Common as gophers in a corn field
Farming is a wholesome job, but it can also be soul-shattering. Every day, farmers deal with pests, rodents, bad weather, and crippling debt—and they return to the job with every sunrise because the world needs to be fed. In the same vein, digital farming brings downfalls of its own, including long wait times and brainless screen-tapping. Still, like the underappreciated real-world farmer, we return to our tasks. Not because they’re necessary, but because games like Farm Story 2 are comforting in their predictability.
Farm Story 2 puts you in charge of an unproductive farm. It’s your job to fill it up with farm-y things, like crops, cows, and shops. You earn money for delivering vegetables, eggs, milk, and other products. That money goes back into improving your farm. It’s the circle of farming life.
Farm Story 2 involves a lot of tapping and dragging. You purchase plots of land from the market, and tap to lay them down. You tap to plant your crops. When it’s time to harvest, you drag your scythe across your rows of wheat and corn. This simple gesture is surprisingly fun to perform: There’s something satisfying about harvesting a whole crop in a bare second.
Similarly, you collect products from your animal friends by dragging bucket icons over their pens. Once you’ve collected, the animals literally stiffen and collapse, and they won’t produce until you feed them. It’s a silly animation, but you’ll smile the first time you see it.
These little personality quirks are important, as Farm Story 2 is a perfectly average farming game otherwise. Every annoyance that makes you roll your eyes at the hay-pile of FarmVille clones is present: waiting around for crops to flourish; waiting for animals to crank out their precious resources; waiting for deliveries to be made; waiting for feed to grind—the works.
Even more aggravating is Farm Story 2‘s high price for progress. In order to expand your farm, you need a certain number of rare items, including deeds and maps. You acquire these items by making product deliveries to nearby stores (your farm’s little biplane is admittedly super-cool). It probably won’t shock you to learn that some of the items are hard to come by, and you’ll be tempted to buy all the necessities with the game’s hard currency (gems). It probably also won’t surprise you to learn that acquiring rare items requires a lot of gems, and Farm Story 2 is not generous about handing out freebies.
Farm Story 2 isn’t a terrible game. It’s just typical of a social farming title. The graphics are cute, and there are some interesting touches, like the ability to visit a neighboring farm and leave messages behind (“Teenagers plus woodchippers equal excellent mulch”). Otherwise Farm Story 2 probably won’t keep you occupied for very long, especially if you lack the necessary patience or money to expand your farm.