There aren't many animated film franchises that could reach the same level of success as, say, something from the Disney camp, but Dreamworks' Shrek is definitely one of them. Now, the land of Far Far Away has come to iOS via Shrek's Fairytale Kingdom, an ambitious new social game that has launched for free on the Canadian iTunes App Store.
Shrek's Fairytale Kingdom loosely follows along with the storyline of the first Shrek film, as you'll be introduced to Fiona who is still locked in her tower awaiting rescue, and Shrek who wants nothing more than to live in peaceful harmony with the slugs and flies in his swamp. You'll be able to interact with these locations (in addition to Duloc, the Dragon's Keep and a Windmill) individually, building items or completing quests with specific characters therein. As you complete story-based quests, you'll be moved further along through the storyline of the Shrek universe, but actually completing quests and getting, well, anything done is a fairly tedious process.
Whether you're waiting a few hours for an item to be built that can be used for a quest, or waiting up to 12 hours or more for a character to come back from adventuring for another quest (these specific quests are sometimes interactive, allowing you to tap on coins or XP bonuses as the character travels), there's simply too much waiting to be done in Shrek's Fairytale Kingdom. This is an incredibly disappointing design decision that becomes bothersome as soon as you leave the tutorial. There, the game lets go of your hand only to force you to wait two hours before completing any other meaningful action in the game.
Furthermore, some of the character models are odd, with Shrek specifically only sporadically looking as he should based on his appearances in the films. The differences in his appearance may not be noticeable to a child or casual fan of the franchise, but if you're an avid fan, they'll stick out instantly.
In terms of the game's social features, you can connect your game to Facebook and then hire friends to help you complete tasks or send and receive gifts with other players. Luckily, these features are (of course) free, so you won't be bothered by the otherwise prevalent suggestions that you spend premium currency to hurry your progress along.
Add all of this together and you have an equation that doesn't equal instant success. There's the expected fan service here for fans of the many films in the Shrek franchise, and the gameplay is fairly unique and original when compared to the dozens, if not hundreds of other social mobile games available on the marketplace today. However, the game's technical designs, and the sheer amount of waiting necessary break the flow. That being said, it's worth giving Shrek's Fairytale Kingdom a shot, even if only because it's free. Make sure to look for its release on the American iTunes App Store soon.
Will you try Shrek's Fairytale Kingdom on iOS when it becomes available in your area? Sound off in the comments.