The one amazing thing about PlayStation Mobile is the variety of titles you will find available and the strange combinations that occur throughout the lineup. Farm Fury for instance is two of my favourite things, farming and strategy. This would not always be an obvious choice at first glance so it has piqued my interest already. Akie Nakao has decided that now is the time to show the world what a real farming strategy game is all about, but to be honest I’m completely baffled!
Upon starting the game you are greeted with what I can only describe as an anime playboy bunny! What follows that is even more bizarre as the title screen appears with a cast of characters that do not resemble any farmers I have ever seen before, ever! Certainly no stereotypes here! If the words Farm Fury were not present on this screen then you might think you were playing a JRPG or one of those fantastic J-pop dancing games!
From the main menu you are given the options to take on the CPU in a game. Watch 2 CPU opponents duke it out against each other, a tutorial and the credits. Credits should be pretty self-explanatory but the tutorial is definitely where you will want to start. The tutorial does a half decent job of guiding you through the basics while allowing you to take part rather than just statically watching a few screens. The English translation is mostly intact although a few words are misspelt, but nothing that you would need an Enigma machine to decipher. Once the tutorial is complete you can choose to either play a match against the CPU or you can watch a match between 2 CPU controlled opponents. Watching a CPU match is supposed to offer an insight into how the CPU uses strategy and how different characters’ powers are used thus giving you insight into how the CPU can be beaten! 1 player mode offers you the chance to pick from 6 very strange anime styled characters to play as and then choose you opponent from the same 6 characters to play against.
Once chosen you are then presented with a battlefield that contains your farm, or in strategy terms your ‘home base’ , the idea is that you must protect this ‘home base’ from your enemies attack while you attack and destroy your enemies home base. This can be accomplished by placing farm buildings or ‘barracks’ on the battlefield to send out ‘farm’ animals to destroy the enemy. I do use the term Farm animals loosely as your animal troops consist of cows and mice. Although if you replace the cows with any other animal I’m not convinced the Farm part of the title would stand up anymore as there doesn’t appear to be any direct farming connection other than the cows! Mice appear to be the games infantry which are fast small and lightly armoured, while the cows are most definitely the heavy artillery, slow and heavily armoured with a more powerful attack. Once your structure is down your troops spawn at regular intervals and attack the closest enemy or structure available. Both types of troops can also be upgraded to make them stronger and spawn faster. You also have a power available to you that is unique to each character, these powers can help turn the tide of battle when used correctly. In order to use powers and upgrades you will need money and this is gained from the body parts of dead animals that you can Hoover up with your cursor. The body parts fly all over the battlefield so you do need to be quick when gathering these up before your opponent does. The gameplay ends up feeling very cyclical and becomes a race to upgrade your structures to their fullest before your opponent which means that all strategy goes out the window.
Controls are pretty basic but functional and it is one of the only parts of this game that I can say makes any sense at all! You can use either the D-pad or the left analogue stick to move your ‘Hoover’ or cursor around while the action buttons x and square are used to choose and place structures and cancel structures respectively. One thing I will say though is that it’s a shame the touchscreen was not considered as it strikes me that this method of control would offer a quicker and smoother experience.
Graphics are pretty simplistic and are of the 2D variety. Everything looks simple and of a low quality even for a mobile title, Your battlefield and troops look dull and washed out compared to the characters portrayed throughout the menus. There are also no battle animations when troops clash with enemies or structures so your left with static animals bumping against everything until something disappears. You could say that for the price being asked am I expecting too much?
Sound is again pretty basic with 1 track played throughout the game. It helps that the track is very unassuming and just hangs in the background. You’ll hardly notice it underneath the loud bangs of cows and mice being obliterated.
After playing through the game I can say that after trying out a few games against differing opponents, I found the exact same simple strategy of simply building the same 2 structures before your opponent can, will reap rewards within minutes. However leaving your foot off the gas for a split second can also mean failure in the same amount of time, meaning that this game is more a rush to build the best upgraded structures before your opponent than any real strategy. This is a disappointment, for me personally, as strategy games are becoming a more regular addition to console gaming in general and there are some fab additions recently that show why the Vita is such a good fit for this genre. It is also disappointing as Farm Fury gets some basic strategy right but then undermines it all.
I am always wary about slating games as I understand that the people behind them have usually poured their hearts or put a huge amount of effort into making them, and that may well be the case here, but I’m afraid I cannot see much to recommend this game and if there is any farming to be had here then I will need a magnifying glass to find it!
At A Glance
- Title: Farm Fury
- System: PlayStation Mobile
- Format: PSN Download
- Cross Buy: No
- Online Multiplayer: No
- Local Multiplayer: No
- Memory Card Space Needed: 44Mb