As you’d expect, Turf lets you buy the places you visit and then collect rent when people check in there on foursquare. Buildings can be improved by adding floors, with a variety of different upgrades available, many of which can only be unlocked in higher levels of the game. They range from economy apartments to luxury penthouses and fancy sushi bars. Of course each addition helps to increase the rent you earn — and makes it less likely someone can take the building from you.
Instead of buying buildings outright, you have to take them over using what is essentially a slot machine; you put in money in the form of Turf coins and it spins to let you know if you’ve won or lost the building. Experience points, checking in with friends and checking in more times can help to increase your odds of taking a building over, while buildings with higher traffic or active owners decrease them.
Checking in to businesses earns you coins and experience points and could reveal one of the game’s “hidden crystals.” You can, of course, share those check-ins to foursquare, Twitter and Facebook.
The game features some wonderful 8-bit graphics and sound effects that bring all those old Nintendo games I played as a kid to mind. There’s also a good bit of humor thrown in throughout, especially from Stokey the Bear, your guide throughout the game. Fun trophies can be earned for all sorts of actions in the game, too.
Founder Michael Tseng originally launched Turf on Kickstarter, where it raised $17,000 from 185 backers.
The gameplay of Turf is fairly complicated, but should be easy for most to get used to before long. It allows for lots of options and different strategic directions for players, which will keep the game interesting. The idea of takeovers should also prevent people from buying a high-traffic property early in the game and then just sitting on it and collecting rent forever. Overall, I’m excited to keep playing Turf and see how the game advances.
Turf is free in the iOS app store. Give it a try and let us know what you think in the comments.