February 14, 2012
The controversial and much discussed new game from Zynga, Dream Heights (free) is now available in the App Store after a previous beta program in Canada. Early reviews for the game are, as expected, not looking great with an average rating of one and a half stars in the U.K. store with the U.S. situation looking quite similar. The guys over at TouchArcade noticed an interesting titbit of information after browsing the reviews on the App Store. Nestled amid the hate and rage it appears there are reviews from Zynga's Senior User Experience Designer, John Lerma and Matthew Ott, a producer. From reading these reviews it appears evident that Zynga can't even be imaginative with their review comments though they did both award the game five stars, naturally.
In my opinion, copying a game's mechanic can be acceptable. But, combining the same mechanics along with also copying the look of a unique game is going too far. Having given the game a try the comparisons are really hard to ignore. There are even elements of the tutorial that are a direct copy of Tiny Tower. Apple has already taken action on app clones in the store, most recently seen with the eradication of Temple Jump, but Zynga's size and undoubted influence will probably protect them from any similar actions in this instance. Besides, if Zynga staff "love it," it can't be all bad can it? I'll leave that up to you.
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