Developer: Zynga
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.4.39
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

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

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

It turns out that many of us enjoy farming. Not the part where one’s hands get dirty and there’s the steady smell of manure at all times, but the part where we dive into our Facebook accounts and share resources with others, courtesy of FarmVille. As is only customary, there has to be a sequel to one of the biggest casual gaming sensations of recent years, right? FarmVille 2: Country Escape is that sequel and it is brighter and better than its previous installment. Essentially, it’s a lot like CastleVille Legends but that’s not a bad thing at all.

farmville28This time around, FarmVille 2: Country Escape has been designed with iOS in mind. That means there’s no need to pester friends for various items or waiting for the well to fill up with water. Even better, it’s possible to play offline and then upload what’s been going on when it’s convenient. There are still plenty of timers though, and while FarmVille 2: Country Escape starts out quite encouraging, things slow down soon enough.

Starting out, it might only take a minute or two to plant a new crop, but soon enough it takes hours upon hours to see progress. FarmVille 2: Country Escape relies upon multi-part quests to provide the player with structure and experience, with such quests often taking a while to complete. Things can be sped up through the use of keys but these are available in very limited number after the initial introductory package, with more purchasable via the many in-app purchases available.

farmville26While in one way FarmVille 2: Country Escape is more restrictive than its predecessor, with fewer decorative options and more restrictive expansion potential, it does go some way of making the experience more practically social. It’s possible to buy and sell items, both to the AI and also to other players. As well as that, there’s the choice of joining a co-op (a form of guild) with in-game chat available. Working together is particularly handy in keeping one’s storage space clear, given that there’s limited room and therefore a constant battle of juggling supply and demand. Akin to CastleVille Legends, it’s possible to send farm hands off to the woods to find special items, feeling that teensy bit more exciting than simply collecting up crops at regular points.

FarmVille 2: Country Escape does a fine job of expanding a popular format but it’s still not going to sway impatient gamers. It’s still heavy on the timers and keen to entice one into buying a few in-app purchases along the way. A distinctly casual affair, it’s fun to see how things develop but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be for everyone.


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