First of all, it is very nice to play a completely different puzzle game just for a change. Harvest Moon Frantic Farming is not yet another match-3 but an action puzzle with a strategic touch.
The game provides two different modes: Score Attack (more action though keeping the puzzle and strategic characteristics) and Mission (limited moves makes this mode a pure puzzle game).
Along with Records (only local) the game also provides an Album with locked pictures that you acquire after playing some games or so.
When the game concept is original the first thing to do is to read carefully the Help. Do it!
After that things will be a lot easier. One rule is very important to keep in mind: our little Harvester guy always starts looking for a new crop to harvest at his front, then at his right, then at his left and finally at his back.
Since you can move crop panels it is very important to know what will be the Harvester's next direction in order to make combos possible (e.g. harvest 3 or more crops of the same kind). In addition, as soon as a harvest is done watering occurs on the near panels and crops grow. So you have also to take in consideration that a crop will grow and the Harvester may take another direction after a round. It will take some time until you get use to the game mechanics. It's not hard at all, it is just a different puzzle approach. In resume, moving panels and watering consequences make part of the strategic touch of the game.
To help you out Golden Crops are available. They are very powerful because crops of the same kind can be harvested simultaneously along with the gold one and additional watering may also happens. Make sure to read the Help to completely understand Golden Crops.
Score Attack is a good Pick up and Play game. Once the time is up the game is over. Combos and Golden Crops are very important in order to reach a higher score. Unfortunately there is no online leader board.
Mission mode is available in 3 difficulty levels (Easy, Normal and Hard) with 10 rounds each. It is, in fact, a different game where you have limited moves to achieve the round goal.
The game has a great overall production. Graphics are very polished along with good animations. The cartoon style is colorful and well designed. It has that console quality we have seen in Natsume Nintendo DS games. By the way, the Nintendo DS version seems to have more content than the iPhone version.
Music and sound effects are very good. Unfortunately the game does not support iPOD music (it makes it fades away).
Excellent graphics Good music and sound effects Unique gameplay with two modes It can properly resume
It does not support iPOD music Less content than the DS version No online high score board
Harvest Moon Frantic Farming brings a new and interesting puzzle concept where strategy pays off more than simply random moves. That's very refreshing in a sea of simple iPhone puzzle games.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: -5- very polished Sound: -4- good music and sounds but it does not support iPOD Controls: -5- they work very well Gameplay: -4- unique but it needs an online leader board
Playing Hints and Tips:
Read the Help first Move crops panels before start harvesting to make more combos Try to harvest golden crops as much as possible Watering is an important part of the game