Fans of online resource management games will find Little Farm: Spring Time for Android devices enjoyable and addicting. It mimics the dynamics of another game, Hayday, which should not deter would be experimenters of farm culture to check other versions out. The barnyard graphics are cute and crisp. Perhaps the reason this game is appealing is that it successfully fuses the Asian art style with Western aesthetics. Just playing the game alone will reveal that most of the players are from Asia, meaning an instant market.
With this growing community, this product will no doubt gain a quick cult following and a problem: there’s no translation service on their Facebook page to tell fans around the world what an announcement is about. In the game, the same problem exists when a gamer from the East ‘messages’ someone from the West with a resource request. A built-in auto detector for foreign transactions can come in handy. That can be important when economics and commerce is concerned.
Within this game, players can sell their surplus to others to earn some quick coin. Prices can be set to inexorably high or incredibly low just to move the items along. As with many other games involving trade, there are slots to queue up the building of farm resources like eggs, pork and milk. No bovine can be slaughtered here for its beef and animal cruelty is only reflected in perhaps how the animals look after being “stripped” of their resource. Players may cringe at seeing them in their skivies, but even worse is in seeing a poor piglet squeal at not being fed.
Time management is crucial with this game, and once when players get into the swing of how long a resource regenerates itself, this game can lose its appeal fast. Life is not so easy in Little Farm.
That also includes a few curious bugs. This game is prone to crashing.
At the trading post (a newspaper classifieds), either the items being offered up for sale are being swiped fast by other players, or they do not show at all by the time the option gets clicked on and the screen jumps to the buy me screen. That can be frustrating for players hoping to nail a much sought after item to finish a sale within the game to earn some money. Another problem lies with how players may speed along in the game, swiping or tapping items into the barn or silo. When it goes too fast, the game crashes. There’s a bonus: much to the returning players surprise, some of the resources finish faster than expected. Despite these flaws, this game is still playable.
The deception is that Little Farm will grow into a big farm, and to manage all the nuances of regularly growing crops (carrots, wheat, onions and the like) to feed the animals, to cooking up meals and producing clothes will prove to be daunting. It’s not difficult, and by the time players realize an afternoon is over, their productivity has gone out the window.
At least with this game, once everything is queued up, players can return hours later to find everything full for the next round. In some ways, this game nicely captures the essence of what a farmer’s life is like, minus the smell and sweat.