Farm Heroes Saga Review - It Hurts to Live

Reviewed On: Android
Farm Heroes Saga takes the Candy Crush formula and basically ruins it.

Do you like Candy Crush Saga? I like Candy Crush Saga. Do you like Farm Heroes Saga? I loathe Farm Heroes Saga.

The match 3 puzzle genre is nice, even if the free to play mobile renditions are a little sadistic. Candy Crush Saga has its fair share of levels with reputations for ruining free players, but it overall does an all right job of hiding the fact the game's RNG (random number's generator) is against you. Farm Heroes Saga does not give you that courtesy.

Hidden under all of the cute are ridiculous goals and mechanics made not to delight, but to frustrate. It gets to this point in the rather early levels, ramping up the difficulty to an unreasonable degree around level 45 and pushing the limits to just how much players are willing to go through for some modicum of entertainment.

I want you to imagine this scenario:

  • You get a level requiring 5 chicks along with 30+ strawberries, water, and sun.
  • There are ice blocks on the level, requiring you make a match with the trapped fruits (but the trapped fruits do not disappear once you've made the match, only the two you connected to it).
  • The process for getting a chick: You must match 3 eggs to make a cracked egg. You must match 3 cracked eggs to get a chick.

With the convoluted requirements for chicks and flowers, the fruit and vegetable goals are most often secondary and are on the backburner for the more complicated matches.

What the complicated and difficult requirements do is not test your brain, but infuriate you as you try to figure out how to progress without spending money. It feels like a persistent beggar asking not for a quarter, but for my soul. I don't want to trade my soul for the next level in a game that is not even fun.

Farm Heroes Saga is not fun

One may read the above and say "Well, so what? Candy Crush is the same way." But it's not, because you at least feel some accomplishment based around the completion of a difficult level.

Think of it as a colorful, poisonous fish. You can look, but don't touch.

In Farm Heroes, you do not get that sense of accomplishment. You can see your chances of winning a level from the get-go, as the game's RNG is particularly brutal and paper-thin. Certain levels load up and you can just tell you are not meant to win this time around.

I can't help but wonder if King took the good points of Candy Crush and said, "How can we make this pressure the player to spend more without being blatant about it? I know! Let's make the game borderline impossible without boosts!"

I have made it most of the way through Candy Crush Saga without boosts. I've used a few (the PC version on King's website gives a free boost a day), but I haven't gotten to a point where I've felt it was literally impossible without reaching into my wallet.

Farm Heroes provides you with boosts that recharge over a few hours (up to a day), but their effects aren't anything to write home about sans one or two. Furthermore, they simply aren't interesting.

Nothing about this game is fun. You can think it's fun for the first 20 levels or so, but past that it removes the gloves and tells you it's time to duke it out. You're not getting by without a fight, and that fight is rigged. Game, you are a cheat. I'll stick to Candy Crush, thank you.

Published Feb. 19th 2014
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