Breaking news: I bought the farm

…and by that I mean I removed the FarmVille app from my Facebook profile and no longer have to click, click, click until every crop has been harvested, every animal has been tended to, and every job has been done. It’s quite a relief actually, but truth be told…I was never a good farmer to begin with.

I signed up for FarmVille like countless others did sometime last year, curious to its appeal. I quickly found myself plowing some land and planting my first seeds. The crops grow in real time, meaning eight hours means eight actual hours. So once you plant your crops, you basically have to wait to get more money to plant more crops. Yup, it’s a cycle, and the cycle certainly can be addicting if you’re into that sort of work/reward process. While you wait, your avatar can decorate your farm with an assortment of farm-like and unfarm-like items, ranging from barns to hot air balloons to themed statues. You can also visit your neighbors (i.e., Facebook friends) and check out their farms, fertilizing their crops and feeding their chickens. But other than that, you must wait. And this will be how you play FarmVille for the first few weeks. It’s not until you level up considerably and get a decent chunk of change can you really design your farm to your heart’s content and focus on the crops you most enjoy growing.

But then the game plateaus. For me, this was around level 25.

At this point, FarmVille tried too hard to cater to every kind of gamer, casual and not. It threw in collections and ribbons (basically Achievements) and co-op gameplay and pet owning and headshots and tea-bagging and so on. The game also basically made it really hard to play without interacting constantly with neighbors and posting BS to your Facebook’s wall. In all of my 33 levels of farm powers, I might have posted a total of four items publicly; my sister made me do it. It’s not fun to do, and I feel annoying even just thinking about it. Sorry, Facebookers.

And so, just recently, I realized I hadn’t logged into my farm for a few days. My crops surely had withered away. My trees were most certainly all full of fruit, all ripe for the picking. I can see all my animals, all of them stuck forever in place, waiting for me to collect their feathers, calm them down, or gather up ice cubes. It seemed like too much for me, and I was not ultimately happy with the layout of my farm, feeling stuck; that said, I was also too lazy to start anew, and so my next option was to cut loose, set them free, and find something else worth clicking about on.

The app was removed in a matter of seconds, no bells and whistles, no hoops to jump through. Surprisingly easy.

I’ve always been curious about the Harvest Moon games, and I might have to try one of them out soon. Farming simulation can be fun, but for me…I need a little more direction than just plant, harvest, plant, harvest, plant, harvest, and plant, harvest.

3 responses to “Breaking news: I bought the farm

  1. If you need a good start with the Harvest Moon series, I have three suggestions:

    Harvest Moon 64 on the Nintendo 64, this was the second game in the series and what I think to be the “purest” game. It was still very simple then but they had made a ton of improvements over the original to make it a classic.

    Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town, this was the GBA port of the PS1 game Back to Nature, and is probably the deepest, and overall best game in the series. There is a ton of stuff to do and it’s all extremely well polished, and set the standard for every portable Harvest Moon game to follow. I haven’t played a lot of portable Harvest Moons since this one, but from what I can tell they more or less all play like this one, but they probably messed stuff up.

    Plus, you can have elf slaves.

    Finally, Rune Factory 2 is also really fun. Rune Factory is the hack-and-slash spinoff series that has mostly appeared on the DS. It has basically all the features of the main series, plus a series of dungeons to explore. Combat is okay, but the game offers a ton of variety. Are you bored with farming? Go fight, etc. It’s not a perfect game but better than the first Rune Factory in a few important ways.

    • Wow, a solid reply!

      Don’t own an N64 so I might have to look for the GBA cart instead. But thanks for the feedback. Like I said, farming sim can be fun, but I need a little more than just that to keep me hooked.

      • I wish I knew more about the DS games so I could help you pick a newer one, but I’m sure you could select any of the more recent ones. Sunshine Islands was just released late last year and the Bazaar one will be out in a few months. Otherwise go with Rune Factory 2 if you want the latest one that I’ve played.

        To be honest, almost all the games are the same except for the setting, etc. Core gameplay has not changed a lot over the years.

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