It’s Thursday, and you know what that means! It’s time for another Thursday Throwdown! For those who haven’t been playing along thus far, the Thursday Throwdown is a weekly feature here on Frisky Mongoose that sees us comparing two or more similarly themed Facebook games and allowing you to make the decision as to which game is superior.
Last week, we covered a trio of aquatic games: FishVille, Happy Aquarium and Fish World. After being overwhelmed with votes, it seems that a true winner (at least from reader opinion) has been found in Happy Aquarium that, as of this writing, has 56% of the votes, to FishVille’s 42%. Again, this is all based on what you, the readers, had to say about the game – all three titles are great in their own ways, and there are definitely no right or wrong answers here.
This week, we’re going to move to an entirely different genre of games – the treasure hunting genre – by taking a look at zSlide’s Treasure Madness, and it’s competitor Zynga’s Treasure Isle. According to the latest AppData figures, Treasure Madness is sitting at around 2.4 million players, while the powerhouse known as Treasure Isle has rocketed to almost 28 million players in around a month.
While these user numbers may place Treasure Isle at a distinct advantage right from the starting gate, Treasure Madness has been around since November, and without doubt played a huge inspirational role in Zynga’s creation of Treasure Isle. As such, both games can be described in mostly the same way – You’ll play a treasure hunter, exploring exotic locations via maps that are cleared, tile by tile, allowing you to find treasure which is separated into collections, find fruit that gives you stamina, and earn gold coins that allow you to purchase new maps and items.
From there, one of the most striking differences between the two games is Zynga’s inclusion of a Home Island in Treasure Isle. Unlike Treasure Madness, which is all about the treasure, all of the time, Treasure Isle’s Home Island allows you to take a break from the digging to customize your own expandable island with items like hammocks, huts, fire pits, water toys, trees, plants and so on. These items can either be purchased from the game’s store or given as free gifts to friends, while in Treasure Madness, free gifts consist almost solely of treasure pieces (along with the occasional piece of fruit or functional item).
Where you can visit your friends’ Home Islands in Treasure Isle, friend interaction in Treasure Madness is quite limited, but still contains the necessary elements to allow for some teamwork. You can send your friends energy packs, which refills their energy, or fruit and even items like Bug Sprays, which unlock previously blocked areas of islands. This too can be done in Treasure Isle.
One element that is solely in Treasure Madness’s column is the Gold Rush, a daily mini-game that allows you to choose from two themes, spiders or hands, that sees you controlling a gloved hand as you collect gold nuggets of varying sizes (the larger the nugget, the more coins it is worth) as you avoid spiders or hands, also of varying sizes, which are trying to grab you and end the game. You’ll collect gold for as long as you can, with the average player being able to earn at least 500 free coins each day, and that’s a low estimate.
Another element found in Treasure Madness that is lacking in Treasure Isle are the mini-games associated with digging up treasure. These mini-games are basic versions of games like Tetris, Bejeweled and Chuzzle, among others, that grant you skill points based on how long it took you to complete them. Skill points, then, accumulate in your overall skill level for that particular game, and as you level up, the games become more difficult or complex. Leveling up also earns you a free fruit item (again, fruit in both games refills a bit of your stamina, or digging energy).
Aside from the aforementioned differences, those with a keen eye will also spot the following when playing both games:
- Where both games contain a system of keys that unlock new sections or tiles on islands, Treasure Madness forces you to dig up these keys (whether literal or in the form of stones and the like) as you would any other treasure in the game, while Treasure Isle has a system of colored gems that can be found and collected from your own Home Island and the islands of friends, in addition to finding them while digging.
- Digging in Treasure Madness costs more energy than digging in Treasure Isle does. While both contain a scale that increases the demand based on what you’re digging in (trees and plants cost more to dig through than grass or sand, while rocks cost more than trees or plants – you get the idea), Treasure Isle starts with 5 points for sand or grass, and raises to 7 and 10 points for trees/plants and rocks, while Treasure Madness starts at 10 points for sand/grass, and moves to 11 points for trees/plants and 12 points for rocks.
- Treasure Isle contains a player avatar, while Treasure Madness does not.
- If you find a piece of fruit in Treasure Madness, you are given the opportunity to eat it immediately, instantly refilling a certain portion of your energy, while in Treasure Isle, they go into your backpack and must be activated manually.
- Maps in Treasure Madness are ranked according to their likelihood of containing gold and treasure, with some islands being reserved almost solely for accumulating fruit, while maps in Treasure Isle each contain a known number of treasure chests, with a counter being displayed in the corner of the gameplay window allowing you to keep track of your progress.
- It takes less time for a single point of energy to regenerate in Treasure Madness than it does in Treasure Isle, presumably due to Treasure Madness’s higher energy requirements in the first place.
Again, these are just a small handful of the differences and comparisons that can be made between both games. While both games offer very similar gameplay experiences, they definitely aren’t identical. So which one is better? As usual, we’re leaving that for you to decide, via the handy dandy poll you’ll find below.
Have you played both games? Even if you haven’t, we’d love to hear your thoughts on either game below – what makes them great? What do you wish you could change or add? Let us know in the comments section below, and check back with us next week for another installment of the Thursday Throwdown!