• arrow
    LOG IN 
    • Log in using an option below.
         
      Forgot password?
      Login with Facebook
      Sign in with Twitter

  • REGISTER
ABOUT US
Shop Contact Us Submit Videos Who Are We? Hall Of Fame Advertising With PG Games Archive
BEST GAMES
Best games on iPhone Best games on iPad Best games on Apple Watch Best games on Android
FREE STUFF
Best free games on iPhone Best free games on iPad Best free games on Apple Watch Best free games on Android Competitions
GAME SALES
iPhone game sales iPad game sales Apple Watch game sales Android game sales
UPDATED GAMES
Latest iPhone game updates Latest iPad game updates Latest Apple Watch game updates Latest Android game updates
NEW RELEASES
New iPhone games New iPad games New Apple Watch games New Android games
MORE PG SITES
PG.biz PG FRANCE PG GERMANY PG Game Guides PG GameHubs PG Connects
MORE SM SITES
AppSpy Free App Alliance 148 Apps Android Rundown iPhone Quality Index iPad Quality Index Android Quality Index Swipe Magazine Best App Ever Awards
PARTNERS
Metacritic
GameRankings
Pocket Gamer on NewsNow
GamesTracker
dx.net
UK Mobile Pages Directory
Skinflint Price Comparison
iPad  header logo

Pocket Harvest


For: iPad   Also on: Android, iPhone

Harvest timing

Product: Pocket Harvest | Developer: Kairosoft | Format: iPad | Genre: Simulation | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
Pocket Harvest iPad, thumbnail 1
I heard in a film that during a day on the farm every meal is a banquet, every paycheck a fortune, and every formation a parade.

If that's true, someone forgot to tell Kairosoft when it was developing Pocket Harvest.

Here every meal consists of fruit juice. And that only ends up in your glass thanks to the sweat of your farmhands. Your own cunning when it comes to laying out fields and researching crops helps a bit too.

Paychecks are minuscule, except when your farm advisor inexplicably finds tens of thousands in an envelope down the back of the rustic sofa and then gives it to you.

And formations consist of undisciplined schoolchildren trampling all over your ploughed fields and weeing in the wishing well.

I made the last part up. And in truth the game is actually pretty forgiving if you just want to bump along at a respectable pace.

But of course you don't want to bump along at a respectable pace. You want to earn enough money to plate your straw in gold, and win vegetable competitions with gargantuan marrows the size of an elephant's trunk.

You can do those sort of things in Pocket Harvest, but you'll need to deploy your smarts to get there.

Pocket puzzle

Most of the strategy in the game flows from a fiendishly simple formula. There are simple rules to follow in order to maximise your crop production, but the game makes it as hard as possible to actually put them into practice.

Planting fields of the same crop adjacent to one another boosts production, for example. As does planting close to a scarecrow or a sunflower bed.

So, obviously you want to lay out your farm in neat nine by nine squares of matching fields with some sort of buffer in the middle.

Except that your workers need to get to the fields, so they need paths, which break everything up. And they have to have somewhere to live, which means houses. But if you build in the wrong place your workers will meander randomly all over the farm tending the wrong patches.

And some fields are dryer than others and need wells, and some fields are out of season more often than others and need greenhouses and ... and ... and ... until your head explodes.

That's pretty much the pattern. You start with a couple of crop types and a couple of extra buildings. As the game progresses you're gradually given more and more things you need to work into the formula for success.

New crops, new tools, new staff. Eventually you can acquire more land, open your farm as a tourist attraction, get into animal husbandry (don't worry, it's only a game) and compete in various quests and competitions to win bonuses that you can plough right back into your burgeoning agricultural enterprise.

Pocket monotony

Unfortunately it's this endlessly cyclical nature that ends up as the game's undoing.

There are no story hooks of any kind, or much in the way of mystery about what's round the corner. And so it becomes increasingly difficult to motivate yourself to solve the tricky efficiency conundrums which form the core of the game.

Perhaps I'm just a sad, middle aged man whose imagination has been atrophied by too many violent video games, but I can't help feeling there's something rather more compulsive about leading troops into battle, or building a vast futuristic metropolis, than spreading horse poo on fields and chuckling at rudely shaped carrots.

It doesn't help that we've seen this sort of thing an awful lot of times before. And that most of those other times have been Kairosoft games too.

Pocket Harvest
delivers plenty of interesting and challenging gameplay, aided by a healthy dose of cute, but it just doesn't do enough to make itself stand out from what's already a large and ever-growing crowd.
 
Pocket Harvest
Reviewer photo
Matt Thrower | 9 June 2014
Pocket Harvest starts out fun and challenging, but it gets repetitive regrettably quickly
 
Have Your Say
POPULAR REVIEWS
RECENT COMMENTS LATEST NEWS
LATEST VIDEOS
VIDEO REVIEWS