Grunts about bears taking away her sheep have been heard in my house for the last couple of weeks. Since I showed my wife Farm Frenzy my iPhone 3G has been taken from me each day as I come home from a hard day at work. Now I have managed to convince my wife that she really needs to have my iPhone 3G to keep playing Farm Frenzy, and I have ordered a 3GS for myself. Thank you Farm Frenzy.
Farm Frenzy is a time management game where you get to run a miniature farm. You start out with simple tasks such as buying a number of geese, and having them lay a set number of eggs. You control the action by touch, and most of the time it works well. I have some problems at times with picking eggs and wool up, and instead of taking the egg I plant grass. The same goes for when you need to process for example eggs in a machine. If you have money to upgrade the machine it is easy to accidentally upgrade it instead of just sending an egg there to be processed. This can force you to restart the level to reach that coveted gold medal.
When playing a level you have to keep the animals fed by putting patches of grass on the ground. A well has to be refilled at a cost to add more grass. Once the animals produce eggs and wool you have to pick them up to add them to your temporary store house. The store house can only hold a limited amount, and you have to send a van to the market to sell off some stuff. Once the van leaves you can start refilling the store house. Bears are your enemies, and you hear a roar some time before one or two bears enter your farm. They fall from above, and a shadow show you where they will land. To get rid of the bears before they kill your animals you have to tap them repeatedly to cage them. Once caged you can send them to the store house to be sold at a neat profit. The profit is used to buy more animals such as geese, cows, sheep and cats that help you collect eggs and wool. The game demands quite well planned purchases to obtain gold medals, and a wrong move early can mean that it is impossible. Still it is easy to restart, and usually a level lasts for no more than three to five minutes.
Like most time management games you can follow your progress on a map. What sets Farm Frenzy apart from other games of the same genre is the fact that you can make your own path choices. You can upgrade your facilities, as well as the van travelling to the market. If you want to get perfect scores on earlier levels you can go back and replay them with upgraded facilities.
Farm Frenzy is a cute time management game with a definite own flair. The time I have spent with it has been really rewarding, and beating the time for gold medals becomes really addicting. My wife has spent more than 20 hours with the game so far, and still more than half of the map remains to explore. To me this is the best time management game I have tried on the iPhone.
Presentation & Graphics
Farm Frenzy is cute and quirky with a definite own style. I haven’t seen cows or geese looking like this but I definitely feel an urge to take care of them. Perhaps it is a distinct Russian flair to the animals as developer Alawar Enterainment is based in Russia.
The loading time when you start the game is painfully long, and draws down the impression somewhat.
The music is totally nuts, and is almost too cheerful to stomach. You can turn it off, and have your own music in conjuction with the sound effects. Having the sound effects is a must as it really helps to hear the bear roar before it arrives.
Overall the controls work really well. I would like to have some sort of warning before I accidentally upgrade a facility when all I want to do is process an egg. At times it is also a bit fiddly touching the correct object, and often I end up sowing more grass instead.
The game is fun, quirky and addictive. I never get the feeling that it is some sort of manual labour I am doing, but rather it always feels like a game that I play for my own amusement.
Hard earned achievements, and a story mode spanning more than 40 hours of fun and challenging gameplay. As I mentioned earlier it has led to my wife surrendering to the iPhone as an outstanding gaming device, and I can see her playing this game for months to come. No online functionality, and some kind of global speed score would have been cool.
Farm Frenzy is a gem in the growing mountain of time management games. It offers fresh gameplay, long gamelife and a distinctively own graphical style. This is why Farm Frenzy receives an Editor’s Choice award.