With the explosive growth of Facebook as a gaming platform, there are now more than a dozen farming games for Facebook. Whether you are a casual player looking to decorate your farm or a hardcore gamer looking to powerlevel, there is a farming game on Facebook for you. Here are my recommendations for the best farming games for Facebook.
3) Country Story
Country Story is a Facebook farming game produced by Playfish. Country Story has cute, anime-style graphics and a clever integration of social features. Whereas other games let you “help” your friends’ farms in exchange for rewards, Country Story lets you collect specific items from your friends’ farms that you can use to improve your own farm. Lumber and rocks from a friend’s farm can turn into a barn on your farm.
The financial backing of Electronic Arts (which purchased Playfish earlier this year) allows Country Story to have a constant supply of updates. A recent update introduced a winter backdrop and decorations and earlier updates added subtle improvements to gameplay.
You will enjoy Country Story if you like the graphics and the overall feel of the game. The decorations and animals are cuter than in other farm games and it appears Playfish is focused primarily on additions to the visual and decorative aspect of the game. Hardcore gamers who do not enjoy decorating their farms will quickly become bored. Country Story can also be memory intensive and the game is noticeably slower than other farming games even while in low-resolution mode.
2) Monster World
Monster World is a new Facebook farming game produced by Wooga games. Monster World differentiate itself by altering the basic mechanics of farming. In every other farming game you use money to buy seeds which you plant. After waiting a predetermined amount of time, you harvest the plants an receive money and experience. Monster World changes this mechanic. For example, you can plant a soda bottle, wait three minutes, then harvest two soda bottles. You have the option of selling the soda bottles for money or you can plant two soda bottles, wait three minutes, then harvest four soda bottles.
This change in game mechanics sounds small, but your planting decisions in Monster World are more complex than in other farming games. Rather than crops being inter-changeable ways to make money and gain experience, the specific crop you need to harvest becomes the crop you need to plant in Monster World. There are other clever features in Monster World that are adopted from other Facebook games. These involve hiring friends to improve your farm (an idea taken from Restaurant City and Cafe World), a vendor who disappears after a certain amount of time (time-dependent gameplay as in Mafia World), and a mission-driven system which grants rewards for accomplishing specific tasks (just as in Frontierville).
Monster World is unique enough to warrant a look for players who enjoy farming games. Be aware that the user base is currently small so it is unlikely you will have many friends playing with you. Unfortunately, that detracts from some of the social integration features of Monster World, but given the fun gameplay and new farming mechanic, I predict the user base will grow quickly.
Farmville by Zynga is the dominant farming game on Facebook and the most popular game across the entire Facebook platform. This is the game against which all other games are judged. The success of Zynga allows it to perform weekly updates on Farmville and the aggregation of small gameplay additions has created a surprisingly robust game.
The creative and decorative aspects of Farmville remain its strength as new items are introduced every week to the in-game marketplace. Zynga holds decoration contests for farmers who enjoy sprucing up their farm with the latest digital items. The social aspects are much improved from the initial mechanic. You can now buy bushels from your friends that you turn into goods that your friends can buy from you. The goods can be used to create fuel which is used to speed up the farming process.
Trees, animals, baby animals, mastery stars, vehicles, and numerous other features add intricacy to the gameplay and prevent the repetitive cycle of leveling (plant seed, harvest crop, buy seed, repeat) that dooms other farming games. Farmville remains the best farming game on Facebook and I consider it one of the two best (Mafia Wars being the other) games on the Facebook gaming platform.