By Randy Nelson From Inside Social Games
In Storage Wars: The Game, players bid on abandoned storage units in hopes of making a profit off of whatever's inside. As in real life, they get a quick look at the unit's contents, with some items obscured from view by others. The player then enters a bidding war with two other bidders. There are stakes involved, as it's possible to bid more for the unit than its contents are worth.
Before bidding, players are able to view a world map, which shows all of the storage locations available in the current area as well as the storage location of the area's "boss" character. Each location requires a base amount of energy to enter, which depletes the player's energy reserve. This meter refills over time, but can be instantly replenished with a purchased power-up or by leveling up. Each storage location can be played for free once every 15 minutes or replayed immediately for a price.
Inside the storage location, players are presented with three units up for auction. Before beginning, they are shown a selection of special items that are being requested by a collector. If they can manage to find and purchase these items from a unit, they'll get a bonus. Players are given a minute to look around the front of the unit using a flashlight before bidding begins. When hovering their mouse pointer over items in plain view, they're given a rough estimate of what the item might be worth. At any time, players can choose to begin bidding or skip the unit if they feel it's full of junk. Should they skip a bum unit, they'll get extra experience points to reward their shrewd decision.
Should players decide to bid, they must enter their opening offer, which must be higher than the minimum for the unit. Once that's done, the computer-controlled bidders present their offers and the process continues until there's a winner. If they should win, players are given the ability to remove items from the unit, and can do so quickly with the click of one button. A counter displays the total value of the items they've won, compared to their final bid. If they came out on top. Storage Wars : The Game will reward them with experience points.
Each unit the player purchases occupies a space in their moving truck. When the truck is full, they can no longer bid on units. This is remedied by selling items for a profit. This cash, a soft currency, can then be put back into bidding on more units. Once players have enough cash and are of a sufficient level, they can bid against the area's boss on the best units available. When one area of the map is completed, others are unlocked.
Social interactions at present include adding friends, bragging about accomplishments via viral channels, sharing winnings, and sending free gifts to friends once per day. Players are able to see their friends' current levels and other stats via a live leaderboard at the bottom of the screen.
Storage Wars: The Game is being monetized through the sale of soft currency and energy, both of which can be purchased using Facebook Credits. Players can also replay storage locations without waiting 15 minutes by paying Facebook Credits.
A few features in Storage Wars: The Game are still listed as "coming soon." These include bigger moving trucks and better flashlights. No indication has been given as to when these features will go live, but they should have a fairly significant effect on gameplay and monetization.
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