We Rule: Getting in touch with your inner nerd

It’s Friday. Friday is game day and this Friday’s game is We Rule.

First of all, let me begin with my bottom line.

We Rule shoppers, come buy from the outlet malls in the kingdoms of totalthinker and JennyManytoes. We promise you will buy everything at rock-bottom prices. No one has lower prices than us. And if you buy from us, we’ll buy from you (unlike some of those Level 30 megaplayers who no longer need to visit you).

And for those of you too busy to read the review, We Rule is a social networking game that promises to bring out your inner nerd. The game has a lot to recommend it I’ll just touch on a few of the bullet points below:

  • It’s free
  • Nobody dies
  • Even Hindus and Vegans can play without qualms on their conscience
  • You can expand your circle of friends without having to talk to, chat with or otherwise engage any of them
  • You can tell your boss it’s a productivity tool

For all its good points, We Rule does have a dark side:

  • Hidden charges
  • Endless promotions for other games
  • Subliminally Marxist
  • Cheesy avatars
  • You may not like your inner nerd

In addition, I reintroduce the topic of interrelationship negotiations, make semi-snarky comments about social networking, discuss the ethics of violating your personal ethics to advance another level in a game and remember my encounters with the Society for Creative Anachronisms (SCA).

I also make an obscure reference in the final paragraph that might lead some readers to believe I secretly support the efforts of NORML so that marijuana will be legalized making it acceptable for Christians to smoke it. Well, not all Christians, but the kind where ministers wear collars and priests can marry.

Oh, and buy the way, this may be the longest blog I’ve written because I keep changing it as I advance in the game. Over the 4th of July weekend We Rule had a big shop sale and gave away cash (coins, in the language of the realm) like crazy. We were able to jump several levels, expand our kingdoms and discover the joys of rampant imperialism.

The impact of games upon the evolution of marriage

Gender role negotiation is a delicate thing, especially when negotiating with the woman you love, mainly because you have to enter it with the understanding that, no matter how much you concede, you will lose.

This isn’t a political statement. I consider myself a feminist, still support the ERA and think women may have cracked the glass ceiling in the boardroom but still get less than the respect they deserve in the office. Unless they’re your boss. Then they’re either warm and encouraging or you need to keep your head as far below the horizon as possible.

This is a relationship statement. The one thing men entering a relationship have to understand is that, as far as your girlfriend or wife is concerned, she has already sacrificed more than enough to get this far in the relationship. The mere fact that she’s with you should be the only bargaining chip she needs in any negotiation. Now it’s up to you to to make concessions equal to the sacrifice, and there will never be enough.

In this respect, wives are like cats. Any experienced cat rescuer knows that cat’s are making huge concessions by allowing us to rescue them. In fact, we owe our reason for existence to cats. Let’s face it, I wouldn’t have a blog if Jenny hadn’t agreed not to drag my iPad off somewhere and hide it.

What does any of this have to do with iPads really? Quite simply this. I made the mistake of introducing Carol to a game called “We Rule”. Usually she rolls her eyes when I recommend a game. Not this time.

Back to my story, the story about We Rule, I mean. I reached Level 7 and the game kept saying, “You need to invite people to visit your kingdom.” I felt betrayed. I thought, invite people to visit my kingdom? So that’s why I was supposed to build mines and stores.

I considered about ignoring it. Normally I’m the least social guy around, at least in the digital world. I look at Facebook, well, just about never. I check email with my fingers crossed, hoping it’s all junk mail that I can delete. So the thought of digital “friends” caused my skin to bristle.

Then I had this great idea. I asked Carol to create a profile and come visit my kingdom. Then I could get the game narrator off my back and grow more crops.

I never thought Carol would like the game.

She loved it. And, what makes matters worse, within a couple of days she was only one level behind me. My wife, who makes fun of iPad games, and even calls her friends over for interventions when she thinks I play too much, took only two days to get to a level it took me weeks to achieve.

And this is where the whole issue of negotiations comes in. You see, Carol advanced so quickly only because I answered every question she asked, and told her every strategy I had to figure out myself–which crops to plant to make quick cash and which to plant when you needed to be away from the computer, how to find online friends to shop at her stores, even how to find out when the hard to get to sellers had shops open.

What do I get in return? The right to acknowledge, “Gee, Carol, you caught up with me right away.” Now I have to work day and night to keep my one level advantage. And I’m still expected to provide her with every trick and tip I learned. She expects me to tell her who’s selling, who’s buying and what purchases will get her to the next level even more quickly than I made it.

I even get to harvest her crops collect rent and manage her store for her when she’s out riding horses, rescuing cats and having fun with her friends.

And, as husbands everywhere know, I’m delighted about this because I love her. As is her due.

So if you aren’t convinced you need to download We Rule already, let me provide with plenty of other reasons.

At last a game where nobody dies

As far as I can tell, nobody dies in We Rule. The sole exception may be in the butcher shop where they snatch the cows and oxen that wander around your village and process them into hot dogs.

We Rule is a semi-social networking game where players don’t play God, they play feudal Lords or Ladies overseeing the growth of their estate from a small wooden keep to a full blown ruby kingdom. Yes, Dorothy, there are wizards but they aren’t frauds with balloons and pocket watches. And you never, ever have to return to Kansas.

The only people I know who could possibly object to this game are that peculiar brand of Baptists, like my mother, who believe anything with wizards is evil. You know, the people who won’t let their kids see Harry Potter movies because they espouse Pagan values and witchcraft, but do let their kids go see Percy Jackson and the Olympians because those gods are myths (even though they’re also Pagan).

But the witches and wizards in We Rule don’t really do anything but putter around the kingdom with the rest of the villagers. They don’t cast spells or cover people with warts. The only truly insidious character I’ve encountered in We Rule is the frog (and I’ll tell you more about him later).

You begin the game with a keep, an empty field and some corn seed.
Consider yourself lucky. Scarlett O’Hara had to eat dirt.

Even vegans and Hindus can play

The good news is, if you keep your village vegetarian like I do, even the cows don’t die. That’s right, even vegans can play We Rule. And Hindus. Because it’s possible to play the game without killing a single animal. But there’s a catch. You can’t earn more than Level 2 of the City Builder awards. That’s because City Builder 3 requires you to build a butcher shop.

So, after great internal debate and struggle I decided to bypass the award and keep my villagers vegetarian. Who needs another virtual award? I have tons of awards from Farm Frenzy 2 but I still can’t finish the game because it keeps crashing.

Perhaps I should be honest. I’m not a vegetarian. I eat meat. I love nothing more than chowing down the Frontier Burger at Jim’s. But when I think of how cruelly we treat animals in the food chain these days, I feel terrible. Not enough to stop eating meat, just enough to feel guilt.

Being raised Baptist Preacher’s Kid I long ago learned to stop judging myself because everybody else in the church had judged me, and everyone else, already. (That’s in the BIble, or something close to it anyway).

The good new is, I can practice my personal ethics in the virtual world, even if I only aspire to them in this world, and that makes me feel better.

You can live in an ethical system that completely violates your own

On the other hand, you can violate every ethical principle you hold dear and bone up on your rationalization skills at the same time.

Carol learned this almost right away. She has always considered herself an enlightened soul who would never fall for the traps of cruelty or capitalist greed. But she installed a slum quarter in her area as soon as she had the opportunity and checks back every four hours to collect rent. I convinced her to sleep hard overnight and at least give her tenants a free pass on the three a.m. rent collection. It was difficult, but she said she would do it.

To prove to Carol that she doesn’t need slums
I built middle class housing and even an upper-class estate.
We Rule doesn’t have middle and upper class houses so I had to double and triple up.

We agreed from the beginning, however, that we would never install butcher shops in our kingdoms. This was most important to Carol being a Siamese Rescue person who also spends time with foster horses and agonizes about going vegetarian at least once a month.

I could be two levels ahead of her, instead of just one, had I given into the temptation but I steadfastly refuse.

Last night Carol learned that the only way to earn the City Builder 3 award was to build a butcher shop. She immediately installed it and casually informed me that villagers could be vegetarian but the soldiers on the village watch would need red meat.

What I noticed in that moment was how well-honed Carol’s rationalizing skills were becoming. That red meat argument swooped down the distant heights of sophistication and denial.

I, however, stick to my guns and would never fall prey to the temptation to rationalize. For instance, I vowed to have a peaceful kingdom without soldiers. And I would have, except that I bought a blacksmith shop to make horseshoes for the horses in my stables. When I learned the blacksmith shop made swords, no one could have been more disappointed.

It was only then that I bought the guild hall and watchtower to house soldiers. But by then it was necessary to keep other gamers from storming my borders to steal my swords. Do you see the difference between rationalization and sound thinking born from necessity?

Have friends without knowing a single one of them

I really was leery of the whole social networking and friends thing. I have enough friends, thank you. It took me years to cultivate a small circle of friends who didn’t expect me to call them every day, lend them money or tell them how cute their kids are. So when We Rule said I needed to invite friends, as I said before, I invited Carol.

Then I found friends in We Rule buy stuff from you with cold hard virtual cash and never on digital credit. And they never, ever borrow money. So I invited more. Only one friend dropped in to buy something, but that was okay. I realized you don’t actually have to interact with We Rule friends. You just visit their kingdoms and buy stuff and they drop into your kingdom and buy stuff.

Friends are easy to find too. Just look at the reviews on the App store and get their names. How easy is that? And the best part is, you’ll never meet them in the real world. It doesn’t matter if they really are “sexyprincess69” or just a snot nosed kid looking to hook up.

We Rule is like Facebook without faces. How cool is that?

By the way, thanks, PrincessNoodle, for showing us what a kingdom could look like.

You can do away with people all together

This is the wild part. If you suffer from advanced misanthropy, you can dispense with your human population altogether. When you reach a high enough level, people no longer make enough money for you. Ruby trees and dragons turn a far better profit. So you can clear out all of your houses and just focus on the big bucks.

It’s a corporate wet dream come true. You don’t even have to outsource. You just don’t have people.

Not a soul in this gamer’s citadel

This gamer lined his streets with gold
He certainly doesn’t want people to tarnish them.

We Rule, in fact, provides plenty of opportunity for personal taste and expression. Whereas some gamers have spotless kingdoms without people or beasts to make messes, other gamers take realism to the other extremes and build row after row of outhouses to fertilize their fields. I can imagine the ruby princess going “this is so gross” when she shops in his kingdom.

Notice how this gamer uses windmills to drive away noxious outhouse fumes.

Constant upgrades

As far as I can tell the guys at ngmoco really spend time creating new shops and new angles for players. In the last couple of weeks they introduced a jousting arena, cobbler shop and cheese shop. Each new store comes with its own animated characters, although I’ve had the cobbler shop for a week and I haven’t spotted the cobbler yet.

They are adding a larger hit in mojo points than usual to actually get your shops up and running. In the past shops could be up in a day or two, or you could use five or six mojo points to speed the process. Lately the shops have needed 12 or 13 points or you have to wait three days for customers to purchase. I’ll discuss the mojo issue later.

The developers also recently released adjunct kingdoms at levels 15, 20, 25 and 30. Another issue I will develop later.

Better than an aquarium

If you’re a fan of ant farms and aquariums (especially the digital kind) We Rule allows you to populate your kingdom with animated frenzy. The more cabins, barns and stables you add, the more people, cows and horses wander aimlessly through your street. You never know where they’ll turn up.

And never say the animators lack a sense of humor (or a deep and insidious perversion). In one screenshot for this blog I accidentally caught the magic frog humping an ox. The ox was none to thrilled and broke away as soon as possible.

If you watch long enough, you might even see the humping frog.

Work friendly

If your boss catches you playing at work, you can simply say you’re taking a role-playing workshop in business management to hone your professional skills.

Now that I think of it, you might even be able to write the mojo purchases off as a business expense under “professional development and/or training.”

Addictive

We Rule is addictive at a level I can’t begin to explain. The more you play, the more easily you get sucked in. You can dally with it, and tinker with it for weeks without feeling any desire to go back. But then the first person you never heard of comes shopping for candles at your store. You made a real profit.

Then you discover that when you order something from somebody else, you get free money. That’s right. You get paid to buy stuff, not the other way around.

And thats’s it. You’re hooked. You check in every hour or two to see who has shops open for you to buy from and if you have oranges to harvest or products of your own to deliver.

It doesn’t matter that the program notifies you when it’s time to check in. You just check in in case. It’s like looking out the window to see if your dealer arrived early with your fix.

But it gets even better. Carol’s just as addicted as I am. I see the signs. She sneaks out her iPad when she’s pretending to watch the news. I see her sneaking to the bathroom with her iPad at three in the morning to collect rent while she thinks I’m sleeping. And readers, do you know what this means? It means….

No more interventions

That’s right. Carol can’t call her Siamese Rescue friends over to intervene in my gaming addiction because she plays more often than I do. Except when she delegates game play to me.

But that makes the game perfect for this house.

The big however

As much as I want to sign off on We Rule without any negative feedback, I can’t. You see, the game has its downside and more than a few detractors. So loyal fans, brace yourselves.

Too damn much math

I don’t know about you, but I went to grad school in creative writing so I never had to do math again. Or find a job in my field, for that matter.

We Rule doesn’t require any math skills, unless you want to get past level 15. Then the number of points required to get to the next level increase exponentially (okay, I remembered a little math). And the money you earn may not have anything to do with the points you need to move on.

Each crop and business transaction is worth cash and experience points. Cash (which is to say, virtual coins) buys cool stuff, but the cool stuff may not earn the experience. This means you can’t just look at the selling price (gross or G) of the crops, you actually have to start computing how much time in hours (H) you need to deliver one, how much it costs (C), net profit (NP), and how many experience points (XP) you earn. Then you have to divide net and experience by the number of hours to see which product delivers the best return, or average hourly value. This is because you may think you’re earning a lot of money, but when you figure out the hourly rate you’re better off working for MacDonalds.

NP = (G-C)
AVH = (NP/H + XP/H)/2

Okay, that doesn’t sound so bad until you realize you also have to establish your conditionals to determine what crops will get you to the next level (NL).

If ((NP/H > XP/H) and NL XP > NP then XP, else NP

Now your brain’s ready to blow, unless you’re a numbers nerd with spreadsheets ready while you simultaneously try to fantasize life in feudal times when all math was done in long hand.

By the way, if you need experience points quickly, the mining camp is the best building buy. You get 80 XP for a $1K investment (or eight percent). Buy contrast, the candle shop provides 200 XP for a $25K investment (or less than one percent). So you basically get a better return for $22K less. As a long term investment my brain says, “it’s a game; let someone else do the math.”

The orange groves trump everything with a ten percent return on experience points (and 50 more every six hours). The ruby groves offer a dilemma. They only return 8.5 percent but offer a huge cash payout (100 coins every six hours). They also cost three times as much as the orange trees (10,000 coins).

No live refresh

If you’re shopping in someone’s kingdom and can’t find any good bargains (by that I mean no dragon scales, just chintzy gems from the mines that pay off in peanuts) and, at the same time, that kingdom fills a big order that actually frees up something really cool, like an eagle’s crest) you’ll never know. Because We Rule doesn’t refresh live. You have to shut down the app, and launch it again to see the open store.

I learned this because Carol and I routinely shop from each other to run up our scores. She wanted to buy something from me, and I said, “Wait, I just delivered something way cooler that will earn you twice as much.” Fifteen minutes later she groused, “I thought you were going to free up your order.”

She didn’t know because, silly her, she thought if she kept the game open, she would see the shop open up. Once she shut down, and relaunched and there was the open shop. Lucky for her, no one had snatched it up.

It turns out, this isn’t a problem for her because I don’t have as many customers. She gets lots. We think the JennyManytoes brand, which I allowed her to take, and Jenny’s icon are more attractive than my brand with the Bob Dobbs icon (a leprechaun for iPhone users).

The bottom line is, I quit the app frequently to make sure I’m current on orders. Iit’s a pain.

Hard to keep track of customers

If there is one thing the ngmoco developers need to address, it’s the difficulty determining how many customers you currently have and who they are. This seems odd because when you visit other players’ kingdoms you can see the icons for every customer who has an order,

Why is this a problem? Because Carol discovered, quite painfully, that orders can expire overnight. She noticed that an order would be ready to deliver in two hours (unless she wanted to speed the order up with mojo, again). She went to sleep and when she returned to deliver the order the next morning, it had expired. Which meant her customer got a nasty message saying, “JennyManytoes failed to deliver your order. Cancel your plans.”

But the only reason she knew is because the player was a personal friend so she was keeping an eye on the order. The only way players can keep track of their orders is to click on every shop one at a time and see if another player has ordered. Even then, the dialogue isn’t always big enough to let you see who’s placed the order.

If there is a way to check, I haven’t found it. I think a simple “check orders” button to pop up the icons of all of your customers with orders would be very nice.

Doesn’t reward extreme experience

Once you clear level 25, there isn’t much left to play for but pride and the right to pay a lot of money for more territory. In the early stages, each new level earns more farms, more stores and more virtual swag. When I reached level 27 I got three mojo points. Three mojo points won’t buy much of anything after level 7.

What can I buy that I couldn’t before? I can spends hundreds of thousands of coins for more land in case I didn’t spend all that money at level 25. As I look down the list of upgrades, all I have to look forward too are two more farms at levels 28 and 30 and the right to spend 750,000 coins (that’s more coins than most players earn before level 25) on a red castle that’s no bigger than the current one, and the right to spend another quarter million for the land in another kingdom.

Sounds like the kingdom gets more for your success than you.

We Rule is communist

That’s right, We Rule may seem to be a game based on capitalist principles, where one King investing wisely, can grow his entire kingdom and build a solid customer base. But, in fact, the core of capitalism is competition. The little guy underbidding the corporate giant by slashing prices. And though I said Carol and I offer the lowest prices in We Rule (which is true), we can only do so because We Rule sets the prices for everybody. That’s right, every kingdom has the same rock bottom prices.

And that, my friend, is right from Das Kapital.1

So I hope you did your shopping in our kingdoms before you found this out.

No middle class housing

Yes, I know that technically there was no middle class in the feudal era, but We Rule is far from being anachronism free, and even in the thirteenth century the world wasn’t entirely divided between serfs and feudal gentry. It would be nice to see a couple of levels of larger houses. Maybe a two square split level that pays four coins in taxes and a four square two story house for successful merchants that pays eight coins in taxes.

The ability to choose more than four house colors would be nice too.

And some pink flamingos for serfs’ lawns. I would really like to give my serfs little pink flamingo’s with spinning wings. While we’re on it, I know players who want lawn gnomes. I don’t. I think they’re tacky, not at all like elegant pink flamingos. But I will speak for them.

This is constructive criticism. I’m really trying hard to stay in the spirit of the game here.

Cheesy avatars

Most of the avatars are pretty cheesy.

Not even real cheese. Not even Cheez Whiz or Velveeta. More like the powder in Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.

I found a lot of eggs, funny green sprockets, robots and fish. I found a couple of icons that looked like Bob Dobbs after he lost his slack and fell off the wagon when the X-ists failed to arrive. I finally forged a custom icon of the real Bob Dobbs, which was a real pain. Then it turned out iPhone players couldn’t see it, so I looked and looked and finally found a second icon that might be a leprechaun for them.2

Sorry, We Rule, these icons look like something out of a game for three-year-olds.

You can make your own icons, but they’re a pain, and players using earlier versions of real world still see the cheesy ones.

If you’re not careful, We Rule is a huge money suck

We Rule is the most expensive free game I’ve ever played. Don’t be fooled. When you first start to play, the game gives out mojo like candy. Mojo, it turns out, is extremely important. Mojo lets you do things without working or waiting for them.

Early on in the game, the tutor tells you to spend mojo harvesting crops. When you think mojo is free, you get in the habit. Then, like any good pusher, We Rule starts to limit the supply. About level 10, you realize you shouldn’t have wasted it on your crops because from this point on it’s only going to trickle in in smaller and smaller doses.

Then you accidentally erase one of your businesses. You realize it’s going to cost you 6000 points to replace it or you’re going to miss a level. You need to grow crops fast, but your mojo is long gone. That’s when the We Rule pusher shows up.

We Rule’s latest mojo push is expanded territory. If you reach level 15, you get a free suburb. But the suburb is about the size of a Walmart, which isn’t much. To expand your territory, well, you need to pony up the cash. And where do you get the cash? By mojo. And in case you don’t get it, here’s the pusher in person.

When you need points, the mojo pusher’s always there.

You can buy more mojo. It’s only $5 for 30 mojo points. But 30 points is peanuts. You can shoot up 30 points of mojo on one cauliflower harvest. So you might want to buy the $10 bottle, or even the aged bottle for $50.

You may say to yourself, this would never happen to me. But then you hit the gulf between levels 20 and 21, which is 35,000 experience points (XP). So you hit the ground running and plant crops night and day and buy from every shop you can get into while trolling the friends lists for any customer, no matter how poor, to drag into your shops, and finally you hit that level 21.

Now you need 50,000 points to get to level 22, and you’ve bought everything you can possibly buy before level 25 and what do you do? You remember that trees earn 300 points for 5 mojo each. So you figure, maybe the griffins’ nests and dragons’ lairs earn lots of experience points too. They’re a steal at 20 and 50 mojo. But after you blow a hundred dollars mojo to plant one of each, and then another griffins nest to make sure you saw rights the first time, you realize that the one griffin’s nest earns a few more points (1250) than four orange groves (1200) for the same price, but the dragon’s lair which only earns 1600 points for 50 mojo is a major loser.

So now you’ve blown more than 100 mojo (that’s almost a twenty dollar bottle) and you haven’t even made a dent in the numbers you need to get to level 22. By the time you hit level 26 it’s 100,000 to get to the next level and the counter keeps ticking. Plus you need 150,000 coins to buy each new adjunct kingdom.

As always, the mojo pusher will appear in another dialogue to suck you in.

Before you know it, you wish your wife didn’t love the game so much because she just bought her second ten dollar bottle to get to level 20 and you realize the ten dollar bottle is the gateway bottle to more expensive mojo habits and you both need an intervention. (It also explains why so many of our friends seem to abandon their fields at level 21, never to fill an order again).

Carol and I had a debate as to whether we should buy mojo in large lots or small lots. I argued that buying mojo five dollars at a time (30 mojo) was a lot more expensive than buying fifty dollars worth (800) at once. Carol argued that the more mojo you buy, the quicker you will burn through it. Then we both hit level 20. It turns out we were both right. No matter how much or how little you buy, you burn through the mojo and your bank account.

I recommend setting a mojo budget and stickling to it. Better yet, just say “no” to mojo. You’ll be glad you did.

Until you hit level 27, and you need 105,000 experience points to get to level 28 and you’re out of mojo and all you can do is twiddle your thumbs because you don’t just want to earn points you want to do stuff. Then you’re back in mojo rehab.

As much as you like it, you still feel kind of nerdy

There are moments, when I’m playing the game, that I see all of the characters wondering around the village and it takes me back to my first marriage and our friends from the Society for Creative Anachronisms (SCA). If you don’t know any SCA people, I don’t really want to sound like I’m belittling them, but they make the kids in Vulcan costumes at ComicCon seem like mature conversationalists.

My first wife and I were friends with a couple from SCA, and I won’t say that’s why we got divorced (I would have to blame Amway for that), but the SCA people did introduce a level of creepiness into our lives that we never really got over.

Our friends were okay, it was their friends who gave us the willies. Always calling themselves “Lord George” and “Lady Jane,” “Duke Stinkwater” and “Duchess Effervescence” as they discussing the serfs and how exciting the last jousting match had been. And that wasn’t at SCA functions; that was at work where they would also constantly refer to their “real jobs” as minstrels, knights and courtesans.

Of course the real joke was, they didn’t know a word of middle English, and the chain mail they wore under their work clothes was made of key rings, and I’m really getting off the subject here, aren’t I?

By the way, if you’re reading this, and are active in SCA, I apologize if I seem overly harsh or critical. But the odds are, you’re in your fifties or sixties now. Shouldn’t you be investing in your impending retirement instead of running around in fake costumes and drinking lemonade with honey but calling it mead? And by the way, ground pork patties are not roast boar.

If I were given the choice today of dinner with SCA friends or opening my door to find both Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses waiting to bring testimony, I would sneak out the back and forfeit 35 hard-earned years of sobriety.

But that’s what this game feels like sometimes. You’re watching all of your people wander around, beginning to get that feudal feeling, and suddenly you get an order for cupcakes and hot dogs.

Hot dogs? What medieval butcher shop ever sold hot dogs?

Not only are hot dogs not nourishing to the troops, they aren’t even medieval. Let’s face it, hotdogs only give you three of the basic food groups–meat, bread and condiments. And the soldiers can get bread at the bakery. I bet they can buy sausages with their drafts at the pub.

And cupcakes? Bakers needed to have measuring cups before they could make cupcakes and those didn’t show up for another six or seven hundred years.

Hold on a second. I just got a push notification that LordFauntleroy038 ordered dragon scales and PrincessI’msohot15 ordered some scouting reports. I’ll be right back. Who cares about a few little anachronisms?

Sorry about that.

Up until now I’ve left Jenny out of this discussion, but once we touched on anachronisms in We Rule, Jenny insisted I mention her complaint, and if you’ve been following this blog, you can probably guess what it is.

Jenny thinks We Rule needs cats

Jenny can’t understand why a game that takes place in the middle ages doesn’t have cats. Who’s going to keep the mice and rats away? I was tempted to point out that there are no mice or rats in We Rule either, but I realized that would make it even worse. No mice? What’s in the game for her to play with?

No account management

When you have a wife who expects you to collect her rent and harvest her crops, it would be nice to be able to log out of your We Rule account and log into hers. I know families are expected to have an iPhone for every adult in the house, but most will settle for one iPad.

Unfortunately I haven’t figure out a way to switch users in We Rule. So I had to download We Rule Gold for me and We Rule+ to use Carol’s account for her. But then I found out that We Rule+ crashed if We Rule gold was already installed. So I had to delete both and reinstall them in the proper order.

If I could simply log in and out of accounts, or figure out how to do so with a convenient help system, my life would be so much easier.

Too many worthless promotions

For the past two weeks I’ve been getting promotional notices to download another app from the App Store in exchange for free mojo. I downloaded two of the apps, signed up and got no free mojo. What’s worse, We Rule continued to ask me (every time I opened it) if I wanted to download the apps even if they were already installed on my iPad.

The only thing that would stop a promotion was the next promotion.

This alone is enough to knock We Rule from a full five star rating.

Which We Rule?

This brings me to my final issue. Which version of We Rule do you download? This is a good question because there are eight million of them. There’s We Rule Gold, and We Rule+ and three more versions for the iPhone that run on the iPad (well, sort of run on the iPad).

There’s no good answer to that. Gold seems to run better, with a slightly slicker interface, but the App Store reviews indicate that We Rule+ has cooler crops.

Jenny Manytoes rates We Rule

Jenny Manytoes can’t bring herself to make biscuits on We Rule. She’s had to paw at my cheek to ask me to cancel those damn promotion notices half a dozen times a day and she doesn’t see the point of making so much effort when she doesn’t get to chase mice. Since I just used another 50 mojo points to buy a jousting arena, I’d have to agree.

Besides, I don’t want Carol to find out how much I’ve been spending on mojo check me into rehab for mojodone treatments.

We Rule gets a purr. Maybe when I get a a hundred free mojo points or Puff the Magic Dragon appears above my bed and my inner nerd reemerges in bell bottom jeans with puff ball fringe and needlepoint peace signs on the hip pockets, I’ll change my mind. But I doubt it.

Oh, wait. I just got orders for all three new jousting arenas and free coins for looking at an add. That moves me into the top 50,000 on the leaderboard. I think I’ll make biscuits after all. I guess it’s one of those love/only kind of love relationships.


1And Nixon. Come to think of it, he tried it too. But that was okay because he was Republican and anti-Communist.back
2 After I picked, We Rule added some character icons from the game, including an old guy and a woman in a gardening hat, none of which appeal to me. I couldn’t find any monks, Viking beserkers, tavern maids, greedy Bishops, shepherds, knights, troubadours, archers in green tights or their Moslem sidekicks. So I’m still sticking to my cheese accusation. back

The Jenny Manytoes Rating System


Jenny Manytoes, our polydactyl cat
  • When Jenny makes biscuits on a product she thinks she’s in heaven.
  • When Jenny purrs over a product she’s very happy.
  • When Jenny naps next to a product it’s okay with her.
  • When Jenny bunches her tail she can live with a product, but she has higher expectations.
  • When Jenny leaves it in the litter box….I don’t think I need to explain this one.

iPad Envy is created entirely using apps from my iPad
iPad Envy.

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About Phillip T Stephens

Phillip T. Stephens disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle twenty years before he was born, creating a time travel paradox so confusing it remains unspoken between physicists and sci-fi writers to this day. Follow @stephens_pt
This entry was posted in 5 Stars - Biscuits, Entertainment, Free, Games, iPad and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to We Rule: Getting in touch with your inner nerd

  1. Pingback: App Store needs to step up it’s game | iPad Envy

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