Farm Frenzy 2 Review

Call us old-fashioned, but we think that sequels need to bring something new to the table. The original Farm Frenzy was a decent (if dull) take on the exhausting lifestyle of tending to chickens, sheep, and cows, stuffing them with grass and then turning their byproducts into salable goods. Instead of building on our expectations and introducing a variety of interesting new gameplay twists, Farm Frenzy 2 feels more like a remake of the original.

The biggest change is the graphical style. Gone is the 2D cartoonish look, which we liked in the first game, and it’s been replaced with pseudo-3D graphics. With very little animation, the pre-rendered animals and barnyard workshops give the game a chintzy look in general, more suited to a PC flash game.

Porky left us a present!

While the questionable new graphics stand out, some of the key gameplay differences are barely even noticeable. The game now provides you with a plane to ship in extra goods like sugar or baking pans, although why you couldn’t pick those up in the same truck you use to drop off your finished goods is a mystery. These ‘air supply’ mechanics are moderately interesting, and it’s another link in the production chain to consider, but it really doesn’t change anything substantially.

In each of the dozens and dozens of levels in Farm Frenzy 2, you’ll be given very tiny goals, most of which need to be completed in under five minutes to achieve the highest number of stars. One goal might be to make $1000, and another might be to produce five pork chops. Although you can use stars to unlock higher-level shops for processing animal products, in most missions you have to buy them over and over again. This makes the game feel like an endless, repetitive grind.

A scene from Stephen Colbert’s nightmare.

Besides resetting your entire farming operation constantly, there are plenty of other strange incongruities in Farm Frenzy 2. Pigs drop pork chops the way chicken drop eggs’”no visit to the butcher’s shop is required. And your animals don’t seem to fear the random bears that will terrorize your farm. Instead, they’ll run over to them, apparently eager to play, and the bears will swipe them to death, causing you a major setback.

The farmland setting is great for games. Why else would FarmVille on Facebook be so popular? But as a single-player strategy game, the Farm Frenzy series still has a long way to go before it becomes enjoyable for any extended period of time. This sequel still feels like a 4am chore.

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