The name of a game often speaks volumes about the content.
Take FarmVille, for instance. The ‘farm’ part hints at fairly tedious repetitive labour, while the ‘ville’ suggests there's a community aspect to proceedings. It’s no surprise, then, to find out it’s a repetitive, boring time-sink of a game based around a social networking site.
Farm Frenzy therefore will either be the ‘FarmVille Turbo Alpha’ of repetitive manual labour simulations, or a match-three game, because match-threes are called literally anything.
Colour me surprised to find out it’s actually an absorbing, well-made economic strategy game with a Diner Dash feel.Farming
The aim of the game is to balance the micro-economy of a farm so that your animals' raw goods are turned into varying layers of final produce, like cakes and yarn.
This isn’t an automatic process, however, as you have to manually select the individual buildings to gather and produce the goods, as well as fill up the well, water the grass, and send the truck off laden with the finished products.
So far, so Farm.
Where the Frenzy part of the title comes in is that the products will disappear if left lying around outside of storage. Every mission has a tight time-limit, and pesky bears will occasionally appear to kill your creatures and thoroughly mess everything up.Frenzied
It’s hectic. Manually having to move your arrow around, picking up eggs and keeping your bakeries stocked should test even the most ice cool of Dash players, while balancing the money between upgrades and more animals will keep wannabe economists on tenterhooks.
This balance is made more important by the timed bonus objectives, forcing you to, say, buy a sheep in three minutes or produce a certain amount of food in two.
Completion of the objectives both earns a medal and more ‘overall’ cash, which can be used to unlock more complicated and advanced machinery, not to mention more levels.Plough harder!
The controls can be a little overwhelming at times, and the bears did seem to be a little over-zealous in their killing sprees, but once you have a cat picking up resources for you and you learn to time your grass growing, things become a little easier.
There were some moments where I had to replay the same missions to progress, due to some over-zealous early purchasing of upgrades, but even if you do have to replay a level to progress there’s still the option of competing in the global leaderboards to keep things interesting.Farm Frenzy sucked me into its agricultural world like a well-designed game should. It may not have the most inspiring name among the list of games on your mobile network of choice, but this is one farm worth investing in.