The Farm Frenzy franchise has always been a bit of a standout amongst the time management games that I’ve played. It’s more goal oriented than its brethren, and as the name implies, it can get quite hectic, pretty much on every level after the first four or five. It’s a nice change of pace from the typical storefront type management sims, though it might be a bit much for the more casual gamer. So far Farm Frenzy 3 is no exception to the rule, and it’s a great reminder of why the series is so popular. If you’re tired of serving food, running a boutique or managing a hotel, maybe it’s time for a bit of frenzy in your life.
The first surprise is that there is no comic book like intro setting up the events in the game. In fact, there really is no story at all, not that one is particularly needed. The important thing to know is that every level presents you with a certain set of goals, and those goals must be met to advance to the next level. While money is certainly one of the potential goals for a level, you will also get tasks like collecting a certain number of eggs or baking a particular number of cakes. It’s nice to see a time management game where the focus is on the overall accomplishments the player makes, and not just about earning enough cash.
A level’s goal might be something like “collect X number of eggs” or “spin Y balls of yarn”. In some cases there might be multiple ways to reach your goal. For example, if you’re asked to collect ducks you can either buy them outright or put eggs in an incubator to hatch them. Other items require multiple steps in the process – making a cake has you running eggs through two different machines, and then combining that with flour (which you buy from the store) in order to get the finished product. Some items eventually count towards multiple goals – an egg counted towards the goal of collecting eggs can then be used to make a cake. However, if it says you need X number of ducks, don’t think you can get half way through that goal and then sell off the ducks for quick cash – those ducks suddenly won’t count towards your total any more!
Your biggest adversary is time. You need to get into a rhythm such that multiple things are going at once, or you’ll never have enough time to reach all your goals, at least if you’re interested in getting a silver or gold cup (and the bonus stars that go along with that). Completing levels earns you stars, and getting a silver or gold cup earns you extra stars, all of which can be used to upgrade your equipment. Note, however, that having the ability to upgrade equipment doesn’t mean you automatically start with those upgrades at the beginning of the next level – a lot of times you’ll need to earn money within the levels to actually activate the upgrades.
Everything is tap based, and the controls are quite responsive. The main problem is that there’s often so much on the screen that it might take you two or three taps to get around to what you’re trying to tap. Also, the clutter does make it hard sometimes to tell if things are waiting to be picked up. The other thing that can be a bit of an issue is the contents of the warehouse. Because of the way items are represented in the farm view, you often can’t really tell how much of something you have until you either try to use it or until you click on the warehouse like you’re going to sell stuff.
The visuals are nice. The critters look cool, and the buildings bounce up and down when they’re being used. While the general farm layouts are the same, each farm has its own buildings and animals, so you shouldn’t get bored with what you’re looking at. The sound effects are decent as well. The birds get riled up when there’s no grass left, the transport honks when it’s back from the market, and even if you don’t see it, you’ll know when a bird has been eaten. The music is nice, and so far each farm has had its own theme, which is always a bonus.
Farm Frenzy 3 definitely lives up to the expectations that previous entries in the series have left. Each level has different goals, there’s always plenty to do to meet those goals, and you’ll be rewarded well for meeting certain time milestones. More importantly though, is that this game is geared more towards hardcore players. After getting a few gold cups I quickly devolved to silver and then to just passing a given level. If you’re looking for a truly challenging time management game that’s also fun, Farm Frenzy 3 is where you want to be.
|Title:||Farm Frenzy 3||Developer:||Alawar Entertainment|
|Reviewed Ver:||Min OS Req:||3.1.3|