iFarmer: Medieval Edition [rating: 2.5/5]
iFarmer is a new simulation style game where your task is to tend to your crops and grow as much fruit and vegetables as possible to enable you to earn enough money to pay back the evil land owner. At least this is the initial premise of the story which is told with tongue firmly in cheek while in practice it merely sets the scene for the farming simulation which is the main stay of this game.
The first time you play the game you will be given a run through of how to farm your land, only arable farming in this game, if you want to farm cows, pigs and chickens you’ll need to find your kicks elsewhere! It all seems relatively simple and the controls certainly are. You start with 3 pieces of land to tend, picking up the hoe will allow you to prepare the soil for your seeds, then select your seeds from your seed box and then select the piece of land where you would like to plant them. Next you will need to water your seeds and then once they’ve grown you can harvest them where they will then be available on your vegetable cart for sale to the local peasants who walk past your stall on a frequent basis.
You can control the price of your wares but just as with the normal rules of supply and demand raise your prices to high and you not sell many while pricing your produce too low will minimize your returns. I found that keeping the prices set to their default settings still enabled me to move through the game at a fare pace, maybe increasing the prices would help you complete things faster but I never found the need.
You start the game with just tomato seeds but at random intervals a salesman will wander along allowing you to spend your hard earned cash on a greater range of seeds including cucumber, onions and pumpkins to name but a few. Purchasing the correct seed is very important to your progress through the game as not only will you earn higher rewards for some of the crops over the others but also you will receive a range of challenges throughout the game where you will be challenged to grow a set number of seeds for certain rewards including rare seeds that you cannot buy from the Seed Seller or more cash. Completing these challenges and progressing through the game will also open up more areas of land for you to tend and ultimately grow more seeds and make more money.
Initially the challenges can be difficult to complete, this can be due either to lack of money to buy the appropriate seeds or the Seed Seller not appearing in a timely manner for you to purchase the correct seeds. There doesn’t seem to be any dire affect from not completing any challenge though so I found that I may at least attempt to complete all of the challenges offered to me via the appearance of a magical box in the bottom left hand corner of the screen.
Completing the tasks does speed things along however and the extra money and seeds come in very handy and you’ll soon find yourself able to pay off the landowner. However as you may expect the landowner doesn’t leave it at that and while you gain extra land you will soon find your self with more debts to pay.
As the game continues you can also use your hard earned cash to upgrade your tools making the tending of your land quicker and easier, something that is very important if you are going to progress through the levels with any degree of success.
For what would seem like a relatively sedate activity iFarmer is actually a fast paced farming sim and the simple controls make it an easy pick up for anyone that fancy’s turning there hand to growing vegetables. The graphics are functional and while the folksy music may become a little monotonous iFarmer is a fun game for people of all ages. The story is told in a humorous way and the only issue is that some of the text in the cut scenes doesn’t quite fit correctly on the screen.
Options in the game are very limited with on the ability to turn the music on/off. There are no leaderboards or multi-player options so after playing through the game once they will be little incentive to come back for more.
I enjoyed playing iFarmer but it’s lack of options, competition and online scoring means that once completed it will be off my iPod for good, or at least until there’s an update!
Price: $2.99 (iTunes Link) as of 23/12/2009
Version reviewed 1.0
- Fun farming sim
- Easy pick up and play controls
The Not So Good
- No leaderboards
- No multi-player options
- Repative music with no option to listen to your own tracks
Reviewed By: @CraigWillis
Expedited Review: Request received on 22/12/2009 and reviewed on 23/12/2009