Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf, The Tale of the Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf, The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids… Can you spot the common denominator? That’s right, it’s tough being the big bad wolf as the following will qualify:
“Doctor, what should we do about the patient who thinks he’s a wolf” the nurse asks the psychiatrist. “Make sure that his grandmother doesn’t come by for a visit!”
As I said, the wolf’s image has been pretty tarnished… and Farm Tower Pro isn’t going to change that! Once again, every last living creature is terrified of our furry friend. Why, you ask? And exactly who is terrified? Why is Farm Tower called Farm Tower? And why is the wolf not really that big or bad? The answers to these questions and more in today’s review.
Farm Tower: The Story
The big bad wolf is on the loose! And, just as you’d expect, the farmer is nowhere to be found. All that’s left for the animals to do is hide at the top of wobbly towers in the hopes of keeping out of harm’s way. Seeing as the animals want to get down from the towers at some point the towers have to be dismantled carefully. But be careful: the wolves aren’t completely brain dead and are still lurking around, waiting to snatch an animal up if it falls to the ground. This means that the game’s goal is to ensure that there is always an element separating the animals from the ground. That’s the only way to protect the cows, sheep, and pigs from the hungry wolves.
Okay, the story is rather implausible… especially considering that there’s not a single wolf to be seen anywhere. And even if there was, presumably they would take a bite out of the sheep if it was balancing on a plank of wood a few inches from the ground. The background story may not be all that important, but it seems relevant seeing as it’s told at the beginning of the game. Perhaps we as users can spin our own sordid tales around it: the soil has been contaminated by toxic chemicals, the animals have no choice but to head for safety at the top of a garbage heap, but they get so hungry that they make their way back down where death awaits…
Wow, I should’ve become a screenwriter. But let’s get back to the review.
A physics engine is Farm Tower Pro’s backbone, thanks to which everything falls, tumbles, and bounces very realistically. Different stones are piled on top of each other in different ways:
• Brown stones: normal stones that make for a strong foundation
• Black stones: these stones cannot be destroyed
• Green stones: they are very bouncy—be extra careful
• Blue stones: they can slip off to the side and easily turn into a very slippery slope
• Orange stones: weightless stones that cancel gravitation out. I can’t tell you what these stones do because I haven’t encountered them yet, seeing as I’m “only” at level 25.
Farm Tower currently has 72 levels, but Nicolas, the developer, let us know that 30 new levels will soon be added. The game already makes for many hours of fun, so get ready.
In each level an animal is standing on a tower made of the stones described above. The towers’ form and construction differs from level to level. A level has successfully been completed when:
-The required minimum of stones has been destroyed (number shown at the bottom right of the display)
-The animal has safely been escorted all the way to the bottom, without touching the ground.
Once a level has been completed the next one is activated.
To be perfectly honest: I found the game to be a bit boring in the beginning, but have now become completely addicted! Some of the levels are really tricky and force you to use your brain and try things out. Luck is also involved. The developer obviously thought about each level, and really planned out the right approach for each one. I won’t quit till I’ve mastered every last one!
Screen & Controls
Farm Tower Pro’s graphic concept is pretty neat, but it’s not awe-inspiring. That’s okay, it doesn’t have to be.
The game’s controls are via touchscreen. A stone disappears when you touch it. The controls work well, but sometimes there are little issues when you’re dealing with very small stones near the edge of the display. It can happen that you destroy the wrong stone or that the stone you’re aiming at resists the touch and won’t disappear.
Farm Tower isn’t always intuitive, but...
I found it to be annoying that it doesn’t seem to be possible to continue playing where you left off when you restart the game. I had to start all over and work my way up, which is a nuisance, especially when you’ve advanced to level 25.
I wrote to the developer regarding this issue and he informed me that it is possible to access previously activated levels via the main menu. Finding this option isn’t all that intuitive, however. The main menu isn’t featured in the menu, and when you press the “go back” button a pop asks you “are you sure that you want to navigate away from the current level”. To me this sounded like “if you click on this the game will be over and your current position won’t be saved”. But I’ve since learned that that’s the way to go.
I wrote to the developer and he got back to me very quickly again saying that he hadn’t noticed the problem and would see to it asap. By the time you read this review he may well have rectified the situation!
It’s really well done and works superbly.
The game is set up modularly and the functions are explained step by step. Hence, you very quickly learn how it works, or at the very least what qualities the different stones have. You have to use the old noggin in order to deconstruct the towers.
A great option is included in case you do get stuck: after the eighth unsuccessful attempt to complete a level you are asked if you’d like to see a YouTude video that shows you how the specific level can be cracked.
I’m looking forward to many new levels to come!!!
Speed & Stability
The app’s performance is ver good. There were no crashes, but Farm Tower Pro does take up a lot of space (presumably because of the physics engine). It requires 7MB.
There’s a free version of Farm Tower Pro (with ads), as well as an ad-free version which is available for EUR 0,79. Money well spent for such a great game. I went for the ad-free version and don’t regret it.