Forest Fair is a game with the sole purpose of imitating Forestville, and it does an awful job.
One of the downsides to having an Android device and not an iOS device is that many of the more notable mobile titles don’t make their way to Android. Zynga’s 2011 release of ForestVille is one of those titles. If you’re Android-exclusive and you love the forest, developer StormJoy has you covered. But be forewarned, don’t get anywhere near Forest Fair if you want to have fun, socialize, or keep your dignity intact.
There are always going to be certain games that are bad. However, many time you can still give the developer credit for trying. Forest Fair is not one of those times. The first red flag I encountered happened when I was checking out the game’s overview on the Android Market. The listed features include the typical things like sending gifts to friends and decorating your fair. But one of the features read: “Over 50 varieties of buildings and decorations: Castle, Christmas Tree, ville” I’m not too sure what “ville” had to do with anything, but I let it go. The next one that struck me as odd was: “Cute animals like bird, rabbit, cat as visitors. A game specially for top girl”. So apparently “top girls” love cute animals. It seemed somewhat sexist, but I kept going.
Where I drew the line was a feature that simply read “Forestville.” Later in the overview, it even comes right out and says “It’s forestville” when it certainly is not.
Sure, Forest Fair appears fine. It’s structured like many social games. You can earn in-game money, or use real money to buy either of the in-game currencies. There’s an energy system that limits your number of actions over a certain timespan. You’ll quickly run out of energy when trying to cut down the massive number of trees in your way. You can get more energy from waiting, using premium items, and visiting friends, but it’ll soon run dry again.
Like most other social games, there are quests you can complete, but they’re only useful if you want experience, and there’s a good chance you won’t last long enough to care about experience. If I wasn’t reviewing this game, I certainly wouldn’t have cared.
It sounds like a average social game so far, I’m sure. Unlike its hero, Forestville, there doesn’t seem to be any point to doing anything in Forest Fair. You can make friends and visit their fairs, but the rewards are barely worth your time. You can clear trees and make a glorious fair in the forest—that’s what the title refers to—but this feels far more tedious than fun. As I just mentioned, you can do some quests when building the fair, but they’re just as dull as the rest of the game.
The gameplay and presentation aren’t much better. You can zoom in and out, but the game isn’t always accurate in deciding which object you choose to interact with. Once your fair gets cluttered with objects, you may want to move or sell some stuff. That’d be fine, but there’s no way to rotate the camera, so objects covered by others will be a hassle to get to. Speaking of objects, the game’s visuals are acceptable, the exception being character sprites. The sprite animations are abysmal. My character looks sickly as he’s walking through objects with his eyes always locked on the camera. Even as he’s chopping wood or restocking buildings, he’s always glaring right at me.
The music is annoying and the sounds are dull. The social interaction is meaningless, as is the rest of what the game wants you to do. I’ve played many games, some of the best ever and some of the worst and I’ll say this: If you’ve really want to play Forestville but don’t have an iOS device, by no means should you waste your time on this game instead. There are plenty of recent and tolerable social games on Android that can at least give you some sense of joy, like My Railway. Forest Fair is completely awful. Use your precious time doing something more fun, like pushing a hoop with a stick, scheduling back-to-back root canals, or reading this review a second time. The only plus side to this game is that it’s free to play, so you won’t waste your money trying it out, only your precious time and dignity.