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All in the Farm

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All in the Farm

Facebook has become a very popular social networking site; many people join to reconnect with friends and family. Others join not only for the reconnection aspect but because of the large variety of games, which currently are free. Two game applications found on Facebook that are similar but also very different are Farm-town and Farmville. Each game has similarities to real farm management, but understanding the differences in how each game deals with the managing of crops, animals and buildings will assist a person in the decision of which game will be played more frequently.

At first glance both games seem similar; it is when a person really starts planting crops the differences between the two applications become more noticeable in crop management. Both games start with creating a farmer, receiving coins, and six plots of land in various stages of development. In Farmville, the farmer has to do all of the planting, plowing and harvesting alone. As the levels increase in the game, the farmer can purchase equipment to make the task easier, but a person does need to locate fuel by helping neighbors or purchasing units of fuel from the store. In Farm-town, the farmer goes to town to hire neighbors or other people to complete the tasks of planting, plowing, and harvesting, or the farmer can chose to complete the tasks alone. It does cost the farmer coins to hire people, but it saves the farmer a great deal of time. Each game has a variety of crops that can be planted and a variety of times before they are ready for harvesting, but Farmville has more crops available than Farm-town.

When it comes to animals, Farmville gives the farmer a more real life perspective of farm life. The animals all have various virtual essential needs that regularly are collected to earn farm coins. These needs include milking cows and goats, gathering feathers from geese, ducks, and turkeys, collecting wool from sheep, and eggs from chickens. Farmville does have some animals that a person would not see on the farm, but all animals in Farmville need to have items collected or the animal needs brushed or petted. In Farm-town, the farmer does not have as many farm animals in the game. Farmtown does have dogs, goats, cows, squirrels, chicks, and other various animals, but the animals can only make sounds, wander around, or perform actions related to their species. Farmville gives the user a more realistic view of raising livestock where Farm-town is more a cosmetic impact.

Additionally, each application has a different approach to the buildings. Farmville not only allows the user to purchase various buildings found on a farm but allows the user to have friends help expand or send parts to build the buildings. Most of Farmville's farm buildings are functional in that the user can store items in them. Farm-town allows the user to purchase almost any building imaginable.



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