iPhone Game Review: We Farm / We Farm Safari Reviewed by JadeDragon
There are many farm sims for the iPhone and iPod touch, but very few has the grandeur that We Farm offers. When the game first came out, it wasn't unlike other farm sims where you plant your crops and man your animal pens. But in a few months' time We Farm pulled ahead of everyone by adding not only new content for regular farms but also new planes to include animals from Savanna, Serengeti and Outback. The game also has very solid online service, and if you have seen the game in its earlier on days, it crashes a lot less! Like most farm sims for iOS, We Farm is free to play with in-game item purchase options.
We will state the obvious: when you have so many titles for a single platform, it's hard for any one of them to stand out. We Farm stands alone with its imaginative selection of plants, crops, trees and animals. You get the normal farm animals like chickens, ducks, horses and many more, but with the release of We Farm Safari, the developers have unleashed their imagination and let you keep lions, pandas, pythons, and now newly added this week dinosaurs! Most of the animals are kept in pens and ranges, but there is also a good number of them roam freely on your farm. It?s not uncommon to see a baby T-rex is hanging out with a meerkat together on your farm.
With lots of plants growing and animals roaming about, We Farm Safari offers equally interesting structures and buildings. You will find the common farm buildings like dairies, grain silos, windmills, fruit stands and much more; but these just to get you start. The game offers enough building types for you to build themed parks and towns: like Western themed buildings such as saloon, sheriff building, hotel, fast food joint; or Serengeti themed rangers house, African mask making house and more. If you like to decorate your farm based on seasons, you are in for a treat. The developer, ngmoco, is into seasonal decorations too! For Halloween, you get graveyards, pumpkin patches; for Christmas and New Year?s you get toymaker shops, hot chocolate store and poinsettia stores. And special themed weeks also offer time-limited buildings like Dino Week you get dinosaur pit.
One of the biggest challenges for farm sim games is how to keep the game fresh for both new and veteran players, and We Farm achieves it by constantly adding new content. Almost every week you get some new pieces of land or crops or animals or buildings. The game keeps you coming back to check for new things to add to your farm. Another aspect of the game that keeps you addicted is social farming. Most buildings and animal pens can make stuff for neighbors and make money and gain experience for both the shoppers and the shops. This encourages players to both shop at other players? farms and actively recruit neighbors to take orders from your farm buildings or animal pens. There are total of 35 orders you can have, this counts both the ones you take from other players and the ones others place with your, at a time. And as different orders take different amount of time to complete, you can get quite busy with fulfilling incoming orders and shopping for stuff on other players? farms.
Since the game is a freenium game where it?s free to play the game but certain buildings you will need to buy with the special in-game currency (not the gold), which in this game is called Gro. You can earn virtual gold by growing crops, raising animals or fulfilling orders easily in We Farm, but Gro costs real money to purchase. It?s easy for developers to make more buildings to require Gro only to buy, but ngmoco has the right balance. There is only a few buildings you need to use Gro to buy and the game often gives you free Gro units for installing their partners? apps or their other games.
Graphics & Sound
Graphics in We Farm Safari has bold, cartoon style drawing and colors. Everything has bright colors and yet when you put ton of buildings, animal pens and crops together, there is also a harmony. The large variety of animals and buildings not only keep the gameplay fresh for all players but also show off the skills of game?s designers. Like the gameplay, graphics design also balanced realistic looks with Disney cartoon style. And let?s face it, if you don?t like the look for your farm, why would you want to visit it everyday?
We Farm Safari has both background music and sound effects. Background music only comes on once in a while and features only a couple of tracks. The sound tracks have an African style percussion mixed with some flute pieces. They fit the game?s theme well. There are more sound effects in the game as most animals have their own sound when you tap on them, but the elephant doesn?t need any invitation as it will just call out whenever it feels like it. Fun!
If you are looking for a farm sim that doesn?t get boring after a while, We Farm is the title for you. With new content released every week, you will always find something interesting to do. The game has just added 5 new levels after a long hiatus on new levels, and soon there will be a storage mode that will allow you to move things around in all of your 5 realms. We Farm is becoming one of the best, if not the best online multiplayer farm sim for the iPhone and iPad.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 5 - Very stylish cartoon style graphics, bright and attractive. Sound: - 4.5 - Not many music tracks, but plenty of sound FX. Controls: - 5 - Incredibly easy to use, very smooth. Gameplay: - 5 - With more and more new content, the gameplay remains interesting even after you?ve played it for a while.
Playing Hints and Tips:
We Farm Safari is just a newer version of We Farm. They have the same game.