It’s Steve and Martha Norman’s lucky day after Martha buys a raffle ticket for a fundraiser and wins! Her prize is a real, honest to goodness farm. Although it’s a big life change, the Normans decide to jump into the family motor home with the kids and leave the big city behind in Little Farm, the upcoming puzzle game from MumboJumbo and Hot Lava. "How hard can it be?" asks Steve. Famous last words…
The Normans hit their first snag when they arrive only to find that the farm is rather more ramshackle than they expected. It’s the kind of farm that needs a little tender loving care and someone who’s willing to start from scratch and build it back up – so says Nate Winslow, the couple’s grizzled old farm hand. He comes with the farm and knows everything there is to know about farming, which is a good thing for the clueless city folks.
The gameplay of Little Farm consists of "patch-matching" in fields of crops in order to fill up the produce trucks that roll by with the vegetables that they require. This is done by dragging your watering can across the grid of vegetables to form squares. You’ll create a match if all four corners of the square are the same vegetable, which will collect all the vegetables inside. The vegetables you don’t use will go to the compost heap, but you can buy a warehouse to store them in later on in the game.
The warehouse is just one of many upgrades you’ll be able to buy with your earnings when you visit the Farmer Store in between levels. Besides a variety of new seeds like pumpkin, corn, cauliflower, eggplant, melons and peppers, there are also items that will improve your performance, like better farm houses that lead to greater income, a water tower to store rainwater for irrigation, a water well that doubles crop growth, and a scarecrow, fence or insecticide to keep pests out of your field.
Collecting lost coins, butterflies and other objects that appear randomly on the field will award you various bonuses, but look out for the bad stuff too, like bugs that try to eat your crops and rain clouds that appear and leave puddles in the field, requiring you to quickly click on them to make them disappear.
Besides the main patch-matching mode of play, there are further modes to enjoy including collect mode, where the goal is to harvest all vegetables within a given time limit by clearing them from the gameplay grid, and water mode, where you have to spray rows of vegetables to make them grow.
Stay tuned for our full review of Little Farm when the game launches later this month from MumboJumbo.