Farm Story Challenges FarmVille on the iPhone

Farm StoryFarming games may have saturated the Facebook platform, but the iPhone has seen considerably fewer. Obviously, that doesn’t mean they don’t exist, as Farm Story is just one of several examples. Developed by TeamLava, this older title has been recently updated with a few new social mechanics, which appears to have been enough to briefly push it above FarmVille on iPhone.

Farm Story itself is nothing terribly new to those that saw the farming foray that took place on Facebook last year. In fact it does little, in terms of its core, to really differentiate itself from a game like Farm Town, except for being on the iPhone instead of Facebook. But that isn’t to say that there aren’t a few different features. On the contrary, Farm Story actually does a better job in the social department than most farming titles.

As with any farming game, the player’s objective is to grow the biggest and best-looking farm they can. Right from the start, players are granted a sizable amount of land in which to decorate and till. Moreover, the controls are all quite easy and simplistic, as everything is controlled through context-sensitive tapping. Tap an empty piece of land, and a second tap will plow it. Tap a crop, and a second tap will harvest it. Of course, users can always select these specific tools from the game’s menus manually as well.

CropsLike any other farming game, players plant crops that grow at varying rates, ranging from five minutes to a day or more, with the slower growing products generally being worth more. Should they forget to return for them, the plants wither and die, and must be replanted unless the user decides to utilize the virtual currency, Gems, to revive them.

This marks the primary means of monetization for TeamLava as users can purchase Gems directly from the application in quantities of 24, 105, and 275 for $4.99, $19.99, and $49.99 respectively. These can then be used to not only revive withered plants (which costs a large amount of Gems, depending on how many are dead), but also special plants, fertilizer to make things grow quicker, in-game coins, and decorative items.

Regarding décor, it’s about the same as any other Facebook farming title and is merely there for aesthetic value. However, there are some functional items beyond crops that can look nice, like animals and trees. Like others of their ilk, these are harvestable after a set amount of time, and thankfully, never wither. It is worth noting, however, that some of the items that do cost Gems are surprisingly expensive. A corgi or dachshund, for example, cost 55 Gems, making their cost about $10.

Farm AnimalsIt isn’t uncommon for a virtual item to cost this much — Blizzard’s Pandaren Monk virtual pet for World of Warcraft cost $10 and sold hundreds of thousands — but such virtual items do a lot more than just stand there. In the Blizzard example, the pet that was purchased was forever bound to the user’s account, allowing them to have it on any character or server, past, present, or future, and actually looked fantastic and full of style. It even did kung fu; it goes without saying that your Farm Story corgi will not.

Moving into social features, Farm Story begins to outshine its competitors. Unlike virtually every farming game on Facebook, Farm Story does not force players to only interact with friends that the player adds as neighbors. Should the user wish, they can actually visit and water a limited number of crops at random users’ farms as well. Doing so will earn points toward a Star Rating and an extra reward.

SocialAs for the Star Rating element, the more the user visits other people — there appears to be no limit to how many they can — and the more crops they water, the higher ranked their profile will become, eventually leading it to the top of the social charts and making it more visible for other random users to see.

In addition to this, players can also post comments and see a feed of happenings and going-ons on both in their own and other users’ virtual farms. Adding to the social elements, the recent update also allows players to take pictures of their virtual spaces and share them on Facebook.

This makes for a rather interesting business choice, as this functionality appears to be granted through another downloadable app from TeamLava, Farm Story Snap. Additionally, those that search the App Store may also notice Farm Story Summer and Farm Story Flowers as well. Each download connects to the main game (like an expansion pack), granting the user free Gems along with exclusive items such as tulips or a summer home. As to why TeamLava took this approach, rather than just update Farm Story itself, it’s unclear, but it may have been a means to make the title more noticeable in the highly saturated App Store. Unusual, yes, but since the game has breached Apple’s top free apps list before in the past, it appears to be working.

Overall, Farm Story is a pretty standard farming game. It doesn’t bring much fresh to the table as far as the farming concept goes, and a number of its virtual goods are a bit overpriced. However, on the social side, it does a significantly better job than most iPhone titles, allowing players to interact and help strangers as much as friends. Granted, it may not be as interesting as farming with wizards or zombies, but for what it is, Farm Story is still pretty solid.

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19 Responses to “Farm Story Challenges FarmVille on the iPhone”

  1. mark says:

    I hope these virtual farmers are also tending actual crops, even food grown in what used to be their backyard lawn. It’s hard to eat virtual food.

    It used to be said the US had more prisoners than farmers. Now we have more virtual farmers than actual farmers. Sick.

  2. A¥CEMAN says:

    how do you reset on farm story?
    or restart? cause im broke and I cant do much

  3. A¥CEMAN says:

    My ID is “treelog”

  4. Stephanie says:

    How can I restart / reset my Farm story game on iphone ??? When I delete the application, then a download it again, its restart when I leave it !!! not at the beginning !!! HELP !!!

  5. Farmer G says:

    Farm Story account is tied to the device UDID. If you have a spare iPod or iPhone, you can move your current account to that spare iPod/iPhone and then you can restart the game on your current device. Go to the Farm Story Help/FAQ to find the UDID and transfer the account

  6. KindaCrass says:

    BEWARE OF THIS GAME IF YOU HAVE KIDS! My daughter didn’t understand that she was actually spending real money by buying the gems. The gems are sold in increments of $4.99, $19.99 and $49.99. They can all be bought with one touch of the green BUY button and if your kid presses it enough times it can add up to a huge bill. Unless you have money to burn, why would any parent allow thier kids to spend $50 on gems that aren’t really there!? This is what I call a child RIP OFF! If you try to dispute the charge on your card itunes will close your acct for good. They really have us over a barrel with this.

  7. Joao says:

    I’ve just fall victim of this scam too. There’s no warning, no itunes password is asked. Your money just goes. Luckily i’ve noticed it after the first bought I made. iTunes should be ashamed. To me I was stolen and iTunes helped.

  8. TeamLava Launches City-Building App, City Story, on the iPhone says:

    [...] many of the mechanics found it the developer’s popular Farm Story application, City Story also resembles its Facebook counterparts. But despite being quite similar [...]

  9. BayView Labs Recreates Past Facebook Genres on the iPhone says:

    [...] players virtual currency for downloading expansions follows TeamLava’s model for Farm Story. But with the various Tap titles, receiving virtual currency was [...]

  10. Sil says:

    I am also a victim of this scam. Shocked seeing my bill at 80$ no password Friends daughter was playing this and I am not sure what she did.but how would a app cost50$ almost my 1days salary .I was very depressed not sure what to do

  11. TeamLava Adds Restaurants to its Story Collection says:

    [...] It’s common for iPhone social titles is to follow closely in the footsteps of past Facebook concepts. TeamLava is taking this route again with a restaurant sim, the new iPad and iPhone title, Restaurant Story. Marking the third title in their social game series, this free-to-play game attempts to live up to the reputation of its predecessors, City Story and Farm Story. [...]

  12. jacek says:

    id: jazzephoye

  13. TeamLava Expands its iDevice Story Franchise Once Again says:

    [...] iPhone and iPad release, Bakery Story. Joining the likes of predecessors Restaurant, City, and Farm Story, this new free-to-play application couples familiar game play with the Baking Life [...]

  14. ben says:

    add me

    id- benisjamin

  15. hailey says:

    how do i retart my game i messed it up so bad and now i have no grass to plan my trees! how do i restart

  16. hailey says:

    how do i restart the game on my ipod?

  17. Adel says:

    I got new iPhone and my farm story in my old iPhone and my old iPhone doesn’t work any more I want to know how I could move my farm story to my new I phone please answer me because I want my farm story I’m on level 39

  18. Elaine Elrod says:

    Please tell me the expansion limitation for Farm Story. How big can the farm grow to and what are the rules for each expansion.

    Thank You,
    Elaine Elrod

  19. Sharon says:

    I just got a new version of the IPhone and when I sync my apps, farm story did not roll over at my current level (96), it is making me start from the very beginning. How do I get my old game back?

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