Smurfs’ Village Hands-On Preview and Video

The freemium town-building, garden-growing game Smurfs’ Village has been let loose on the App Store. It’s a universal app, and of course it’s free to play. Check it out on iTunes here.

We love the ’80s, and with a CG version of The Smurfs coming to theaters next year, it’s as good a time as any to reacquaint ourselves with those tiny blue gnomes. Smurfs’ Village is an upcoming casual sim game similar to We Rule, and it’s being developed by Capcom.

Along with Lil’ Pirates and Zombie Cafe, this is the third online social game coming from Capcom this year. Based on the 1980s cartoon, Smurfs’ Village lets you build a village of mushroom-shaped homes and shops and interact with the smurfs as they go about their idyllic existence.

Your smurfs start the game in recovery mode as they rebuild their town after it was destroyed by the ogre Gargamel. Papa Smurf will give you a few pointers on how to get started: Build a farm to harvest crops, and place a few houses to hire some worker smurfs. Along with gold and the premium currency smurfberries (which let you speed up your progress), smurfs are your other main resource, since you can only build when you have enough smurf workers available to swing a tiny hammer.

In addition to the crops and buildings, you can tap on special smurfs for extra abilities. Smurfette, for example, will earn you experience points by blowing kisses to nearby smurfs. You can also activate minigames, like a fun little painting game at Painter Smurf’s studio, and a time-management baking game at Greedy Smurf’s bakery. The third and final minigame lets you mix potions at Papa Smurf’s laboratory by shaking your device, or stirring on the iPad.

Smurfs’ Village will be a universal app, and we thought it looked great on Retina display devices. It will also incorporate Facebook Connect so you can visit your friends’ villages. Capcom’s plan is to also incorporate Game Center in the future. Smurfs’ Village doesn’t do a lot that we haven’t seen in other online social games, but the popular children’s license and handful of minigames do set it apart. Download it for free on the App Store mid to late November.