Farm Craft 2
There is probably no current platform where farming games enjoy as much popularity as on Facebook, but they are still quite favored on the casual downloads market as well. FarmCraft 2 by Nevosoft brings back heroine Ginger who is supposed to restore various farms while also sabotaging sleazy villains. However, some serious flaws in the basic level design spoil an otherwise good game.
Ginger, who is now CEO of the Tomato Corporation, returns to her grandparents and decides to help Robert with his farm. But this is only the beginning of an exciting farming adventure, which will lead Ginger to a lot of different farms and requires her excellent skills. FarmCraft 2 features 24 levels, which makes it sound like a very short game, but considering that a lot of those levels can take up to an hour to be finished surely puts that into perspective.
Your tasks include plowing land, planting, watering and harvesting crops, feeding animals, and enhancing farms. Which buildings you are allowed to construct and which sort of crops and plants you can plant varies from level to level and definitely makes for a diverse gaming experience. After harvesting crops, flowers and fruit such as tomatoes, pineapples, cucumber, corn, sunflowers or roses you can sell them by delivering them to the barn. You can also install animal shelters on your farms, for example a pig pen, a beehive, or a cow barn.
Apart from the usual farming levels there are also some interesting action levels, where Ginger has to sneak around farms of competitors. Those levels are way shorter than the normal ones, and you mostly have to perform tasks such as activating electric generators, meeting agents, avoiding to be caught by guards, or stealing special crops. The extremely fast pace here might feel like a severe interruption of how FarmCraft 2 generally plays, but it is still a welcome distraction, and it is even better to see a developer trying to overcome certain boundaries of a genre.
The ability to hire different workers surely is the most interesting twist in FarmCraft 2. You have to pay a slightly higher amount of money to hire those workers, and you have to pay them again on a regular basis if you want that they continue their work. There are pickers for fruits and vegetable, a manager who will pay other workers automatically, a livestock breeder, a garden assistant and a crop waterer. And all of them do their work very well, almost too well.
The implementation of these workers is namely the biggest weakness of FarmCraft 2. You will find yourself with nothing to do often enough, and sometimes the other workers will even prevent you from reaching a goal, for example when you have to sell a certain type of fruit or vegetable, but the livestock breeders harvest them right in front of your eyes. When a level takes up to one hour to be finished, and you spend half of the time waiting for a certain amount of money, this is neither fun nor what anyone expects from a game.
The problematic pace of FarmCraft 2 not only consists of the workers, but is also due to the level design and the basic features of the game. Some of the buildings are really expensive, and even with large crop fields and a whole brigade of workers it sometimes seems to take forever until you have earned the required amount of money. This potential frustration gets increased by the way how you learn the goals for a level. Those goals appear consecutively, and you cannot see in advance what your next task will be. Hence often enough the happiness about reaching a very complicated and elaborate goal is ruined immediately by the announcement of a similar goal.
Some levels are spiced up by certain restrictions, which are accompanied perfectly by the storyline. For example, it might happen that Ginger has to take care of a farm in the desert. Of course you cannot just plant crops anywhere in the desert, so you have to install irrigation plants and sprinklers. Additionally some levels take place during night, which requires you to build electric generators and lamps to be able to see anything. Your workers simply won’t recognize any crops when they are not in the sphere of lamps. All these quirky and charming additions which we have not seen in any other similar title could have provided for an awesome and outstanding game.
However, it is a bit sad that a game that could have been really good includes too many boring passages. The variety of buildings, crops and supplies is convincing, the graphics are enjoyable, the controls and especially the chaining work absolutely flawless, and the playtime is far above average for this genre. But all those positive aspects are not enough to make up for a somewhat dragging game experience. Still, FarmCraft 2 might be worth a shot for fans of the genre, but do not judge the whole game by the first levels. It will become repetitive later on, so the first impression might be misleading.