Zynga heads West with FrontierVille

Zynga has launched a new Facebook game set in America’s Wild West that allows players to “tame” the wilderness, raise a family and help build a frontier town.

FrontierVille also offers a number of new interactive features, including multiple avatars on a single screen under one player’s control, virtual families, varying weather, realistic wildlife and vegetation growth.

“FrontierVille is Oregon Trail meets Little House on the Prairie meets FarmVille,” explained Zynga’s chief game designer Brian Reynolds.

“[It begins] with a covered wagon and a plot of land. Players are [then] challenged to tame the wilderness, explore the wild West and establish a homestead with friends and family.”

So, if you’re tired of plowing fields in FarmVille, you may just want to give FrontierVille a try, because as Reynolds put it, “players like having some variety.”

“You can chop wood for a while and then look for snakes or plant some crops or work on courting your spouse…We kind of keep it always coming so there’s always something new and interesting happening,” Reynolds told Kotaku.

“I used some of my video game tricks so when you click on a tree to chop on it doesn’t just say, ‘Oh you got plus-17 wood.’ What happens is some logs come falling off and you click them. If you click them faster you might get a good bonus reward for good effort. We just tried to use very simple but well-known ways to make a game fun.”