Oregon Trail is now on Facebook. It is kind of lousy. Take the old game and extend it so it cannot reasonably be completed in one day, to say nothing of one play session. Add in the social media mechanic of a limited number of turns/amount of energy, in this case several separate bars for that. Add in the social media mechanics of items requiring RMT or soliciting the help of several friends. Add in minimal spamminess. Serve tepid.
Civilization is now on Facebook. It is rather lousy. Take the names from the usual game and throw out pretty much everything. Keep the tech tree in a weird form. Keep the resource types. Replace most of the mechanics with a few mini-games. Remove the world map. What guilds are in most games, nations are here.
This is actually a good idea that makes sense. CivWorld makes superior use of social media gameplay mechanics, if only there were more of a game underneath. Isolated city-states can be competitive early on, but large and/or organized nations own the late-game; this makes sense, and you cannot “rush” it by wiping out other nations, so the game inexorably pushes towards social integration or failure. Instead of “come back in x hours to harvest,” the game accumulates harvests that you can cash in to make everything produce. There is a hard cap on how much real money you are allowed to spend per unit time. I cannot see much/any reason to spam your friends to do the equivalent of tending your crops. They are being a good corporate partner here, not trying to make up for the horrible game by adding addictive elements.
But the games are still horrible. Maybe there is some depth of whatever, were I to spend a few weeks playing HARDCORE, but they play like the original games fed through a food processor then dribbled over a featureless path that takes two weeks to walk.