Game Review: Farm Frenzy (PSP Mini)

If Old MacDonald had a farm… It probably wouldn’t be as fun or exciting as your farm in Farm Frenzy. Released as a PSP Minis title from Alawar Entertainment, this title is compatible with PSP, PlayStation 3 and of course the PS Vita!

Farm Frenzy is a resource management title that has you take control of a farm to complete a range of tasks that vary from producing eggs, to raising cattle and making money through the sale of your items.

Each level has a specific goal that needs to be met and target times to try and beat. Your first few levels comfortably settle you in to the game while teaching you the basics you need to succeed. Managing your animals is only one portion to this game – you will need to invest in farm buildings in order to create new ingredients and products for you to sell at the market and these can be upgraded so you can produce more and sell more! But you are going to need somewhere to store all of these products and ingredients aren’t you? Well that is where the storehouse comes into play. Any items your animals or buildings produce can be stored in the storehouse, which again is upgradeable so that you can store more items, and believe me you will be storing a hell of a lot of items! Then of course you will need to sell your items at the local market which means you will need some sort of transportation right?… Step forward… oh, ok, roll forward your farm truck, which you will use to transport your items to the market to sell for cash, your truck is also fully upgradeable for you to transport more items and make even more cash.

All of this cash of course is used to buy more water for your field to produce grass, which your animals eat, in order to produce ingredients, which your farm buildings can turn into something even more profitable at the market. Your biggest enemy is time, as your end of level score is based wholly on how long you take to produce what the level requires, with Bronze, Silver and Gold times dishing out points, which in turn can be used to unlock farm upgrades from the shop. These upgrades will help you overcome later challenges as levels throw up multiple goals that all need completing for you to progress. Time is unfortunately not your only enemy in this game – Bears! These creatures have the ability to ruin any best laid plan by ridding you of animals and produce that has not been collected! I would like to see Gordon Buchanan spend a year with bears like this! “Hey Bear!” No no Gordon they want to eat you!

Fortunately you can imprison these grizzlies within cages and send them off to the market for some cash, safe in the knowledge that they will be someone else’s problem. All of these features keep you on your toes and challenge your management skills all the while pulling you in deeper. Controls are locked to the D-pad/Left analogue stick and the action buttons, with the game having a point and click mechanic that can heighten any tension as you attempt to do more than one thing at once to save that ounce of time that makes the difference between Gold and Silver.

Underneath all of the cute, happy cartoon visuals lies an evil game that plots to steal your time away from you and it will succeed whether you like it or not! Commuters beware, this game will suck your time away. Those long journeys will suddenly be reduced to what feels like mere minutes and that for me is a sign of a great game.

Of course since Farm Frenzy’s initial release there have been 2 sequels released on the PSP Minis platform – this is a popular series and its easy to see why.

I wasn’t sure about Farm Frenzy at first to say the least. The happy, furry graphics did not appeal to me at all, but once I started I genuinely could not stop until I had the full compliment of Gold medals and in-game awards. Replay value is there in spades if you like a challenge. Be warned though, the soundtrack is literally one song played through every level and this can border on infuriating at times, especially when you do become sick of the sound! Oh yes you really will play it that much. I hated it so much that i ended up clapping along with it. Aaggghhhhhhh!

Farm Frenzy overall then is easy to recommend to anyone who likes a bit of resource management and a stiff challenge to boot. Fun and frantic, it will eat your time up and constantly challenge you with every level. If Old Macdonald really had a farm then a) he would be wise to invest in some bear traps and b) he really should hire some help!

Ben Gove

At A Glance

  • Title: Farm Frenzy
  • Publisher: Alawar Entertainment
  • System: PSP Mini
  • Format: PSN Download
  • Cross Buy: No
  • Online Multiplayer: No
  • Local Multiplayer: No
  • Memory Card Space Needed: 20Mb

 

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