Beware the bears!
For a long time I have been very strict about the uses of my mobile devices. My iPhone is used for entertainment, my BlackBerry for business. Sometimes, however, I don’t take both devices out with me and actually end up playing games on my BlackBerry to pass the time. For ages, the only game I played was Pixelated. But then HeroCraft introduced me to a few new titles.
Farm Frenzy is the first game that I will be looking at on my BlackBerry Bold 9700 and gives the player a chance to get back to nature and run a farm. Relaxing? Not so much…
The aim of the game is quite simply to make money and expand your farm. Players begin by looking after a few ducks on their little piece of land. By watering the ground, grass grows which feeds the chickens who then lay eggs, which are collected up and then sent away to market. The money made from this can then be used to buy more livestock, upgrade the current facilities or buy new facilities that can be used to process the livestock byproducts into something even more profitable.
Players get to work their way across a map of levels that are all played against a time limit. Time is of the utmost importance in this game and good management will be needed to succeed, especially in the later levels. Players will need to get into a rhythm of filling their watering can at the well, watering the ground so grass grows, clicking the egg shed to collect eggs (which disappear after only a few seconds if not collected), clicking the truck to take the eggs to market (as no more eggs can be collected if the shed is full). This is before introducing more animals and more buildings to further complicate things. And then there are the bears…
Yep, you heard me. It would appear that our budding farmer has only gone and built his farm in bear country. Every now and again, a bear will suddenly appear on your farm and destroy your livestock. The only way to stop it is to repeatedly click on the bear until caged, and then ship him off to market for some extra cash. All of this detracts from the smooth running of your farm and generally throws a spanner in the works.
Not having much experience of games on the BlackBerry, I was pleasantly surprised at how well the game looked on teh small screen, and how well it played. Most of the controls, which involve moving a pointer around the screen, are operated with the touchpad, although buttons are mapped to various functions as well. The problem that I have with using the buttons is that there are so many of them on the BlackBerry that it can be a bit confusing.
Visually, the game is bright and colourful. It all looks really good on the small BlackBerry screen and I had absolutely no problem navigating everything.
As I said before, I was pleasantly surprised with Farm Frenzy and have lost a fair few hours sitting in the car to the game. The game may suffer from a lack of variety after working through the first few levels, but for a quick hit of time and money management on your BlackBerry Farm Frenzy certainly ticks the right boxes.
Farm Frenzy is available from the HeroCraft website for £1.50 + WAP/GPRS-fees