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By Nathan Meunier | Apr 29, 2010 |

Ranch Rush 2 is a perfect example of time management done right.

Even for those who love what they do, everyone needs a break from the daily grind of work now and then. If a tropical getaway sounds like a blast right now, you’re not alone. After getting her hands dirty building up a bustling farmer’s market from scratch in order to save the ailing flower nursery she works in Ranch Rush, Sara sets her sights on some fun in the sun. Though her island getaway in Ranch Rush 2 isn’t entirely a work-free vacation, a trip to warmer climates brings with it some excellent new opportunities for fun in this highly enjoyable sequel.

Having been so successful in her plans to save Jim’s flower nursery, Sara and her partner soon find themselves becoming celebrities in the farming world. The sudden groundswell of new customers that goes with such fame is great for the business, but it leaves Sara bogged down in paperwork and unable to get out and tend the fields as much as she’d like. Figuring it’s time for a much-needed break, the two head out to a tropical island to unwind. However, upon arrival, they decide to hatch a new plan.

When they realize the island mysteriously doesn’t have any local farmers, Sara and Jim wind up purchasing a lovely plot of land on the beach and decide to open up a new branch of their business to serve the island’s clientele. That way Sara can get work done and soak up some warm rays in the process. Growing and expanding their new business venture also eventually shines some light on why no one else has been unable to cultivate the soil.

Ranch Rush 2’s rock solid gameplay is practically unchanged from the original, but the completely new setting and the fact there are many additional tasks to take on make this time management adventure a blast to play. Over the course of 10 weeks, you’ll guide Sara’s efforts to lay the groundwork for her new tropical homestead and expand her business more and more each day.

Each weekday you’ll fulfill orders from customers by planting and harvesting crops, making unique products with special machines, and tending to animals in your care. Customers will order specific amounts of fruits and products every day, ranging from simple flowers, oranges, and bananas, to harder to procure items like llama wool, fruit rollups, and pomegranate juice. Everything has to be gathered within the time limit to proceed to the next day.

Orders grow progressively bigger and more complex as the weeks pass bye. In the early stages, you’ll focus more on planting smaller batches of fruits and flowers, keeping them watered and pest-free, harvesting them when they’re ripe, and replacing any that die off. As you purchase new seeds and upgrade your equipment, you’ll take more elaborate steps to produce the required goods. For example, to obtain llama wool, you must first plant and harvest sugar cane, feed enough of it to the critter to make its fur coat grow, shear it off, and then bring it to your hut. Other animals, including goats, monkeys, peacocks, and ducks, provide similar tasks to tackle.

There’s even stuff to do one the weekends. Saturdays turn your farm into a market where every crop you harvest earns you coins to spend on decoration and other goodies. Sundays are a free day to hit the open water, which presents another fun way to earn cash in a new fishing mini-game. Controlling your boat along the surface, you’ll drop lures and reel in different kinds of fish to earn coins. Each one you catch goes towards upgrading your lures for bigger catches, letting you rake in more dough. It’s a great way to end each week before diving back into the work routine on land.

New activities are added onto the pile gradually, giving you a chance to get used to the latest changes before throwing too many more into your lap. There are certainly moments where juggling all of the different tasks in a given level under a time crunch can make for some frantic rushing, though it’s more fun than frazzling. The strong and steady pacing keeps up throughout the game, which provides a good balance. Additionally, the state of your farm carries over from one level to the next, so if you wind up with extra time before turning in your last crop for the day, you can use it to plant more crops or build up your goods before finishing up. This adds a nice level of strategy into how you approach each day’s chores.

Alongside the main casual mode, you can also unlock expert and free-play modes that switch up the difficulty a bit. Other features like achievements, trophies, and optional Facebook connectivity further round out this stellar time-management game. Ranch Rush 2 simply looks great, plays great, and is a perfect example of a time management done well.

Pros:

  • Awesome new location. Tight gameplay with excellent pacing. Charming presentation.

Cons:

  • None.
Read more: Ranch Rush 2, FreshGames

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