A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Kids can learn how to manage their time and their resources as they run their virtual farm. They will need to figure out the best way to expand their farm while also being able to stay on top of the additional work needed for a bigger farm. Funky Barn empowers kids by letting them make their own decisions in a high-stress situation and then watch to learn whether or not those were the right decisions.
This game encourages players to effectively manage their time, and rewards them accordingly for doing so. Players who take the effort to exercise perfect control over their farm will realize that patience and focus pays off.
Positive Role Models
This game is more about the experience of running and managing a farm. Because there is only a slim narrative and virtually no development of characters in the game, players won't experience many role models.
Ease of Play
Any player with some sort of game-playing experience will be able to pick up this game and get right into it. The difficulty comes with trying to keep track of all the activity on the farm as the game increases and the challenges get tougher. While it may be easy to stay on top of things when the only tasks are getting wool from a sheep and milk from a cow, things quickly get more frenetic when llamas, chickens, and buffalos are added to the mix. Shuffling all of these animals to the appropriate areas and collecting the material they provide within a specified time limit ends up becoming more difficult than it sounds, especially once you also have to worry about the occasional fox or weasel showing up to wreak havoc.
Violence & Scariness
Players may find their farms occasionally ransacked by a fox or weasel, which can steal other animals from the farm. This is just a natural part of farming, though, and not at all presented as a gratuitous act of violence.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Funky Barn is a "time management" game in which players take control of a farm and try to manage a continuously growing collection of milk jugs, pieces of wool, eggs, and more. Players must manage their time effectively while keeping an eye on the farm's inventory. The game starts off relatively simple but quickly becomes much harder as the number of animals -- and the demands of each level -- gradually increase.
Is It Any Good?
Funky Barn offers all that can be expected from a time management game. It introduces players with a level that provides enough variety to get them hooked right away. Funky Barn then ratchets up the difficulty one notch every level, making it an addicting experience where players don't quit if they lose a level, but instead, try again. That being said, it would have been nice to see a little more variety among the different levels. Once players are empowered enough to master the organization of the different barn animals, there is nowhere else for them to advance. Having a set of secondary tasks to make the game more challenging -- and more rewarding -- would have given this game a deeper level of "replayability." Once players complete every level there is little reason to play again, and because the difficulty level reaches its apex after only a few levels, completing every level is not as rewarding an experience as it is in other time management games.
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.