January 19, 2010
Last week we gave you some suggestions for easing someone who plays spreadsheet and tile games on Facebook to more traditional games on consoles. This week we're tackling another popular genre on Facebook – farming games.
The most popular game on Facebook is Farmville, a farming game with a staggering 74 million active monthly users. But Farmville isn't the only farming game. At the time of publication, we've counted more than 20 games based on gardening or farming. Most of these games are very simple – plant, water, harvest. If you know someone who plays one of these games (and odds are you do) here are a couple console games they might enjoy.
Harvest Moon is the original farming game. The series has been around since 1996 and versions of the game are currently available for both the DS and Wii. The game isn't a big stretch from the farming games on Facebook. You can plant and raise crops, care for livestock and customize your farm. But Harvest Moon games have much more depth than any of the Facebook farming clones.
Livestock must be fed and loved in order to produce milk or eggs, and different soil types will yield different levels of quality in your crops. The seasons also change in the games, having an actual effect on which crops you can grow when. In addition to the basic farming, there's also a simple storyline that involves easy quests, and players can also court and eventually marry one of their neighbors.
But perhaps the best thing about Harvest Moon as compared to some of the Facebook games, is that your crops won't wilt if you don't play the game for awhile.
If you have an Xbox 360, a similar game to suggest to Facebook farmers is Viva Pinata. Although the game is technically based on a children's television series, you really don't have to be a fan or even know anything about the show to play.
In the game you're given a garden to tend. You can plant and grow fruits and vegetables, flowers and trees with the goal of attracting different "species" of pinatas to visit and eventually move into your garden. Once you've got resident pinatas, you can build them houses and "romance" them to reproduce (Don't worry there's nothing overtly sexual going on).
You can also customize your garden anyway you like with fences, paths and other items. There are two Viva Pinata games that follow this gameplay, the original and Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise.
Come back next week when we offer alternatives for the many pet simulation games on Facebook.
©2010-01-19, IGN Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved