About This Place

First started in late 2007, Kasey's Mobile Game Review (then just a regular feature of Kasey's Korner) started as a simul-post between here and IGN. Later I realized there's no reason to post it twice, when I can use the traffic on my own site. so, here we are, in 2010, and the mobile game industry has grown a bit. What do you think?

KMGR of Harvest Moon: Frantic Farming

Harvest Moon: Frantic FarmingImage via Wikipedia

HMFH is basically a puzzle, despite the word "frantic" in the title. It's cute, and it can be quite hard as you need to learn how the game thinks.

The plot is simple: you need to help a "harvest fairy" harvest as much as possible. You can move some tiles around. As the fairy harvests, the adjacent squares gets "irrigated" (i.e. watered). A square needs to be irrigated up to 3 times to be harvestable. The idea is to move a few tiles so the fairy can harvest as many tiles as possible before you run out of time.

The problem is the fairy can only harvest "fully grown" stuff and it takes up to 3 irrigations to make it fully grown. The fairy will turn 90 degrees and look for adjacent "fully grown" stuff. If the fairy didn't find any, then he'll yell for help (from you the player), and timer counts down really fast... So you have to line up the adjacent squares with the stuff that needs irrigiation along the path. You also need to create chains, which is multiple of same item in a row/column so the fairy can harvest them quickly. The longer the chain, the more the fairy will irrigate (usually it's just adjacent, but if you do a chain of 3 or 4, he can irrigate radius of 3 or 4 as well).

Even more of a bonus... there are occasional "gold crops". If you raise them and harvest it, you will automatically harvest ALL the stuff of that type.

And the final "bonus", if you harvest enough crops, and fill up a meter, you can call upon the rain god to rain on the field and make EVERYTHING grow one stage. It can really help you in tight spots, if you can get that far.

There are two game modes available: regular, and mission. Regular is get the best score in the time available on a pretty random board. Mission is a normal "puzzle mode", where you have limited moves to setup the fairy so he can harvest everything on the screen, with unlimited retries.

The rules may be simple, but actually thinking about the different moves ahead is not that simple. If you are not used to that sort of thinking, it will take you a while to figure it out. The tutorial is not that useful, esp. when the scenarios gets more complicated. The difficulty level that goes from 3 stars to 4 stars is very drastic, and I don't want to imagine how difficult 5-star missions would be. Still, it is good brain-twister, if you like that sort of stuff.

Graphics are pretty simple, but pretty clear, and colorful. Still, it could have been a bit better. Sound is pretty simple and boring.

All in all, HMFF is a cute puzzler that requires a bit of planning ahead, looking 3-4 moves ahead of time. If you can learn that sort of thinking, you should do fine and enjoy this game a lot. If not, you probably will not like this game at all.

Overall rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: simple rules, multiple game modes
Cons: thinking several moves ahead of time to setup combos is not typically a strong mobile game area
Verdict: a good brain twister, but not sure if it's a good game overall

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