Farming Simulator 14 Review

Farming Simulator 14 Review

Nov 28, 2013

While games such as Harvest Moon and Pocket Harvest capture the essence of farming and mix it with other gameplay wrinkles, Farming Simulator 14 goes for a very realistic approach. Does it pull it off?

Farming Simulator 14 does a good job of modelling all aspects of farming. The cycle begins with the cultivator. This tills the fields. Next is the sower, the fertilizer spreader and finally the harvester. The only animals on the farm in game are cows. Feeding them requires a whole array of other tools to create hay for them.

Once the bounty is harvested a tractor is used to drive it to a location to sell it. A few different locations are available, such as an inn and a grain mill.

Screenshot_2013-11-26-20-11-27Farming Simulator 14 is a management game at heart, but unlike most management games the player does everything themselves. To harvest a field or see a new one, the player must drive up and down it with the right vehicle. Farm assistants can be hired for players who don’t want to do the work. A farm assistant will automatically work a field, although delivering the harvest is always done by the player.

Farming Simulator 14 lacks any overreaching goal. The point to farming in the game is to make money to buy better tools so farming is more efficient. The gameplay never changes and is very repetitive. Achievements salvage a little bit of replay value since they give something to work towards.

Farming Simulator 14’s graphics look like something from the 90’s. The game’s deserted environments look about as generic as possible. Animation is non-existent. When wheat is harvested it simply disappears as the harvester touches it, for example. Selling produce is equally dull; it just instantly disappears from the trailer without a trace when it is parked in the right spot.

Screenshot_2013-11-26-23-03-12The sound is sparse. About the only thing you hear is the engines of your farm machinery and some generic elevator music. While the engines sound good and each farming tool makes authentic sounds as well, the game lacks any atmospheric sounds. There is no birdsong, sounds of a bustling market or any farmy type sounds you’d expect to hear There are also no animal sounds.

Farming Simulator 14 is rather buggy. Farming assistants get stuck against objects all the time and try to harvest empty parts of fields. Often the pad you use to sell produce just won’t respond at all for no reason.

There are a bunch of farming tools that can ONLY be unlocked with real money. After you pay to unlock a virtual tractor, you also need to pay the price shown in in game money. The microtransaction only unlocks the item.

Farming Simulator 14 is difficult to recommend. While it simulates the method of farming well, which is unheard of on Android and is quite detailed, the gameplay is unexciting and bug ridden and the lack of a concrete goal or story make it hard to want to keep playing.

Pocket Harvest Review

Pocket Harvest Review

Nov 15, 2013

Pocket Harvest’s premise will be familiar to anyone who’s played Harvest Moon. Players are given control of a small, struggling farm, with few staff and next to no resources. Before long though, the farm will be bustling with a huge variety of crops, animals, attractions and even tourists.

Building the farm couldn’t be easier. Fields are placed one by one depending on what kind of crop they grow. Worker houses are placed nearby and if they are close enough the worker will tend the fields, sell the crops and earn cash. Of course there are many things that affect how much money they’ll make, such as the moisture of the field, the worker’s skill at harvesting, how well cultivated the crop is and so on.

Screenshot_2013-11-11-16-25-13As the game goes on, new crops and items are unlocked on a nearly constant basis, always giving the player something new to see or build. Buying new land and expanding the farm often unlocks new items as well, including animals. Animals work much like crop fields and are a bit too static. It would be nice if they acted like real animals.

Just about everything in Pocket Harvest can be upgraded. Crops can be cultivated, this has a chance of improving their stats so they sell for more money and win competitions. Cultivating is easier to achieve with a knowledgeable staff member items can be earned that boost staff stats to make them better workers. This constant drive to improve everything makes the game very addictive. There is not a hint of microtransactions anywhere either; every bit of profit comes from good old fashioned smart gameplay.

Besides the pure farming aspect of the game, the farm can attract tourists for extra cash. After researching buildings like gift shops and photoboards, people will visit your farm by the dozen, earning even more money.

Screenshot_2013-11-11-18-25-34While the way to grow their farm is up to the player, the game rewards smart placement of buildings with a combo that boosts the building’s yields or give other bonuses, such as a Juice Shop with a lot of fruit fields around it or a Campground and a Photoboard.

Graphically, Pocket Harvest is the same as any Kairosoft game. Lots of cute pixelated people, lots of detailed, personality laden buildings. This style still looks good but is getting a bit old.

Unfortunately, Pocket Harvest is severely lacking in the sound department. Besides some forgettable music the only other sound in the game is a few different fanfares for successful cultivation and the like. There are no sound effects whatsoever. So much could have been done with the sound in a game about farming.

Pocket Harvest will likely stay on your device for a long time. The constant stream of new content and sheer fun of the game make it hard to stop playing.

Tap Zoo, Top-Grossing iOS Game, Now Available on Android

Tap Zoo, Top-Grossing iOS Game, Now Available on Android

Sep 14, 2011

Tap Zoo has been one of the biggest successes on iOS that hasn’t really been talked about. In the past year since its release, the game has been on the top 10 of the iOS App Store’s Top Grossing charts for 48 of those 52 weeks. Now, the game is making the big jump to other platforms, and first on the list of non-iOS platforms? Android, of course! As one could probably infer, this means that Tap Zoo is now on Android!

Tap Zoo is a free to play gam that puts players in charge of a zoo. Don’t worry, Kevin James is nowhere to be found. Players manage its inhabitants, clean up trash, and breed rare animals to make more money for their zoo. The game uses the now-traditional two-tiered currency system, of coins and stars, the latter primarily acquired through real-world money. Though the review of the iOS version at 148Apps wasn’t too high on the game, the market has spoken as to its popularity. Popular opinion isn’t always correct (see: the current popular music scene), but this is a game that a lot of Android owners have likely been waiting on, as many Android owners are wont to do with popular iOs games.

This is Pocket Gems’ first game on Android, and likely not their last if Tap Zoo enjoys the kind of success that it has on iOS. There are specific pros and cons, however. The con is that the game only supports Android 2.2 and up, leaving some older device owners (many of whom might be the target audience for a game like this) out in the cold. However, the game is optimized for Android tablets. Tap Zoo is only for those on the cutting edge! Are you a bad enough dude to manage a zoo? Download Tap Zoo now and find out.