My House – A Facebook RPG for Women?

“Our House, in the middle of our street, Our House…”

My House is a social role-playing-game on Facebook with, you guessed it, houses. Or rather, the exteriors of houses.

If you’ve played Armies or Mob or Pokey!, you’ll have some idea of the basic economy and strategy of this game. It’s not “House,” as in that game you played as a kid where there’s a kitchen and you act like adults. Instead, this is more like “pixel beauty pageant” where you try to prove your poorly rendered 2-D rendering of a house is better than someone else’s.

The object is to buy land and build a house, add additions (like volleyballs, gopher holes, and flags) and challenge your friends to showcases where you can win points to upgrade your house. The economy of the game is based on “points” which you can either win by beating your friends (or the “dump” computer opponent) in house showcases (essentially determined by an under-the-table formula based on comparing the two net values of the two opponents’ houses). Or, you can take part in one of the many sponsor offers.

You can use the points to buy new houses or to buy upgrades to your current house. Instead of “clans” you can join “neighborhood associations” to give you a sense that you’re part of a larger street or city, though you won’t see any visual representation. There are powerups to purchase as well – with real money.

You can also, of course, invite your friends. Without your friends in this game, it’s almost impossible to upgrade your house unless you want to journey to the partner offers. But if you do invite friends to this game, expect them to hate you.

It’s not very different than a lot of other successful games, just plug in a soldier, mobster, superhero, etc and you have basically the same game. But the reason why this particular game doesn’t fit for me is not only because I find houses boring, but that the interface is a bunch of pink boxes that have no stylization or attempt at uniformity.

Normally I conclude by saying “but it’s social and gets people to interact.” While it’s hard for me to say that personally this time, 300,000 monthly players (mostly women?) speak for themselves!

Gameplay: 3

Developers: 5

Boredom Sets in: For me, quite early