Friday, July 2, 2010

Fantasy Animals in Lovely Farm

Lovely Farm is a slow-moving game in some ways, especially when it pertains to income. You can send a gift to a Friend only once each day, which makes it impossible to obtain much income by selling gifts or using them to generate money quickly. On the other hand, the graphics are really gorgeous and for some reason, remind me very much of Harvest Moon. The ability to send an Ostrich as a Free Gift to a friend at the very start was very compelling and added to the 'Harvest Moon' feeling I had.

Sadly, unlike Animal Parade, you cannot ride an Ostrich but it does lay eggs. Pigs, another Free Gift, appear to be rooting for Truffles, although I have not reached the point where I can 'harvest' any.

Crops are large and very attractive. A good strategy, if a player were focused on the game, would be to grow a large number of fast-growing Crops such as White Radishes in order to raise Levels and add to income as quickly as possible. Stupidly, although I did this, I missed the deadline for the harvest and they all withered.

This rings me to another aspect of the game that makes it more like Harvest Moon than Farmville. You need to water most Crops if you wish to be able to harvest them.
Like Farmville, however, you can help a neighbour by watering or fertilising THEIR Crops, although there is a limit of three portions of Water and Fertiliser and you are charged if you use them. It goes give experience, however. I have not quite discovered how often the fertiliser and water option appears yet.

What enchanted me today about the game was the fact that I finally had sufficient income and the required Level to purchase a Ranch Animal called 'Fluttergoat'. The Animals, like the Crops, are large and attractive. I did not know how large a Goat with Wings would be, but when I placed him, I discovered he was a decent size and absolutely delightful. I do not know what product he will produce but expect that it will be unusual and appropriate in some way.

The Fantasy Animals are defined as 'Seasonal' in the game which probably is the equivalent of 'Limited Editions' that will be offered only for a specific limited time period. Other Seasonal Animals available now are PorkyBees (Pigs with wings who are striped black and gold), FlyingCows (Black and White Cows with colourful balloons attached to them), FancyPigs (Pigs who have been painted with all sorts of colourful pictures) and finally, LadyCows (a Black Cow with black and red Ladybird wings). Of the four, I like the Fluttergoat best, although the LadyCow is rather interesting as well.

I do recommend this game to fans of Harvest Moon. Where Farmville has a rather impersonal, commercial atmosphere, Lovely Farms appears to have been created with real love. One expects a certain number of glitches and 'bugs' when a game is made by a smaller company... It is more discouraging to discover that a game like Farmville, enormously successful, is not only filled with glitches and 'issues' but does not have a friendly or helpful support system to go with them. From what I have seen on the Lovely Farm Forum, the people in charge of the game do make an effort to respond to players' concerns and problems. It is early days yet, but Lovely Farms has made a positive impression on me.

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