Farm Frenzy

Filed under: cheapo games — Will @ 7:00 am April 14, 2010

Game: Farm Frenzy
Purchased from: Wal-Mart
Price paid: $4.96
Platform: PC

It’s not too often that I’m lured into purchasing a game simply because it has cartoony farm animals on the cover. In fact, I can’t think of any time that’s ever happened. No, what drew me to this game was was the giant, red $4.96 price sticker on the box, the promise to ‘Join 20 million players!’, and the promise to ‘Show Old McDonald how it’s done!’ (No, not the five star review rating. Sorry, Gamezebo, I don’t take your reviews too seriously.)

So what’s Farm Frenzy all about? Shockingly, the back of the box isn’t real helpful, so let’s take a quick look at a screenshot

A typical Farm Frenzy moment, geese being terrorized by bears.

The game mostly revolves around caring for animals on your ‘farm’. The only things you can do to them are: purchase more of them, and water the ground, which produces grass. The animals eat the grass and fart out goodies for you to collect. Collect the goodies and either send them to the shop in town to sell them, or spend a few seconds processing them into finished goods. For example, eggs become ‘egg solids’ (whatever that is), egg solids, become tasty cakes, and tasty cakes become $80 when you sell them at the market (eggs go for $10).

Occasionally bears will drop from the top of the screen where they’ll rampage through your farm and punt your animals off into the horizon, which is pretty hilarious to look at, but ultimately bad for your progress.  Since a goose hurtling through the ionosphere is laying eggs you can’t get your hands on, you’re going to want to trap the bears by clicking on them a bunch of times, which puts them in a cage. You then put them in your warehouse and then ultimately sell them somehow at the same shops that take eggs, egg solids, and cakes.

So what you end up with is a game where you manage workers that produce resources while consuming other resources, build buildings to produce other, refined goods, and unfriendly-types that occasionally come in to wreck up the place. Sounds to me like we’re dealing with a simplified real-time-strategy game, and while it’s no Warcraft, it’s still decent.

It’s interesting to note that this game is also available for free (as in, $0) from the developer’s website, and lots of other sites around the ol’ Internet. The catch? You only get to play the thing for an hour before you’re expected to pony up a few bucks for a full version. Sounds like a fair deal, right? My only problem is that one hour was about all of this game I wanted to play. Mostly because I got past the ‘gimme’ stages and the difficulty ramped up further than I wanted to go with it, but also because clicking on animal products, turning them into sellable goods, and catching bears with repeated mouse clicks gets old kind of fast.

Or at least fast enough that I’m pretty sure that I’ve seen everything that I want to in this game.