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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Landscaping as an Art in Lovely Farm

When I become enthusiastic about any game, I like to share my enthusiasm with other players as well as friends who play games occasionally. I was induced to try some of the Facebook games by a fellow fan of Harvest Moon and Rune Factory. When I did, I discovered that other friends and HM fans played some of the same games, not surprisingly. There were a couple of games that I discovered independently, however and these have proven to be my own personal favourites. The two Facebook games that I like best are Fantasy Kingdoms and Lovely Farm.

Neither of these games require that much strategy but, like most games on Facebook, they do demand regular interaction if you wish to do any real farming. Crops will wither if not harvested in time in most of the Farming Simulation games on Facebook with the exception of a game called Tiki Island, where they appear to last indefinitely, although over-ripe Crops may attract insects.

Be that as it may, I have found that many of the HM/RF players I know have not responded as positively to Lovely Farm as I did. They found it tedious and did not perceive any challenges... BUT they never played the game long enough to discover its beauty or the challenges that regular players discover.

Fantasy Kingdoms is very similar to Lovely Farm, actually, but the same players that neglected to pursue Lovely Farm have responded to and been inspired by the Competitions that are posted by the creators of the game. Due to this, they made real efforts to increase their levels and in doing so, and in expanding their kingdoms, they found their own challenges in the game.

I hope some of them can be persuaded to return to Lovely Farm if I post screenshots of truly Lovely Farms to show how it holds equal magic in its own unique style.

For, truth to tell, the real challenge in both Fantasy Kingdoms and Lovely Farms ultimately is in landscaping. It is a desire for beauty rather than riches that persuades players to increase their levels and to obtain Friends who can send them the Gifts that will enhance the beauty of their Farms or Kingdoms. It is a desire for beauty that fuels a player's efforts in growing and harvesting sufficient Crops to raise their Levels to unlock new items and to earn enough Coins to purchase those items.

Fantasy Kingdoms is more overtly magical than Lovely Farm, with pet Dragon Faeries and Unicorns and magical herbs as Crops. I adore Fantasy Kingdoms but it rather sells itself. Lovely Farm is more subtle in a way. Although the Crops are gorgeous, you really need to increase your Levels and have high-Level Neighbours in order to be able to experience or obtain the items with the greatest beauty and those that will allow you to truly indulge in landscaping.

Each of the two games has its own advantages and disadvantages. In Lovely Farms, you do not earn ANY Diamonds when your levels increase. This is very unfortunate, as many players are loath to invest real money in any Facebook game. In Fantasy Kingdom, you do earn one Kingdom Cash for each Level increase. If you want to purchase the most magnificent items, you still will be persuaded to invest real money in the game, but the fact that you have SOME Kingdoms Cash makes players more willing to purchase more. In Lovely Farm, many players simply resent the fact that many of the items are out of their reach unless they purchase Diamonds.

Where landscaping is concerned, however, Lovely Farm has a tool that is extremely helpful. It is found by pressing the 'eye' icon in the lower right corner of the screen. You then will be able to access a pull-down menu that lists every type of item in the game, including Machinery, which has not been introduced yet to players.
Each of the categories has an eye icon next to it. When you press this icon, all items in that category will vanish from your Farm, leaving only squares on the ground to show where they are placed. This really helps when you wish to be able to plant Crops or Trees behind other items such as Buildings. More than once, a Crop in Fantasy Kingdoms has become bewitched because it was obscured by another item and I forgot that I could not see it without moving the item that concealed it. With the aid of the landscaping tool in Lovey Farm, this unfortunate loss would not occur.

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