DSiWare | BiP Media | 1 Player | Out Now | 200 Nintendo Points
Related Game: My Exotic Farm (Review)
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10th September 2010; By KnucklesSonic8
To start off, you'll assign yourself a save file from one of 3 profile slots. After selecting your gender and inputting your name, your neighbour, Daisy, will introduce herself to you. She informs you that this farmland has actually been given to you as part of an inheritance. From a small budget of only 100 pennies, and a single hen, you'll need to work hard at beautifying the place.
The top screen displays a visual overview of your farm, while the touch screen is where you'll manage everything that goes on. Along the very bottom, you have a series of icons, each representing different aspects that you can look into. You'll spend a lot of time under the first section alone. Here, you'll check up on your animals, and ensure they're doing well. For each, you have two gauges that really work hand-in-hand. The first keeps track of your animal's hunger level, while the second measures happiness. From here, you can also drag and drop food or medicine, or rub right onto the picture of the animal in question to groom them.
Next is the Farmer's Market where you can purchase Sheep, Cows, Hens, and more. When you make your selection, you can choose from a bunch of pre-assigned names for your animal, and also choose its colour and size. Once everything has been decided, they'll be automatically placed somewhere in the grassy area of your land. Some animals, like the Pigs and Turkeys, need to be stuffed, and once they've become big in size, you can sell them back for a profit. Yes, that does sound a tad unnerving, but I suppose it's all in a day's work for a farmer.
From the Shopkeeper, you can purchase food for your animals, medicinal packages, as well as additions to your barn. For instance, fences will seal off a designated area for cows, while a special mud container will allow you to hold more than the usual amount of Pigs. As expensive as they were, these were great to see. Not only did they make your farm look more hustle and bustle, but they also gave players something to save up for. Once your animals begin to produce goods such as eggs, milk, and wool, you'll be able to sell these back to the vendor. This is a key aspect to the game that you'll want to take advantage of should you hope to make it far in this business.
The Stock icon simply acts as an inventory of all the food and the produce you have on hand. As the animals begin to soil the farm land, you'll want to select the broom icon to clean it up. Simply drag the stylus on the screen and shake in the dirty area to make the place look more presentable. The top screen displays a meter of how clean your farm is, and as you get more additions to your farm, you'll be visiting this menu a lot. Besides the quit function, the final icon is for Wireless Communications. The game also allows for trading amongst those who own My Farm, or the soon-to-be-released My Exotic Farm. And I thought this was a good idea, even if it will see limited use.
I've touched on it already, but it bears repeating that managing your farm is not an easy task. In fact, if you're not able to multitask and keep track of all your animals, then things can quickly take a turn for the worse. Neglecting to clean up the farm or feed your animals can make them unhappy, and even cause them to run away. As time goes on, you'll need to get to know them better, because there will be times when a hen will be unhappy for no apparent reason, even after you feed it. Additionally, pigs like to get dirty, so cleaning up after them will decrease its level of happiness. So that's something to keep in mind as well.
I liked the fact that the game acknowledged that waiting around can be boring when there's little to do on the farm. As a result, the game also comes equipped with a fully-adjustable speed clock. In the middle of the touch screen is a bar that shows the sun or moon travelling along, and once it reaches the end, a new time of day hits. Using the arrows at the side, you can increase or decreases the speed at which the game travels, up to 64 times. But a faster game also dictates a more difficult experience once your farm gets really developed, since there's so much to manage.
On a similar note, your good work in this game does not go unnoticed. As you make noteworthy progress, you'll unlock new features to make your farm more appealing, and to help you out in the long run. For example, unlocking the rooster will cheer up your hens, the tractor will double milk production, and the wind turbine will increase the morale of all your animals. So I thought that was a nice feature as well.
It should be noted that your enjoyment in this game will stem much from whether or not you generally enjoy simulation games. In spite of its simplicity, I found My Farm to be oddly addicting for a short time, and as you try to make a living, you'll find the game slowly improve as you get more animals and a steady income. However, the game can slowly wind down and get to a point where it's less about being careful with your finances and the care of your animals. Instead, the game becomes just a matter of trying to maximize your profits as much as possible for the sake of seeing if there's anything else in the game you haven't seen yet. And eventually, you will feel like giving up on this whole endeavour.
The presentation in this game is pretty standard affair. The visuals are fairly mediocre, I'd say, but the music in this game is below average. There's only one track that plays at the Main Menu, and whenever a new day dawns. At all other times that you look after your animals, it will be pretty silent, with the exception of hearing chirping birds or hooting night owls in the background. I would have liked to see more of a musical presence in this game, because without this kind of focus, the game can sound and even become boring.
Nevertheless, I think My Farm is a good game for casual gamers. If you typically enjoy simulation games, I don't think you'll be disappointed. Simply bear in mind that the game is pretty basic and you may very well lose interest once your farm begins to look prosperous. But for what it is, My Farm can be fun while it lasts, and really, you can't go wrong for only $2.
20/30 - Good
Gameplay 7/10 - Straight-forward and explored well, managing a bunch of animals is tricky but you can get into a rut when you master things, nothing special
Presentation 7/10 - Pretty average stuff, not much of a musical presence in the game, lack of uplifting or well-tailored music can make the game feel dull
Enjoyment 3/5 - Can really get into the game at first, but as the days wear on you slowly lose interest, farm enhancements keep you motivated
Extra Content 3/5 - Hidden unlockables appear as you make progress, ability to trade items with owners of the game, good value for only $2
Equivalent to a score of 67% (percentage score is approximate and based solely on the previously stated rating)