Farmville has always been a massive success. It was one of the original Facebook games that took the world by storm and has earned millions upon millions of fans as well as detractors. Farmville 2 came and only helped bolster the aging franchise. Now, we have Farmville 2 for Android. How does it stack up against current Android games and how does it stack up against the desktop version? In this review, we’ll find out. If you’d rather watch than read, the video is posted above.
If you’ve played Farmville before there is going to be very little about this game that you don’t already know. The basic game play elements remain pretty much the same. You plant crops, feed animals, build things, craft and sell items, expand your farm, complete missions, and all that jazz just like you would on the desktop variant of Farmville 2. There are a few things that you can do that you can’t do in the desktop version, like foraging for items, but even those things follow a familiar pattern in mechanics.
There are a few differences. You cannot set down plots of dirt and plant whatever you want. Now each plot of dirt can only grow one kind of crop at a time and you must build various plots in order to get various crops. That may seem restrictive but Zynga makes up for it by removing other restrictions. Insofar as I can tell, water appears to be infinite and you no longer need energy to craft items.
The game connects to both Facebook and Google+ and it also has Google Play Games achievements if you’re into using those. It features the similar mechanic of asking friends for various items in-game so make sure you know someone else who is playing, otherwise some of the missions will start to get really hard to complete. There are also in-app purchases that can get you coins, keys, and speed grow stuff should you want those but you can get along just fine without them.
Perhaps the most interesting part of this game is the connectivity. You can connect this new farm of yours to your existing Farmville 2 account on Facebook if you have one. It’s a little bit of a pain to get it connected sometimes but once you do, you can ship items between farms and that was actually kinda cool.
One fun thing I did was ship water to my desktop farm because water is severely limited there. You can only ship from farm to farm a couple of times a day so if you do intend on enjoying this game play mechanic, make sure you take full advantage. Otherwise you’ll have to wait hours for your next delivery.
The design is nothing special for an Android title but it isn’t bad either. It’s essentially the same graphics as the desktop variant but they are sharp and colorful which is a plus. The screen is laid out in a manner that is easy to understand and getting to the various parts of the game isn’t difficult or confusing at all which is also a big plus.
Like all Farmville games, the longer you play the more cramped your farm gets and even after just a few hours I found myself re-arranging items on my farm so I didn’t accidentally click the wrong thing. I suppose that’s unavoidable after a point and thus will be something everyone has to deal with eventually.
Overall, the design is fairly good. The controls are designed in a manner that makes sense and the interface is easy to move around. You can’t really ask for much more than that.
Okay so here’s what we liked.
- The ability to ship to your desktop farm is awesome. Especially since the mobile app gives you unlimited water and things that usually take hours to make, like flour, can be accomplished fairly quickly on the mobile game. People who play both versions will definitely find this feature extremely useful. Oh, and you can ship items from the desktop version to the mobile version too, so it does work both ways.
- The mechanics and controls are simple to understand and easy to use. Things do pretty much what you expect them to do and work how you expect them to work.
- The graphics are sharp and colorful. One of the hallmarks of the Farmville series is having a game that’s fun to look at and the mobile version is no exception.
- It has Google Play Games services, cloud saving, and social media connectivity with Facebook and Google+. These are all good things.
- Lastly, it doesn’t have the restrictions that other games in this category have. You’re not bottlenecked by energy or water. I played this game for several hours without being required to stop. There are in app purchases but if you use your resources wisely they’re almost entirely unnecessary.
And here’s the bad.
- You probably should have all your other apps closed out before playing this game. I had a bunch of apps running in the background before attempting my first time and it kind of lagged a little bit on my Note 3. I can see people who multitask heavily having performance issues and people who have older phones may also have performance issues.
- This is a Farmville game and, thus, uses the same Farmville mechanics. This means there will come a point where you realize that all you’re really doing is watering plants, harvesting plants, making things out of plants, etc. The repetitive nature of the title is definitely one of its biggest weaknesses.
- You will need to have friends on Facebook to unlock the full potential of this game. Like all Farmville games, Zynga really promotes the social gaming aspect of their titles and if you don’t use Facebook or have Facebook friends who play, you may end up getting stuck at some parts of the game. You can buy your way passed them using items provided in game or buy your way passed them using real money and I feel like people are not going to like that second option.
Overall, I was surprisingly impressed with Farmville 2. The mechanics are friendly and familiar, if a bit repetitive but frankly if you are interested in this game you know that already. The integration with the desktop variant brings an element of uniqueness that you simply don’t see in similar titles and I liked that a whole bunch.
That said, if you don’t have friends who play this game and you don’t play the desktop variant, the mobile game will feel a little lacking. Farmville 2 on mobile is supposed to be played with Farmville 2 on desktop and with other people who play both games.
So if you fall into that category, you should enjoy this game quite a bit because it complements the experience you’re already having. If you don’t, you may still enjoy this game but not as much and for not as long. If you didn’t like Farmville before watching this video, you’re not going to like it now and you probably shouldn’t play it at all. In any case, it is free to play so there’s no harm in at least trying it out for yourself. If you’re interested, click the button below to get started!