9th of May, to be precise, I had to sign up for a new mobile since D.’s mobile was dead to the world. I handed my beloved iPhone to him, while I myself had to learn the Samsung A5’s way of doing things. I decided that since Android phones offer free games, I was going to install something to have fun with, when bored. I had enjoyed “Tap the Frog” on the children’s tablet, hating it on this iPad, for the cost it entailed but also for its chewing gum reactions. I tried a lot of games on my Samsung but nothing was really funny. I want to play when I want to play, not when the game allows me to. This thing with so many minutes till you have another life, is not my thing.
Then I found Farmville 2: Country Escape and since it had so many stars and people liking it, I decided to give it a go. This was my sort of game, I thought. Getting to play when you want. Noone stressing you with so many seconds to think or act. Planning actions hours ahead, saving money to purchase things and adding to a farm, making it more and more complete looking. At least it was fun from the start. Till all the problems started to arise and I started to read the reviews, which told the backside of the game.
Many people complain that they hate the game, but can not leave, because they have invested too much money in it. No, you do not uninstall a game where you have spent real hard cash. But you play it less and less, when you encounter problems every time you play it.
I decided on an early stage that I was not going to spend any cash. But one day, when I went in to look at how many more items I needed in order to expand my barn, “Gubby” sitting breathing down my neck, wanting to push something and anything on the screen, I did a thing which brought me to tears. To expand one’s barn takes months or weeks of work. You have to have so and so many nails, so and so many locks and so and so many shovels to do so. You can pay game money every day and make a shovel in your tool shed. Takes a day. But locks and nails are pure luck acquisitions. Those you get only now and then, when you fish in the pond, work in the mine, go to grandmother’s glen, fish in the ocean or go to mallard mill, but with a reservation. You have to buy yourself in to the mine, mallard mill and the ocean first, by buying all the surrounding land at set levels.By mistake, because I was distracted by “Gubby”, I accidentally expanded the silo instead of the barn. Gone were all my nails and locks.
Why do you need to expand your barn or silo? Well, the more production things you get on your farm, in the shape of animals, planting fields and buildings/work stations, the more items you will produce. And you will have to put them somewhere. To feed your cow, you have to harvest a field of wheat and there has to be room in the silo, for it to go in there first, before you give it to the cow. Well, what is the point of producing things, you might ask. Just for the fun of it? Hardly! First of all there is the farm order board. There will come in orders, for all sorts of things. The problem is that, the higher you get up in the levels, the less you can use the board, for dumping your items. Look at me for example. I am on level 44 and one order can be for 6 peach yoghurts. The only problem is that I only have four peach trees. So make four first and then two more, you will tell yourself. Not that easy. First of all, I would not mind having six peach trees, because they ripen so slowly, in other words, hours and hours of wait, but the peaches also sell expensively. The fruit themselves but also when you have made them in to peach yoghurts. But you can only buy so many trees with game money. Same goes for the planting fields and the animals. Then you have to start using your keys. But back to the barn problem. It is always full. At all levels. Because you produce more and more. I can never store four peach yoghurts for hours till I can produce two more, when the new peaches have ripened.
I who had sworn to never ever spend real cash in a game, sat there and wept like a baby, because I had wasted all my hard to get items, and now could under no condition expand that barn. And it meant not being able to play anymore. So what did I do? I spent real cash and bought the keys needed to expand my barn, but my hatred for the game started, since it was too easy to press the button to use the keys. It should have asked, are you sure, like in the shop.
This is a major problem with the game. The keys. Early on in the game, I read the reviews and lots of people complained about
not being able to purchase things for their farms, unless they did so with keys. Keys are hard to get, unless you buy them with real cash. And yet, you need them for everything. To buy more plots to cultivate, to add extra animals and even worse, at every event, they try to make you spend a fortune in keys, on getting temporary animals or farm hands, who are supposed to help you find rare items. After the event, they leave your farm for good, and your keys/cash is gone.
I have told my children that I am a multi millionaire. Which is true. I own over 9 million game coins. (Actually I was just allowed to purchase a plot on the other side of the river. Nothing to put there though!) But there is nothing to spend it on. At certain levels, you can buy plots of land, but when that is done, you have nothing more to use the money on. You can’t buy any machines, animals, cultivating plots, trees etc. beyond a certain low level. This makes the game really, really boring at level 44. You are not motivated to play at all. You have nothing to gain from playing.
Yes, you can sell things you produce, at the road side shop, but mine never works when an event is taking place. Which makes it impossible to play, because the barn gets full and when you can’t sell items, you have to throw them away. So why create the items in the first place? Also, when you put up items you have made in that road side shop, they can sit there for days till the game finally buys them. Because people are not really that interested in buying certain things. If you have grapes, throw them away. If you have blackberries, throw them away. Right now, there is an event on, where you get coffee beans every time you harvest wheat. Throw them away. Noone wants coffee beans. Throw away pears, noone wants them. Actually, do not water your pear tree at all, unless a quest asks for pear products, which almost never happens. Do not try to sell peppers, noone wants them. I could go on like this forever. There are more things people do not want to buy, than they want to buy.
So, what can you use your money on? Well, you can buy things from other people around the globe. But the good things, they have reserved for their co-ops. Which is another thing which does not really have any function. There is no communication between members. There is no way to see which co-ops are active. To me, its been pointless to belong to a co-op. The only purpose being that you sell items exclusively to members.
The worse thing of the entire game, I think, is the events. There is only a couple of days between events. What is an event? How about I tell you about the ongoing event. It is a mystery event. In the corner of your farm, a crime scene has been set up. You are supposed to send anything from 1-4 farm hands in to this place, to get special event items. In phase 3, you are supposed to receive a two tea-cups. To go in to the crime scene, you have to create a special item on the stovetop. A strange strawberry drink. I have received items in the crime scene area, at this phase. Believe it or not! (I did not in phase 1 and 2.) Pink tea cups. In the previous phases, all I got, every single time, were points or points and eggs. If this does not make you angry, what will? When you have your tea-cup, you are supposed to make coffee. You get the coffee beans every time you harvest the wheat, but too many beans! And you make the coffee. But then you are stumped. I sit with ten cups of coffee, presently, because I can not go on to the next item you are supposed to make. With the coffee and sugar and two special items, donut dough, you are supposed to make a detective’s breakfast. I sent farm hands in to grandmother’s glen ten times, and never received any dough. I sent them to the mill, the mine, the pond and the ocean, but only now and then have I received the dough. So far I have been able to make five breakfasts and what happens when you have made that? Well, most of us think that after all that frustrating “hard work”, you would automatically get the detective item, which is the goal to get in this phase. Like spy camera, disguise etc. But I have received money, money and money or rolling fog boosts, which is useless since it does not make you find the dough. You do not FIND anything, the game gives you, and it does not give me a diddly squat. Except frustrated feelings. But you got up to phase 3 girl, says someone out there. So something must be working. Not so. I BOUGHT the items needed, from people selling them off, who had just left the phase I am on. And that happens about once a day, if you’re lucky.
During the wedding event months ago, I made so many red dresses that I could have puked, and I never left the phase. Other players accused Zynga for cheating, that they do not want people to reach the goal and I totally agree. Zynga is a terrible game group, who are out to do only one thing. Earn real money on their games. When you complain to them, like I have done all summer, about my road shop not working during events, they just answer me “you have to sell what people want”. Well, I was selling things I knew people were dying to have, like event items and things which it takes hours to make. I had learned by then what items sell, but if noone sees what you have, then it doesn’t matter what you sell.
This game is over when you have bought all your production machines. There is no more pleasure in the game after that. The only reason why I play it now and then, is to kill time when I am waiting for things to get done on Hay Day. My children saw my frustration with Farmville and told me to come over to Hay Day instead. And I did, in August 2015. First I wanted to catch up to
them and now I am a level 55 farmer. Every week there is the challenge to win the Derby with our neighbourhood. Boats arrive daily that ask for lots of items to be made. And when you can’t make them yourself, you can ask for help. And there is ALWAYS someone out there helping you! You can go in to look at the helper’s farm, buy things from the farmer, follow that farmer, help them with their boats or liven up their trees and bushes. When you help, you get rewards in the way of plants, decorations, diamonds, saws and axes. Plus the money and the points of course. In other words, there is interaction with not just your neighbourhood friends but also with other players. In the town, visitors arrive all the time, and want items. Visitors arrive to your farm and want items as well as the farm board asking for things. There is no way to get bored with this game. At every other level or so, you can buy animals, decorations and production buildings, with money, tickets or diamonds. And you can expand your farm as soon as you have the required items. But best of all, you can sell everything in your road shop. It always works! And your things usually sells within the hour if not at once. Set the right price on items not so very popular, like wheat and corn, and that get sold as well. You are never stuck but can always play.
The only complaints I have about Hay Day, are the long production times that are unreasonable, like making pop corn taking 30 minutes, chocolate bar taking 20 hours etc. A second complaint is that trees and bushes die after four harvests and then they have
to be sawed or chopped down. Only problem being, that if you do not have any more axes or saws, you get stuck with ugly dead trees and bushes on your farm, which you have tried to make pretty. The OCD in me, can not live with dead things on my farm, so I keep as few trees and bushes, as I can, in order to keep up with the supply of destruction tools. You getting the tools sporadically as rewards when feeding pets, harvesting and when you have fully served people in the town. My third complaint is about the so-called randomness of items given to you and also who gets to watch commercials for free diamonds and tools. I NEVER get to watch commercials, which I find unfair. So when I have used up my diamonds by accident, I have had to buy new ones with real cash. THAT is not fair. I play my “Boo’s” farm during the week, so we get more points in the derby, and he gets to see up to five commercials a day. Same goes with E. and F. who also play the game, so I am the only one in the family who do not get to earn free things like this. And things are not given as random as the owners of the game think. To expand your barn, you need bolts, planks and duct tape. I have to buy planks off “Boo” and E., since I do not receive them. And E. has to buy bolts from me since she does not get them. To expand the silo you need nails, screws and wood panel. I do not get screws, but “Boo” and E. do, so they have to supply me with them. This is not right and a major complaint from ALL players. I do not get maps in town, to expand my town. And for the most part, “Boo’s” newspaper has better things for sale, than mine, which usually just have wheat, eggs and corn. So I buy things to his farm and sell them on to myself. But what about people who can not do this? They feel very frustrated with the game!
All in all, I doubt any game is perfect and without major complaints. But if you want an honest opinion, do not bother with Farmville. It is not even funny to kill time with, when you wait your 20 minutes on Hay Day to fetch eggs or the hour it takes for the cows to produce milk. The game should be closed down because it could lead to insanity. You don’t want to spend an entire day creating one event item, only to get 5000 game coins out of it! Personally I am going to sit down and work on my points on Hay Day. On Hay Day you get points when you buy things, you get points when you harvest things, you get points when you have produced things and when you sell it to anyone but the road shop. There are so many ways of earning points that you are never stuck on one level for long, like in Farmville, where you hardly ever get any points to bring you to a new level. Next level on Hay Day, I can buy a little Calico kitten, which gives 40 points at every feed and I can buy a Sushi bar, grow rice and make Sushi rolls. That will be fun! And FUN is what a phone/computer game is supposed to be!!!