Have you ever wondered what it would be like to run your own farm? Now you too can be up at the crack of dawn tending to livestock, thanks to Farm Frenzy for S60 5th Edition phones, reviewed here by David Gilson. Requiring a healthy degree of mental multitasking and finger dexterity, Farm Frenzy is addictive and definitely one of the better games currently on the Ovi Store.
Farm Frenzy is not a new game, it was first released in 2007 and has since been ported from PC to Nintendo DS, iPhone, and Android; along with spawning multiple sequels. Finally, it has found its way on to the Ovi Store for S60 5th Edition.
The primary mode of play takes place on the farm yard, and is a deceptively complicated game of resource management. Each level has an objective to meet within a certain time limit. Early levels only require you to produce a certain quantity of a primary commodity, like eggs. To produce eggs, you have to water the field to grow grass, and let your goose start eating. Although sitting back and relaxing at this point is not an option!
It soon becomes apparent that the farm needs constant attention. After watering the field, the well requires money for a refill, and if you don't pick up the eggs and put them in your warehouse quickly enough, they'll decay and vanish. Money can be recouped by transferring products from the warehouse to your car and shipping them off to market.
Another form of penalty in Farm Frenzy are bears who break into the farm. I suspect they are vegetarians, because rather than massacring all of your livestock, they will simply toss your farm animals out of the field! Either way, if you don't catch them quickly, you will lose your animals, production will go down, and it'll cost you to replace what you lost. The way to capture them is to build a cage around them by frantically tapping on the screen. Rather disturbingly, these caged bears can then be put in the warehouse and shipped off to market, for additional income. If you'd prefer a capture and release scheme, bears will break out and scarper if left long enough!
After each level, you are taken to the game map, where you can choose which level to play next. Levels with more complex objectives require you to buy new farm equipment, which you can do with the proceeds of your previous levels. Access to the map is limited in the Lite version of the game, as demonstrated in the screen shot below.
The farm equipment brings in the more complicated objectives of the game, by introducing secondary and tertiary commodities. For example, a powdery mill to will turn eggs into egg powder. Then, purchasing a bakery allows you to transform packs of egg powder into buns. The higher the commodity level, the higher the market price you can sell them for.
Upgrades to equipment and basic facilities can be purchased too. For example, the car and warehouse can be upgraded to hold more products, and the factory equipment can process increasing amounts. Confusingly though, buying upgrades in the shop only buys the ability to upgrade. To actually build the factories and subsequent upgrades in the field, you have spend money within each level.
Farm Frenzy, like many other games, has an achievements system, which keeps you coming back, to reach more and more milestones.
Farm animals provides more variety to gameplay. For example, commodity-producing animals are geese, sheep and cows, producing eggs, wool and milk respectively. It's up to you to decide how to maximise your income by mixing the types of animals you keep, along with meeting the objectives each level sets for you. Besides commodity-producing animals, you can also purchase cats and dogs. Dogs serve to ward off bear attacks, but this is cutting off a potential income source, albeit risky. Curiously, cats prowl around the field fetching items back to your warehouse, this may come as something of a shock to anyone who has ever tried to train their pet cat to 'fetch'!
The real fun of this game emerges once you build up your equipment and livestock. It is really a case of keeping multiple plates spinning at once. Constant tasks include:
Trying to do all of that by frantically tapping on the screen while there's a dozen or so animals plodding around, is highly absorbing and makes the game frighteningly addictive.
As well as being fun, the game provides great exercise to the multitasking part of your brain.