17th July 2009

Facebook Games – Farmville

FarmVille logo
Ever had dreams of quiting your job and moving out to a farm to try your hand at growing crops or animals?

Well now you don’t have to thanks to Zynga’s new game for the Facebook platform called FarmVille, which was released to the general public this year.

FarmVille puts you directly on the farm with a nice piece of land to call your own. You start the game by customizing your farmer’s look from suspenders to glasses. As soon as you get your virtual farmer looking snazzy you’re taken to your farm where your job is to plow some land and plant some seeds. Zynga must have spent some time thinking of this concept because it’s really quite unique.I know comparisons can be made to the other farm games on Facebook or other systems, but we’re here to look at FarmVille itself.

This game is identical to farming and because it’s played in real time and mimics the pains/pleasures of farming. Once you have farmed some plots of land you’re asked what kind of plants/trees or animals you would like to grow and are only limited by the amount of coins in your virtual account. Each type of plant/animal has a certain amount of grow and harvest time. Strawberries grow in 4 hours so you’ll find that if you plant these, you will have to come back to your farm so you can cash in your crop. If you don’t, they will wither and die. This is a unique mechanic because it makes you think how farming fits in your schedule like a real farm. You can’t just plant and walk away, this game requires a little attention each day since each crop of produce is different. With this mechanic Zynga has been able to increase their ADU (Average daily users), but at the same time it is strangely satisfying when you are harvesting and thinking what to grow next.

With an Experience System, your farmer will level up and be granted new items like barns, decorations and new types of things to grow as you try become the best farmer. Looking at how the social side of the game impacts the user, you can invite any of your Facebook friends with or without FarmVille to become your neighbours and help you get a bigger piece of land for your farm (you need 8 to get the first upgrade and 10,000 coins). Being neighbours is more than just saying you are, because every once in a while your neighbours will ask you to come clear weeds or take care of pesky crows. Completing these tasks will gain you XP as well as send a message to the friend that you helped out. If you feel like helping your neighbours even more, you can send them gifts they can grow on their farm. One thing I wished was that you could help others harvest their crops just like a real farmer would.

As a former farmer boy I relate quite closely to this game in terms of the planning and execution of the main game mechanics. It really is like having a real farm. I thoroughly enjoy this Facebook game and recommend it to anyone looking for an interesting distraction involving time management games.

Keep up the good work Zynga – who says good games can’t be free.

This entry was posted on Friday, July 17th, 2009 at 12:36 am and is filed under Casual, Everyone, Game Reviews, News, Simulations. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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