Farm Mania: Hot Vacation takes Farm Mania around the world!
After saving her grandfather’s farm and restoring a run-down ranch Anna is back for a third agricultural quest in Realore’s Farm Mania: Hot Vacation. In what is by now a classic farming time management setting, the player accompanies Anna as she takes part in farming competitions around the world. While the highly frantic gameplay still works, very well supported by the adorable and polished graphics, the same old formula is on the brink of getting tedious.
Farm Mania: Hot Vacation features 59 levels, of which 9 are simple hidden object mini-games. There are two modes, but you have to complete the casual mode to unlock the arcade mode. This might be a tad annoying for veterans of this genre who would rather jump to the more challenging arcade mode straight away.
Not much has changed with regards to the gameplay compared to the two predecessors. Anna travels to Egypt, Australia and China to take part in farming competitions, which is all that needs to be said about the plot. Apparently she has saved a lot of money from her previous adventures, since there would not be another explanation for how she is able to afford such a luxurious vacation, to say nothing of the cash required to buy the farms. The farms of each country differ in what animals you will tend to and which products you are able to sell, but those are only superficial differences — the actual gameplay does not change at all.
The Farm Mania series has always been known for a very quick pace and varying tasks, and this also applies to Farm Mania: Hot Vacation. At later points you will have four different characters working at the farm, including Anna, Bob, and her grandparents. While Anna delivers food and water to animals, tends to crops, and collects products, her grandfather prepares food, water, tends to trees and bushes, her grandmother cooks or prepares more complicated products from raw resources, and Bob cuts trees and mines gold and coal. Fortunately the controls are very intuitive and as flawless as one is used to from this series.
Depending on the country Anna will raise camels, ostriches, quails, yaks, and sheep among others. Those animals will not only produce milk, wool, or eggs if well fed, they will also start breeding provided you have a male and a female of one species at your farm. Crops and trees are equally varied – Farm Mania: Hot Vacation enables the player to grow rice, pineapples, oranges, bananas, cacao beans or radishes, which also have to be watered, pruned, and harvested. All those products are tied to your goals in any given level. Sometimes Anna has to sell ten pineapples or produce five cakes, while at other times you have to breed and raise a camel.
A very strong feature of Farm Mania: Hot Vacation is the shop system. At the ranch you can purchase new crops or animals, the shop offers enhancements for your farm and also provides buildings at which Grandma prepares more complicated products, while you are able to buy better equipment for Anna, her grandparents, and Bob at the school. It is possible to buy something new after nearly every level, which is definitely a motivating aspect.
Apart from the slightly improved and familiar gameplay, there are some issues with Farm Mania: Hot Vacation. While the graphics are generally adorable and well done, the game is quite similar to previous games in the Farm Frenzy series. Most of the upgrades are similar to those in the predecessors, and the gameplay is basically the same, too, except for different products, animals, and the welcome addition of a pond.
Nevertheless Farm Mania: Hot Vacation is still a decent addition to the time management genre. While the game does not really evolve from its predecessors and the aforementioned issues slightly lower the fun factor, it still delivers an entertaining and convincing playing experience. If you are are tired of farming games yet you will very likely have a good time with Farm Mania: Hot Vacation.