Special Forces, like virtually all of Zynga’s other RPGs, follows the same familiar formula: Earn money, do missions, spend energy, and level up. In general, each of these games all have a different premise and style applied to them, but the style really works.
Zynga has discovered that they can reach different demographics by changing the theme around the same core game play mechanics. There is Mafia Wars for those that want to play the bad guy, Vampires and Dragon Wars for the fantasy types, Fashion Wars for the proverbial “pop-princesses,” and Special Forces for those that enjoy modern military games. For Zynga, it’s certainly about covering their bases, and considering the overall success of their games, they are obviously doing something right.
As for Special Forces itself, the game starts players off as a recruit in a place called “The Command” with the sole purpose of affecting the world stage. As with its counterparts, the player has their standard stats, energy, stamina, health, and cash. Players purchase various upgrades and recruit others to join their squad in order to complete missions and level up, but as expected, each mission utilizes energy and the player must wait for it to recharge in order to do more. Of course, if your energy is gone, you can always pick a fight or try to assassinate someone on the bounty list using your remaining stamina, but that’s not all that is included into game play.
One thing that is different and interesting about this app is the strategic element of “contracts.” Players are able to spend their cash on more than just weapons and armor in Special Forces, as they can actually invest into these contracts by “bribing” corrupt individuals that reside in “high” places. What this does is provide the player with hourly payoffs to provide a consistent source of income, meaning that a player can earn decent money without having to play constantly. Furthermore, as you rank up, so do these contracts. You spend more, but you get more back in return.
As standard as Special Forces may be, it works. And players of other Zynga titles would certainly enjoy it (assuming they like the concept of being a special forces operative). The only really unique feature is the contracts, but for Zynga, it isn’t about creating totally new game play every game. It’s about applying a new theme with each rendition of a tried and true formula with the occasional new feature.