Farm Story

 
Farm sim has sneaky advertising and ways to make you spend.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

The app is easy enough to use, controlwise, but the game is made intentionally difficult to excel at without extra "crystals" (see "Commercialism").

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Owning "crystals" is necessary to getting many items in the game -- some of which are required objects needed to complete game "missions." Players start with 20 crystals that will be spent quickly, and after that point, the only way to get more crystals is by buying them with real money or receiving them as "rewards" for downloading other apps by the same publisher.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

The app connects online to Apple's Game Center community, which uses the players' screen names to show your farm to others, but doesn't allow chat of any kind.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Farm Story is a generally cute and fun farming simulator, but that it is loaded with hidden advertising and enticements to get the player to spend real money. The game presents players with mission objectives ('Plant five strawberry bushes," "Buy two bales of hay," etc.) which must be accomplished in order to unlock the next objective and earn experience to move up to new levels. However, some of those missions involve products that can only be purchased with special crystals or by owning those crystals. Those crystals (beyond the initial 20 that all players are given at the start) can only be obtained by spending real money on them, or by receiving them as a reward for downloading more apps by the same publisher. You can't really enjoy this app without spending money or downloading other apps by the same publisher.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

FARM STORY is a great looking and generally fun farming simulation, but is frustrating in that it feels built specifically to get players to spend money (or to at least download other apps they might not want). This is a "velvet rope" app, which entices you with free play, but then offers you a faster, more complete experience if you spend extra money. However, unlike most "velvet rope" apps, which let you play a slower, less complete game if you don't want to spend money, Farm Story does not provide that option. It makes their rare "crystals" incredibly hard to come by without paying for them (or downloading other apps from the same publisher), and also makes those crystals a requirements in order to pass through certain missions. That takes a lot of the fun out of it, making the app feel more like a marketing device than a straightforward game. Too bad too, because this game starts out fun until your crystals are gone.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:September 7, 2010
Category:Simulation Games
Publisher:TeamLava
Version:1.6.1
Minimum software requirements:iOS 3.0 or later

This review of Farm Story was written by

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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; OK 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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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 15 years old Written byOfficial Critic June 5, 2012
age 8+
 

Good Game - with security issues

A good game for kids and teens that will make you addicted to it. It's fine to play, as long as you don't get tricked to paying real money for cash (well, of course, you can if you want to).
What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Safety and privacy concerns
Parent of a 9 year old Written bybabymomma56 March 2, 2011
age 9+
 
love it
What other families should know
Educational value
Kid, 12 years old June 22, 2012
age 9+
 
LEARNING

Fun, but have to agree.

Pretty Fun. I agree with Common Sense, though. They have a lot of Consumerism, but it would still be a great game for 9 and up. You learn how to balance a job with normal life, which aces this a somewhat educational game. Better "Story" games are Restaurant Story and Bakery Story in my opinion.
What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Safety and privacy concerns

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