Developer: King
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 2.0.13
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Regardless of whether it’s actually any good, the mobile release of Farm Heroes Saga was always going to be a big deal. Made by King, the makers of Candy Crush Saga and numerous other Saga games, it doesn’t really have to do a lot to be immediately very popular. Fortunately, King doesn’t appear to have rested on its laurels, with Farm Heroes Saga proving one of the better Match-3 games out there.

It’s a very familiar format so those who weren’t keen on Candy Crush Saga aren’t going to be swayed here. It’s a format that works though, and works well. Akin to Zookeeper, players work their way through each level by matching together relevant quotas of crops. Early stages might simply involve matching 5 green smiling crops and 10 strawberries, but this is just the game easing one in gently. Soon enough, things turn much more challenging and also much more satisfying.

farmheroes7farmheroes5A new Hero mode, activated once all objectives have been completed with remaining moves left over, allows for the chance to rack up some impressive high scores by adding extra points to each crop. It’s something that proves invaluable in later stages, once quotas reach quite impressive heights. Further challenges come from different types of tiles; such as frozen tiles that are restricted in movement, or flowers that can only bloom by matches being completed around them. Chicks can also be developed through matching uncracked eggs, followed by cracked eggs, and often prove the most difficult to clear. Boss stages also provide a welcome distraction.

It all comes together to form an attractive bunch of features for the Match-3 fan, as well as the most appealing since Candy Crush Saga. Not that it’s without its faults. For instance, players are restricted to spending money or asking friends to help them pass certain sections, with no way of circumventing such barriers through gameplay. It’s a common freemium issue but an important one.

For the most part though, Farm Heroes Saga does a fine job of adding some vigor to the Match 3 genre. Sure, it won’t sway those vehemently against the genre, but it really doesn’t need to. Sometimes adjusting a tried and tested formula does pay off enough to bewitch.

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