coin award when you level up. Loyalty Points will also be earned as you bet. Every time you bet, you’ll start to see the pretty little gold Loyalty coin at the bottom of the game screen fill up. Once filled, the gold coin will fly up to the top of the screen and add 10 points to your Loyalty Points amount. The Loyalty Points are what you will cash in for those awesome real-world rewards.
The real-world rewards can be found under the Rewards tab of the menu. Here you can sort the rewards by the MGM Resort property they’re used at, by category, or by price. They span a wide price range, starting at around 10,000 Loyalty Points and going up to a whopping 1,000,000. The rewards also range in type from free drinks and dinners, to free show or attraction tickets, to free rooms and more. With 1,000,000 Points, you can even choose the song for the dancing fountain at the Bellagio. Now, most of the better rewards, like the free show tickets for instance, are up there is the price range, but you have to remember that you’re getting these rewards just for sitting down and have fun playing a free game. The Loyalty Points add up faster than you’d think though, and you’ll be enjoying a trip to Zumanity or a free room at Mandalay Bay before you know it.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Facebook game without the ability to invite all your friends to play too. Under the Friends tab of the menu, you can invite some of your pals to join you, or send a free coin gift to those who already have. You will also get bonus coins for each friend who comes and joins. Everyday that you log into myVegas, you’ll not only get a log in bonus, but you’ll get a bonus for each friend that has come to play as well. You can also post your achievements on your Timeline, like when you level up or get a really good payout in a game. If your friends click on the link in your post, they’ll get to collect some bonus coins, and you can do the same by clicking on their posts. Unlike some other Facebookgames, you don’t need a lot of friends to join you to be able to enjoy all of the features of this game, which is great if you happen to have a bunch of non-gaming, stick-in-the-mud friends. Also make sure to hit the Like button on the game page, to be able to see not only your friends’ posts, but also posts directly from myVegas with bonus coin links to click on. And sometimes, you’ll even get an email loaded with bonus coins as well! Again, it wouldn’t be a Facebook game unless it gave you the option to spend some of your real money if you so desire. If you run out of coins and just can’t wait to collect more free in the game or through posts, you can always use some real cash to buy a package of coins to get back in the action immediately.
Obviously, I can say quite a lot about this game, but if there is one thing that must be said above all else, it’s that myVegas is a fantastically great time! There are a lot of slot games out there on Facebook, but what sets myVegas apart is the variety and uniqueness of the games, the sheer cuteness of the fine graphics and animations, and the fact that you can earn real rewards just by playing. I LOVE going to Las Vegas! Seriously, who doesn’t? What could possibly be better than not only being able to play Vegas quality games at home, but to then be able to take the Loyalty Points you’ve accumulated to one of the MGM Resort properties in Las Vegas and get free stuff? To the MGM Resort and PlayStudios, I say Well Done!