I have been trying some other games lately on the old Facebook. One of them is Zygna's newest game. It's got a lot of really cool features that should be in Farmville, but they went a bit too far with keeping you from playing.
I know it's a big deal for these free-to-play games to try and "encourage" you to spend money, but Frontierville is almost unplayable without it. They feed you tons of free energy, and food and coins and whatever at the start, but within an hour, you are no longer having fun. Now you are playing like work.
Some issues I have with the game is obviously the lack of energy, and what costs energy. The game feels like it is trying to make you run out at critical times so you are compelled to buy. I don't like this at all. They charge you energy to do things like feed the animals, harvest the trees or ground and any actions where you are gaining something back, but they don't give you enough to get to a fair "stopping" point.
They are empasizing way too much on making your friends help you, getting more friends, and interupting you while you are trying to chase down all the stars, coins, wood, food, and enery that pops out whenever you harvest something.
Now, I realize, this game is still in the baby stage, but I just don't see it taking off like Farmville unless they loosen the strings a little bit. Once you get above level 7 or so, the most you can play in one shot without jumping through some hoops to get energy is about 5 minutes. I just don't think that is quite long enough to keep anyone interested very long.
I do like the fact that they have "quests" you can do to make things and gain more experience while teaching you how to play the game. I am a bit annoyed that they are trying to control the story a little bit too much, because they actually force you to get married and have a kid on this frontier. Most of my friends are under level 20, but I do have one that is higher then that only because they play all day and night, but that's as far as I know about the story thus far.
All the buildings, trees, and just about everything can be rotated and moved, which is a huge plus over Farmville. Farmville is working on this but so far all I can tell is that the non-functional housing is all that can now be rotated. We are still hoping they will let us rotate the functional items soon such as the barns, stables, chicken coops, Dairy and nursery buildings.
So far that's my prediction. I think they are going to see about half or less players then they have on Farmville... Let's see how that all works out.