As much as we'd like it to happen, Legend of Zelda will never come to Facebook -- legally. So for those who've been yearning for a similar game on Facebook -- Bush Whacker from the Vancouver-based DJArts Games might be as close as anyone will get without risking copyright infringement.
The treasure-hunting adventure game stars a sword-wielding male character dressed in green (you can opt for a female avatar as well), and he whacks bushes and critters to find coins, potions, gems and other special loot that might be used in a series of missions or to decorate your home. While the Bush Whacker doesn't have Zelda-style dungeon-diving puzzle solving, but you will collect puzzle pieces in each level. Once you have all of the pieces, you'll put them together to create a puzzle monster (kind of like a video game boss), which you then have to defeat by whacking it over the head three times.
Your Whacker also has access to special spells, powered by potions captured as loot. Blue potions will fill up your mana, which will allow you to, in essence, whack all bushes and critters in an area at once. Yellow potions fill up your Power meter, and once that's full you can activate it, and when you whack something, you'll get four times the loot.
Unlike Zelda, you will never die in Bush Whacker, but you will run out of energy. Everything you do in the game costs a certain amount of energy, and once you run out, you'll have to wait for it to recharge before continuing your quest.
In addition to collecting puzzle pieces in each environment, you will also take on separate story-driven missions in the game. In the beginning, you will have to help Jim the lumberjack retrieve his axe so he can help the town build a school. You capture the axe by finding the Devil Moose in the Fearsome Foothills area -- defeating it -- and then delivering the axe back to Jim. All missions are kept in a questing log, which you can consult at any time.
The game has a shop, called Ye Olde Shoppe, where you can buy additional energy, quest items or customizable items -- like a hat or something for your house -- for coins and certain gems. There's a whole gem trading option as well, so if you have one kind of gem and need another, you can make that exchange in the Shoppe.
The biggest thing this social game is lacking so far is a robust social component. At times, you'll need to ask friends to help you get past locked gates by posting a request on your Facebook wall, and you can send energy to friends and visit their homes to admire their interior design skills. That's all well and good, but it would be great to see a more full-featured gifting element in this game, and maybe - after this game gains more momentum -- require players to seek the help of friends to complete missions.
Even though there's still room to grow, Bush Whacker is a fun adventure that pushes the boundaries of Facebook gaming, going well beyond simple farming, caring for pets or running a virtual business. And, it's hard to resist a game that's clearly inspired by one of our favorite non-Facebook games of all time.
Play Bush Whacker on Facebook >