A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Ease of Play
A list of tasks provides guidance, and new game elements are explained as they're introduced in levels.
Products & Purchases
Packages with coins and other items are sold through the app, but kids aren’t required to get them.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Farmscapes is a match-3 puzzle game for iOS and Android devices. It combines matching puzzles with ongoing tasks players need to do to help renovate a farm. The ongoing plot centers on the main character's interactions with local residents who stop by -- and the renovation work she's doing, which includes home repairs like cleaning up the yard, which are outlined in a to-do list players can check. They can generally play for free, provided they don't run into a game level they can't beat and run out of lives. The app also sells various coin and booster packages that range from $0.99 to more than $50, if they want to be able to buy multiple extra turns and extend rounds. Otherwise, there's no inappropriate content in the game.
Is It Any Good?
This app features a matching game and task-based storyline combination, but the generic gameplay isn't as engrossing as other match-3 titles. Farmscapes has one slight twist -- instead of dragging colored blocks together to match them, kids just tap on ones that are already side-by-side on the board. The app has a fairly standard push-to-pay structure. Kids can use coins on extra turns if they get stuck -- they may only be able to do that once or twice, though, before they'll need to draw from the five lives they've been given to try the entire level again. Once their lives run out, they'll be locked out of the game portion until one is replenished.
Kids may not find the app's storyline, involving a woman attempting to renovate an old house and the surrounding land, engrossing -- character conversations are typically short, but the plot unfolds slowly. Kids can skip the conversation portions if they'd like to get to the games quickly. At least the graphics are well-done. Tapping on block formations, instead of pulling them into place as you would in a standard matching game, requires a similar thought process, because they still need to pay attention to the rest of the board to align the numbers of blue, yellow, or other items they've been asked to clear. Kids can earn similar bombs and other booster items by tapping on larger groups of blocks, but the more passive tapping motion somehow makes the game levels feel a little less challenging and more monotonous than in traditional match-3 games. Some kids might see that as an advantage, though, since it may mean they'd be less likely to not be able to finish a puzzle and have to factor in some waiting time. Even if kids aren't glued to the unfolding plot and interested in seeing the property slowly be refurbished, Farmscapes could potentially provide some fairly simple gameplay to pass the time -- without necessarily requiring them to buy anything to keep playing.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.