If you have read any of my reviews of Facebook games you may have noticed that I typically do not like them. Personally the majority of them seem like nothing but graphic versions of pen and paper RPGs (such as Dungeons and Dragons) minus the imagination and social stigma and after playing so many of them my patience has been worn out. To call them video games is something of a stretch for me, and I tend to consider them something completely different entirely. There is at least one facebook game however that shines like a polished chrome bumper in the sun, acting as a light of hope that video games really can work with Facebook. This possible savior goes by the name of Off Road Velociraptor Safari, and it is hands down the best facebook based game I have ever seen.
If the name of the game throws you off a bit, don’t worry, typically things with such incredible sounding names end up being incredibly dull and disappointing. OVS however is the sort of beautifully mindless fun that can only really be described by the word “awesome”, this game is as awesome as they come.
The premise is this: You are a Raptor, you drive a Jeep around an island and run over other Raptors, or take them out with the spiked ball and chain that extends from the back of your truck. Once the Raptors are down you drag them into capture pods. You see how many you can catch in a minute or two, and you have a lot of fun without much reason and with absolutely no click and wait gameplay. The graphics are decent, and since this is facebook you can post your achievements to your profile.
OVS was released in 2008 by Flashbang studios and is also available as a stand alone download, or playable through Blurst.com. There are a hand full of other games on Blurst, but Raptor Safari is easily my favorite. Sadly, development of Raptor Safari HD has been stopped, so there will not be a sequel or more polished version coming down the line in the foreseeable future. This might be one of those situations where its better to leave well enough alone though, the game is nearly perfect as it is and I can’t imagine a graphics overhaul and world expansion being worth possibly ruining it all.
I can’t lie and say that this is incredibly deep game, in fact it is about as shallow as they come. It is this shallowness though that makes it so special. You don’t have to plant any crops or feed your friends pigs, you don’t have to control a mob, this game doesn’t act as though you will be doing something cruel like letting your puppy starve if you stop playing it, and I love that. All that this games asks of its audience is to turn off their cynicism for a minute, assume the role of a raptor who can drive, and go out and kill some other raptors. It’s all so dumb that it ends up being brilliant.
If you like this game I highly suggest heading over to Blurst and checking out some of their other titles. You get the feeling that the people behind these games might be sitting in an office tossing darts at a wall filled with random words and using this to decide what game to make, but they do a good job of it. Games like Minotaur in a China Shop, Jet-pack Brontosaurus, and Time Donkey are all pretty silly in concept but fun as hell in execution.