Farm Heroes Saga

Common Sense Media says

Addictive app with familiar gameplay -- and an age mismatch.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Ease of play

The game has a gentle learning curve -- and offers subtle hints to players who are stuck. By watching the board, you can generally clear the early levels easily -- though later ones (after level 35 or so) become more challenging. 

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The game uses an in-game gold currency, which (after the minimal amount it gives you for free at the start) can only be purchased using real-world cash. This currency can be used to buy power-ups that aid in clearing the levels -- though patient players can wait for those power-ups to recharge over a lengthy span of time. The game also will require you to pay in-game currency or ask friends on Facebook to continue after 40 levels. (Though if you don't use the supplied game currency on power-ups, you can access about 100 of the game's 150 levels without having to do either.) 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Some privacy concerns. The developer's privacy policy lists the kind of personal and anonymous information the app collects and gives an email address for players who want to request that their personal information not be used for marketing purposes. The app also attempts to have players recruit friends via Facebook.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Farm Heroes Saga is a match-three game that (as with many King.com titles) takes a lot of cues from the incredibly popular Candy Crush Saga. The app's colorful graphics and chirping, wide-eyed vegetables are at odds with the app's terms of service and privacy policy, which require players to be at least 13 years old. This discrepancy is noteworthy, since the cute design of the game seems aimed at a much younger audience -- and kids will certainly want to play.

What's it about?

Players attempt to match three or more like fruits or vegetables, attempting to collect a certain number of each item -- usually within a certain number of turns. Matches can be made horizontally or vertically and are made by moving the fruit/veggie with your finger. Depending on how many points you score, you'll earn anywhere from one to three stars. When you make a match, surrounding blocks temporarily gain an extra value point toward the quota, which is essential in clearing later levels. "Boss" levels pit you against a raccoon, which you must defeat by matching select fruits, which lowers his health -- until the turns expire or his health reaches zero. Select power-ups can be unlocked to assist in reaching your goals, such as removing a single square or all "cropsies" of a single type.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

King.com may be in a creative rut, but that doesn't stop its games from being just as addictive as they were when Candy Crush Saga hit it big. FARM HEROES SAGA is more of the same, with a different coat of paint. Match three items, meet a goal, and then do it again. Wash, rinse, repeat. Fans of the company's other games will once again find plenty to enjoy here. 

But, as with Pet Rescue Saga, this is a game whose animation appears to be aimed at a young audience, despite the fact that hidden in the license agreement is the disclaimer that it's meant for players 13 and older. This, along with the game's Facebook pushes, in-app purchases, and addictive quality should serve as a red flag for parents.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about in-app purchases. Under what circumstances (if any) is it OK for teens to purchase virtual items to progress in the game?

  • The match-three genre is popular. Ask teens how this game compares to the multitude of others available for mobile devices.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
Price:Free (with in-app purchases)
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:February 5, 2014
Category:Puzzle Games
Size:36.10 MB
Publisher:King.com Limited
Version:2.1.12
Minimum software requirements:iOS 5.0 or later; Android 2.2 and up

This review of Farm Heroes Saga was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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