F armville is arguably the most popular and successful game every created for the Facebook platform. It was so popular that it basically built Zynga into a major world player and leader in offline and online gaming. And herein lies the problem.
Okay, so it may not be an original concept, but there is logic to the adage “don’t mess with a winning formula”.
Farmville grew and dominated the Facebook game scene so successfully that when its hype and lustre started to fade, the question everyone interested was asking was “what’s the next Farmville?” Zynga also had a good run with Cityville, Mafia Wars, and Texas Hold’em. But to eclipse the success of Farmville, Zynga needed something bigger, better, newer, more creative and daring. Their answer: Farmville 2, of course. While it may be a bit flat on the originality scale, there’s no denying that Farmville 1 was a winner.
Can Zynga win the lottery twice? Is the sequel as good as, better than, or even worth playing at all compared to classic Farmville?
Read on to find out…
Farmville 2 - OVERVIEW
For our memory deprived, clueless visitors, I’ll briefly recap. Farmville 2 (like Farmville 1) is a simulation game on Facebook where you are the center of the action. You are a farmer (you get to choose your own avatar) in possession and management of a decrepid farm. You must make it a thriving successful venture through actions that take place in realtime including planting and harvesting crops, caring for your farm’s animals, and purchasing or gaining new items. The success of your farm is determined by how much attention you put towards it and of course how much money you make.
As you progress through the game, there are more crops to grow and harvest and more animals to attend to etc. until you’ve build a thriving agricultural empire. Pretty clear, right?
Since this is the overview section, I will advise that Farmville 2 (like a lot of Facebook games by Zynga and others) is expertly designed to be social and to monetize quickly. When you are initially setting up your account, be mindful of the privacy setting you engage. One major criticism of Farmville 2 is how easily the default settings will make you a Facebook newsfeed spammer. If you don’t want to share every little minutiae accomplishment with your Facebook friends, be sure to uncheck the “Share Rewards” popups that will appear during gameplay.
That doesn’t mean all the postings to your wall will stop, but at least a vast majority are curtailed. And be prepared for a barrage of requests to spend real money and to post to your timeline. Zynga has received a lot of flack for this aspect of their social gaming. But then again, that’s also why Zynga’s games have been so well-adopted and entrenched in Facebook game land.
Farmville 2 - STRATEGY
But with specific reference to Farmville 2, let’s look at some of the differences.
Farmville 2 boast better and deeper 3D graphics which it certainly delivers. You’re only ever able to view the playing area of Farmville in an isometric display (meaning the angle is always the same 3D perspective – ie. objects and views cannot be rotated). I like the look of this, even thought the caricatures and objects are “simple” 3D. But it doesn’t really affect or enhance gameplay directly. Another major change is something you may take for granted in, say, Microsoft Excel. Remember how you can click and drag to select a whole field of cells at one time. Well, this enhancement is new to Farmville 2. And that does help with gameplay – essentially speeding up your avatar’s ability to work the selected field. This makes for a more intuitive play space and faster gameplay.
Another big change is the reimagining of the “energy” aspect. Farmville players complain bitterly of how every action cost “energy” and the required time and effort to replenish it. Water has become a surrogate for “energy” for certain tasks. And time helps replenish water (or of course you can always buy a quick refill). You’re able to store more water as you progress increasing your quota/storage. I’m no fan of either the “energy” or the water system. The basic premise is still the same. You must spend real money or play long and hard consistently to keep the water flowing. Obviously, the intent here is to spend cash to quicken your game. If you opt not to use real money, the game progresses much slower.
A strategic advantage to Farmville 2 is the ability to hire farmhands (aka. your Facebook friends) who can help feed animals or care for your crops. Unlike conventional friend involvement in Facebook games, you control the friends-as-farmhands. They don’t even have to be actively playing for you to benefit. Of course you can still visit friends’ farms in the traditional sense as well. But this will help you finish tasks and quests quicker. Also, you will need friends to complete certain buildings.
- Play every day
- Use the Crafting Kitchen. Try not to sell your farmed goods. Take a look at the Kitchen and build inventory on items that can make up the three-step crafted goods. That way if you require Gold, you can sell on the first or second step.
- Save and earn gold early. By Level 7 or 8, you’ll need to buy lots of land not to mention dishing out 9000 Gold for “White Baby Sheep”. Be prepared!
- Don’t feed your chickens and goats too frequently or they’ll progress too quickly to Master and not produce milk or eggs
- Upcoming early quest includes having 8 animals, so be prepared!
- Grind blueberries for feed
- Keep a healthy inventory of wheat
- Right-click to lift and rotate any item on your farm
- Left-click and drag to select multiple rows to quickly water, fertilize, plant, harvest, etc.
- Don’t forget that levelling up AUTOMATICALLY finishes your crops so if you see yourself getting close, plant long-term crops to gain the advantage.
- If you have a lot of friends, lay out crops that grow quickly. Friends will often water them automatically.
- Store your prized animals in inventory instead of selling them.
- Fastest way to gain coins is to have 5 mango trees and plant a minimum of 56 wheat every day. Water tree every 2 hours. You should get 21560 coins per day