Molehill Empire

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Molehill Empire
Developer(s) Upjers GmbH & Co KG (de)
Engine PHP, AJAX
Platform(s) Web browser
Release date(s) 2008
Genre(s) Browser game
Distribution Internet

Molehill Empire is a browser game maintained by Upjers GmbH & Co KG (de). In this game, the player takes care of a virtual garden. The first server started in Germany (German name: Wurzelimperium) on February 10, 2008. each server is independent of the other servers. The English version contains 4 servers. Worldwide there are 3,213,967 accounts (as of October 30, 2010), whereas several players have an account each on several servers.

Game setting[edit]

In the beginning each player gets one garden where he can grow various plants. In the beginning these are carrots and lettuce, with increasing level more kinds of plants - with longer time of growth - become available. For ten minutes of growth time each a point is rewarded. In the beginning only a part of the garden is usable, the rest is infested by weeds, stones and tree stumps, as well as to moles, which have to be removed. The in-game currency is called "Gnome buck". By farming the garden and selling of the harvested crops at the market or to the system (in form of NPC customers called "WImps") the player can earn money, which can be used to maintain the garden (remove weeds and such) or buy new plants, decoration objects,[1] or even new gardens. With level 8 a second garden can be purchased, with level 10 the tree nursery can be visited. With level 12 the player gets a greenhouse where he can grow cacti, which earn more points than "standard" plants. Plants and cacti can be watered which reduces the time of growth by 5%. With research and fertilizers the time of growth can be reduced by additional 70%. A new feature is the watergarden, to be planted with water plants only.

Furthermore, a so-called "display garden" can be set up, which shows a snapshot of a player's garden with can be rated by other players from 1 (bad) to 10 (very good). High-ranked gardens can win a monthly prize.

Plants[edit]

In Molehill Empire there are approximately 50 different plants, among them 10 flowers, 15 trees and 25 kinds of fruit and vegetables,[2] which can be purchased at the market place, farm, tree nursery and flower store and sold at the market place. There are four plants which cannot be sold to other players, these are used for quests which can take several years if ever completed.

Decoration Objects[edit]

Decoration objects, which can be purchased at the hardware store and traded at the market place, attract more customers.

Additional Features[edit]

Like in many other browser games, in Molehill Empire it is possible to buy additional features with real life money. With the so-called "Premium account" a player can buy a third garden, a second shelf, a watering gnome and a car.[1] The latter enables the player to go to Hedgerow Ville to buy more plants and services every day of the week, whereas the bus will go there only on Wednesday and Saturday. The car can be upgraded. Additionally, with the premium account the player can switch between his shelves when being in the city.

Community[edit]

Like most browser games, Molehill Empire offers the possibility to send messages to other players. Additionally, there is a forum and a chatchannel and a wiki. Players have developed several tools, there are numerous blogs as well as rank- and price lists.

Third-party tools[edit]

Players have developed several tools which facilitate various actions in the games. There are also some bots, which automatize some procedures in the game, but these are banned according to the General Terms and Conditions.

Allowed tools are divided in various categories: First there are tools which calculate the cost-effectiveness of WImps compared to the market prices (e.g. Wimpomat, WimProz). Second there are tools for calculating the efficiency of the own garden (e.g. Dr. Panic Tool, Wurzelmarkt). Third there are tools for planning the display garden (e.g. Gartendesigner). Since these tools don't access the game or the game servers, these are not bots according to their developers. Nevertheless, Upjers advises against using these tools and bans advertising them in the Internet forum.[3]

Price lists[edit]

Price lists comprise the prices of the products traded at the market place in Molehill Empire. The price lists are manually updated from several players on a daily base (and sometimes even more frequently), i.e. the market prices are filled into a table. Tools like Wimpomat, Wimproz or Wimp-Street utilize these price lists for their economic calculations. So the player can calculate if it is better to sell to a WImp or to the market, as the prices vary in a very wide range.

Further languages[edit]

Molehill Empire initially started in Germany, named Wurzelimperium. It was translated to Bulgarian, Czech, Dutch, English, French, Greek, Hungarian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Swedish, Spanish and Turkish languages.

The translated versions have significantly less users than the German version. The English Molehill Empire has approx. 194,392 users, Dutch approx. 35,956, Polish approx. 909.665, Russian approx. 298,499, Spanish approx. 68,208, French approx. 122,351, Turkish approx. 230,167 and Bulgarian approx. 83,597 (as of January 31, 2010)

Web-links/Sources[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Von Gerald Meyer (2008-09-16). "Review by" (in German). Gamestar.de. Retrieved 2013-12-02. 
  2. ^ "plants in Molehill Empire". Gruensteidl.com. Retrieved 2013-12-02. 
  3. ^ "Forum rules, including ban of advertising third party tools in §6". Forum.molehillempire.com. Retrieved 2013-12-02.