CyberAgent’s Ameba Pigg Virtual World Comes to Facebook as Ameba Pico

Ameba PicoJapanese internet company CyberAgent is bringing its popular virtual world, Ameba Pigg, to the U.S. market, and to Facebook, as Ameba Pico.

Ameba Pigg has gained around 2 million users in the last 11 months, making CyberAgent one of the larger Japanese companies of its ilk. Here’s our look at the new app.

At first glance Ameba Pico does not look like much. It has a very simplistic art style, and a stiff, child-like, and limited set of animations for the avatar. But the variety and activity within this virtual world bring it to life.

Statue of LibertyEssentially, the world is broken up into various chat rooms. Each one has a distinctive theme, and since this is a western, U.S. version, they are all parts of New York City. Players are capable of visiting downtown NYC, the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, the New York Academy, and so on. These areas are more than just aesthetics as well, for players can actually shop at stores in these rooms that contain themed furniture and clothing based on the area. New York’s downtown, for example, sells fedoras while a more creative room, like the Stone Age (which you need to by a “Time Machine” to visit) sells… cave man stuff.

As with most virtual worlds, these purchases go into decorating your own virtual room and avatar. There’s actually a pretty hefty selection too. For the former, users select a base theme (we went with traditional Japanese), and build from there. From the room, players can order new, non-themed, items from a catalog and move, rotate, and remove items from their space. Unfortunately, placement is based on an invisible grid, that has a snapping mechanism similar to Adobe products like Photoshop or Flash. Trying to get a small, single grid-space, item into place is frustrating because it constantly snaps to where you don’t want it.

Room DecorationClothes, however, work much better. It isn’t that they look better, by any means, but you obviously don’t have the snapping issue, and you can throw on as much clothing as you want. Basically, this allows users to create their own look, to a limited degree, with layers of their own choosing (i.e. a jacket on top of a scarf, on top of a shirt) rather then just have a single slot for one top item, or one bottom item.

As for the purchasing itself… this gets a little interesting. The earnable in-game currency, called Gummies, is not used at all. Purchases can only be done with the buyable virtual currency, Ameba Coins. Traditionally, this is a cardinal sin for a virtual world, but it is mitigated by a third currency called Tokens.

GachaNow, tokens can be used to buy anything in the game, and it only takes one. When the user starts, they are given five, but more can be won in a game called Gacha. For 300 Gummies, users can press “Play,” and it will spit out a random prize, which could be a token, furniture, clothing, etc. And before anyone thinks 300 is a high price, you get Gummies constantly through daily logins, receiving “Pico Props” (a button players can press when they click on your avatar), or accomplishing achievements.

Of everything Ameba Pico offers, however, the best element is not in the game features at all. It’s that the game is global and linked between a stand-alone site, using Facebook Connect, and Facebook. So far, we have seen English, Japanese, and French in those seas of chat bubbles. Heck, there have even been people from Australia and the Philippians walking around. It is very cool to talk with them, if you can, or even play mini-games such as Match Card or Reversi.

Despite a rocky first impression, Ameba Pico turned out to be a wonderful little virtual world. Aesthetically, it certainly won’t appeal to everyone, but as soon as you log in, you can immediately immerse yourself within a highly populated and global realm. Quite frankly, however, it is the latter that makes this Japanese title stand out, and a little taste of other cultures is something we all can always benefit from.

Currently, Ameba Pico has already gained more than 104,000 monthly active users.

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Leave a Reply

51 Responses to “CyberAgent’s Ameba Pigg Virtual World Comes to Facebook as Ameba Pico”

  1. Ameba Pico Offers a Virtual Take on NYC Via Facebook | Frisky Mongoose says:

    [...] Inside Social Games recently took a look at Ameba Pico, and found the what the game may be lacking in aesthetics, it makes up for in content. [...]

  2. This Week’s Headlines on Inside Social Games says:

    [...] CyberAgent’s Ameba Pigg Virtual World Comes to Facebook as Ameba Pico [...]

  3. This Week’s Headlines on Inside Social Games « My Blog says:

    [...] CyberAgent’s Ameba Pigg Virtual World Comes to Facebook as Ameba Pico [...]

  4. tracy says:

    i really love love it so much iwanna play it now now now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. alrivania says:

    eu quero entrar no ameba pigg

  6. crystal says:

    i love love love pico

  7. katherine says:

    djksjdksjds

  8. renzae says:

    i love pico…….<3 i love it…love it….love it……..

  9. lil emily says:

    pico is the best! ive learnt so much stuff! i play it everyday now!!!! =D

  10. Romeo says:

    Ameba Pico? or Ameba Pigg?

  11. sprissle says:

    love me

  12. joselle says:

    how to plz ameba pigg in english not in japanese

  13. Chelle XD says:

    when ameba pigg (english) start on facebook?

  14. cassy mejos says:

    when u will ameba pigg start at fb i cant wait i cant wait!!!!!!! be faster :) i know its better than ameba pico pls… make it faster thnks

  15. cassy mejos says:

    i love ameba pico& ameba pigg :) :) :) :) :) :) :) love u all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. anynmous says:

    how u get on here without going onfacebook

  17. randoda says:

    hello
    help me all
    i blocked this game(ameba pico)
    and i didnt mean that
    and i want to regain it again
    i cant sign in this game

  18. randoda says:

    please hurry
    iam waiting
    and thxxxxxxxxx so much

  19. randoda says:

    how to play ameba pigg?

  20. mae says:

    i love pico!!!

  21. nur aalyah says:

    how do i get ameba gold for free!!!!!!

  22. nur aalyah says:

    i love pico!!! ;)

  23. kaye says:

    hey why my money and tokens gone when I bought the time machine…please help me!!!

  24. ad_rush01 says:

    sdasda

  25. saintya says:

    how to download the pico game plz titch me

  26. millicent says:

    wow………………..it’s…………………….beutyful……………………………I……………………………………………………like it wow….

    :P
    :)
    :(

  27. melisa says:

    I TRIED GOING TO AMEBA PICO IT WONT WORK WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY

  28. Alina says:

    WHAT DOES 西暦 年 MEAN????? I NEED 2 KNOW GUYS PLZ TELL ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PLZ TELL ME IM DESPRATE GIVE EVERYBODY AMEBA GOLD IN PICO IF U TELL ME WOT 西暦 年 MEANS I NEED 2 KNOW NOWWWWWWWWWWW

  29. Karen Isabel says:

    Ohhh I <3 Ameba Pico soooo much!!!!
    Im addicted to that game!!!
    And for many months ive been searching for a game like that!

  30. Karen Isabela says:

    Correct sis!!!!

  31. brickong says:

    hello

  32. Azzam says:

    i like taht games i wont play

  33. Kitana says:

    i do not even know how to go to pico and notin will work. i tried google and every where i know

  34. john says:

    how do u find ameba pigg in the facebook i only find ameba pico

  35. john says:

    how can u sign up in ameba pigg i cant understand any word i cant event find sing up

  36. heidi hwang says:

    me too i tried everywhere but i still can’t play ameba pico! hey ameba pico creator are u crazy???why won’t u let everybody play and no maintence??

  37. cute mae says:

    how to get many gummies … i dont have many gummies for byiing anything … who can answer me plisss ???

  38. starlight says:

    alina,i guess it mean “THE YEAR” ameba pigg u can search it in facebook,and you can see how to signup in the photos there is photos showing you how to signup and they translate the important word to english .even me i dont have ameba gold coz they dont give lol, im pico addict too, i expanded my room in 16×16 by 50000 gummies.

  39. starlight says:

    to “cute mae” you can get gumies by giving 15-20 foods a day and eating 20 foods 30 props 30 ring and daily dress up..eating 20 food=200
    giving 20 food=200
    30 ring=300
    30 props=300 its all 1000 gumies dont forget change clothes for 50 gumies you will gwt 200 bonus if u reach 1000 and 100 bonus in 500 thats all heheh

  40. adrienne says:

    I LOVE IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  41. adrindera says:

    i love ameba pico and ameba pigg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  42. adrindera says:

    i love AMEBA PIGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)

  43. adrindera says:

    その私のお気に入りのゲーム

  44. Adelina says:

    How do you get Ameba Pigg In English?

  45. jazalinco says:

    im up to were you become a ninja but i have no idear how to get the towle of the green ninja plz help

  46. Rhea Mae says:

    I really love ameba pico.i created almost 10 fb accounts just to play it.i like it’s concept too.and it’s the fastest game that i ever played.cyber agent really do a nice job!i play tinier me too!i like all cyber agent’s game!i play pico in simple way.i dont have ag.i just use tokens and and gummies.i wish someday ameb apico will give free AG.

  47. Lauren says:

    Hello ;) how do you get ‘ameba pigg’ into english? >.<

  48. Selly says:

    I Love Pico !♥:) I Love it!

  49. angel andrea says:

    ang gandang paglaruhan ung ameba pico.. pano kaya mag design ng mga pangalan

  50. Mark says:

    Don’t play Pico!!!!! It’s a trap to stole money from ur pocket!!!!!! Believe me !!

  51. Mikeal says:

    !I love pico!

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