Another FarmVille game, I hear you mutter. It’s more of the same, right? If you’ve played Country Escape, then mostly, yes — but seemingly a little brighter and more colorful than usual thanks to a fresh coat of paint. Plus, there are a few extra bits and pieces to keep you enthralled.
Your aim is to build a spectacular farm on your dream island. Starting out, you should expect to plant some crops like normal, but FarmVille: Tropic Escape throws in a more tropical twist soon enough. For instance, one of the first buildings you place allows you to make cocktails that are just perfect for on the beach. That trend continues throughout FarmVille: Tropic Escape. Tropical ornaments, ways to create particularly tasty fish dishes, and some tourist focused options are all available here.
The latter is where things are most interesting. Level up sufficiently and you can use the nearby Coral to find special items. This is done by feeding a tourist a pineapple cocktail then sending them down to explore the area, hopefully discovering some fun and useful pieces of treasure. It ties into the theme of this being a tropical getaway fairly well, plus everyone looks so happy at what’s going on — even the dolphin that you send out to find fish for you on a regular basis.
Being a FarmVille game means that there’s a lot of busywork going on here. Almost everything has a timer or a connection to another item. Want to retrieve those fish? You’ll need to bribe the dolphin with a pineapple. No, I don’t know why either. Those pineapples are gained by planting crops which take a minute to yield too. Everything has a connection. As is the way with such games, your best method for guaranteed success is to always keep busy. Never leave a place unattended and not producing something.
That’s because progress is mostly dictated by completing various quests. Some of these have cute (if brief) storylines tied in, while others are solely there for experience gains. Each can also have multiple different item requirements, meaning you have to juggle various different tasks to complete them. It’s not too intimidating though, with most of these being quite simplistic. It does make you wish that the quest screen was a little clearer, with issues arising when you try to flick through them all quickly.
FarmVille: Tropic Escape does a decent job of trickle-feeding new content to you. Each time you level up you’ll invariably unlock something new, such as a new kind of building or a more substantial part of the game. It’s a slow burn of a game, so little of this will be unlocked rapidly, but you’ll feel a sense of satisfaction when you get there. Trading is a particular advantage, earning you easy money for simply doing your job. It’s not available straight away, but proves invaluable the more you play.
With a few new twists, FarmVille: Tropic Escape still feels fairly familiar. It is, after all, a modern FarmVille game. This is evolution rather than revolution, and not even a particularly dramatic evolution. It falls into that old trap of “if you loved previous installments, you’ll love this,” but it’s true. Such building games do a fine job of luring you in for at least a little while, even if deep down you know you’ve been here before.