Facebook has seen its fair share of farming games over the past few years, but 6waves’ latest title, Astro Garden, adds one more to the list. That said, it’s actually one of the more impressive variations of the genre. Though it contains many of the standards players have come to relate to this simulation style, its premise and polish are far more interesting than its cohorts, with a good bit of creativity as well. Nevertheless, the core play is still fairly basic leaving the appeal of the game dependent on one’s opinion of such sims in the first place. Astro Garden players start out with a fairly technological-looking farm with a quasi-3D design that, visually, makes a decent first impression. The worry of the same-old, same-old starts to rear its head when the player is instructed to chop down trees and harvest eggplants. Luckily, no sooner does this happen then a massive thunderstorm rolls in and wipes out everything, turning the space into rubble. Astro Garden hides a few other perks here and there. From time to time, players will come across monsters in the woods (yetis, wolves, etc.) and have to scare them off with weapons they equip, so they can get back to work. There are also items that can increase movement speed, including a jet pack. And of course, there’s also the standard gamete of social mechanics, like sending gifts to friends, scoring on leaderboards, and visiting the virtual spaces of friends daily for some extra cash. What also should be pointed out is that Astro Garden is one of the few farming games that encourages players to decorate their space nicely. Most of the time decorum is purchased in such games at the players own digression, but here there is a “comfort level” that is augmented by placing new décor and plays into being able to do research in the various labs one builds.
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