Game: Hope’s Farm
Genre: Puzzle, Adventure, Simulation, Lifestyle
System: Switch (also available on Steam, iOS, Android & PlayStation)
Developer | Publisher: Green Sauce Games | GAME NACIONAL
Age Rating: US Everyone | EU 3+
Price: US $19.99 | UK £17.99 | EU € 19,99
Release Date: July 03 2021
Review code used with many thanks to GAME NACIONAL.
Hope’s Farm is a farm simulation game that has been combined with a matching game. This game is colorful, family-friendly, and does exceptionally well in the Switch’s handheld mode, which makes it great for travel. Let’s dive into what Hope’s Farm is about, and how players can interact with the game on any of its platforms.
Like most farm simulations I’ve come across, from No Place Like Home to several Story of Seasons games, the story begins with a grandchild being called in to help a grandfather’s old farm. In this story, Hope’s grandfather is in desperate need of help as drought and other problems have lead the farm to ruin, and only the player, Hope, and Grandpa all working together can fix it.
Players get orders from customers to fulfil, and must plant, water and harvest each veggie or fruit to fill that order. After level 3, players can also take orders for eggs and build a chicken coop, et cattle, and plant an array of vegetables and fruit trees. Everything is watered and harvested by dragging and dropping water buckets or scythes across the screen. Once Hope has enough to complete an order, you can click on the orders menu and start a puzzle.
The puzzle portion of the game is similar to many big-name matching titles, like Bejeweled and Candy Crush. Players have to line up the foods into lines of threes. Lines of fours, fives, or other special layouts earn players extra points and can give them items like bombs that blow up sections of the screen.
There are three levels of difficulty for these puzzles. Easy allows players to delve into the puzzles without having to worry about the number of moves. Challenge gives a limited number of moves for each puzzle, and Timed give a time limit to each puzzle portion of the level.
Once players have created enough lines to complete a customer’s orders on the right-hand side of the screen, the mini-game is over and players can return to their farm, using the earned money from the orders to buy more crops, animals, or trees.
The Pros of Hope’s Farm
While Hope’s Farm is not breaking any new ground, playing it on the Nintendo Switch was entertaining and a pleasure. At first, I tried to play it with the Switch docked on the TV, but it was almost immediately obvious that this game was designed for handheld devices. Once I switched to handheld mode, this game was far easier and much, much more fun.
The gameplay is easy to learn, and the tutorial is integrated into gameplay in a way that makes it easy for anyone to learn. There’s not a lot to this game, but what is there is interesting and visually pleasing to look at.
The Cons of Hope’s Farm
If players were hoping for a farm sim in the same lines as Story of Seasons or Animal Crossing, they will be deeply disappointing. This game is a matching game first; the farm sim part is merely a fun addition to the puzzle aspect of it. There is no depth to the story or the characters; this is just a simple game for anyone looking for some basic fun in a matching game.
I also downloaded and played the Android version of this game, since it is free-to-play on the Google Play Store. While the game is equally fun, the ads are long and show up very frequently. It is free, however, which is a consideration for those looking for some free fun on their phones.
The absolute biggest annoyance in the whole game is when you turn the tutorial off, both on the mobile and the Switch versions, the tutorial doesn’t actually turn off. I tried on both systems and could not get the tutorial to stop, regardless of what I did. As much as I like integrated tutorials, I prefer ones I can turn off when I’m no longer in need of them.
Overall, Hope’s Farm is a colorful, easy-to-learn game with a lot of replay value. This game does best in handheld mode, which is great for travel. Although it does not present anything groundbreaking or extremely exciting, the game is good cartoony fun for the whole family.
Final Verdict: I Like It