If you're ready to celebrate the Holiday season in Treasure Isle, you'll be happy to know that Zynga has launched not one, but two holiday-themed events in the treasure-hunting game.
The first is a new buildable relic, in the form of a Gingerbread House. You'll be able to gather items like Gingerbread, Gumdrops and even Frosting to build the foundation and eventually the walls and roof of this Gingerbread House, but we'll get to more of that later. The other new event is the Holiday Tree event, similar to that launched in FarmVille, that will see you collecting presents to put underneath your tree, that can then be redeemed for all sorts of cool goodies.
Meet us behind the break for an in-depth look at both the Gingerbread House relic, and the Holiday Tree collection event.
First, let's look at the Gingerbread Relic. Every user will be given a free Gingerbread House base when they login to the game. You can either use this relic base right away, or, if you're like many users, and have run out of room on your Home Island for such a large item, you can store it in your gift box until you have done a bit of rearranging to have the room required to place it. Either way, you won't lose the item, so don't fret.
Once placed, you'll need to collect building ingredients, just like with all of the other relics. In this case, though, some of the items are holiday themed, as you'll be collecting not only Dye and Fire (presumably for the cooking needed to bake the Gingerbread House), but also Gingerbread, Gumdrops, and Frosting. The first levels of construction sees you building the foundation of the house, and requires just one of each item.
There are four stages of building in all, each one requiring more and more of each of the five ingredients. You can ask your friends for help in gathering these ingredients by clicking on the "Ask for More" button associated with each item, which allows you to post an item request to your wall, or you can simply buy the ingredients outright for 1 Island Cash each. Remember, if you want to ask your friends for help, the game allows you to have five active ingredient requests on your account at once, so if you want to ask for every ingredient at once, go right ahead.
As for the Holiday Tree, it will also be given to you for free when logging into the game. This is a smaller item, requiring just a small square of land on your Home Island. In a clever move, the tree starts out looking exactly like Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree - the famous branch with a red ornament causing it to sag.
Clicking on the Holiday Tree will allow you to view the internal menu of present collection event, where you'll see the six goodies that are available to earn by collecting presents. If you're at all familiar with the FarmVille Holiday Tree event, you'll know what to expect here.
You can click on the "Ask for Presents" button to be taken to a reverse of the game's free gifts page, where you can ask individual friends to send you a present, rather than posting a general plea on your wall (the current method is much preferable, believe me). You can also send presents to your friends voluntarily by choosing the Present from the game's free gifts page.
Once you start collecting presents, you'll be able to trade them in for fun decorations, or functional items that will help you progress in the game. You'll need just 6 presents to start earning items. Here are the full list of prizes, along with their costs:
Fruit Cake - 6 Presents
Street Lamp - 10 Presents
1 of Each Gem - 12 Presents
Building Materials - 20 Presents
McLovin' (a cute dog wearing a Santa hat) - 50 Presents
JD Turkleton - 75 Presents
It should be noted that the highest prize - the JD Turkleton is the same healable turkey that was released back in the Thanksgiving event (for free, mind you), so unless you missed out on the event entirely last month, you're better off saving your presents for other items.
If you don't have many Treasure Isle neighbors, or simply aren't earning presents quickly enough for your liking, you can buy them for Island Cash, at a rate of 2 Island Cash per one present, or 10 presents for 19 Island Cash, a 1 Island Cash discount on the bulk package. As you collect presents, no matter how you earn them, your tree will change shape, becoming more lush, taller, and elaborate, until it is eventually an entirely decorated tree, leaving the days of Charlie Brown's Christmas special in the dust.
As of this writing, this concludes the available Holiday activities in Treasure Isle, but one only need to look at the entire World Map to get a feeling for what's coming next. The North Pole section has been locked, with a "Coming Soon!" marking on it for weeks, nay, months now, and it would be more than disappointing if Zynga didn't capitalize on this downright perfect opportunity to unleash them on players. Santa, after all, lives at the North Pole - shouldn't we be able to visit him, and dig for holiday-themed treasures along the way? Hopefully Zynga has the same idea, and we'll be sure to let you know if that is indeed the case.
Check out the rest of our Holiday 2010 coverage right here.
What do you think of the Holiday Tree or Gingerbread House in Treasure Isle? Are you tired of building Relics, or do you welcome the addition of yet another? Let us know in the comments.