Farm Frenzy 3: Ice Age Game Review

Farm Frenzy 3: Ice Age is the next instalment of the farm management series that has taken the casual gaming world by storm. Join Farm Frenzy 3’s star Scarlett as she buys a farm in the North Pole and heads north to turn the farm into a success! Help her create delicious frozen treats, and breed and care for many arctic animals.

Farm Frenzy 3: Ice Age continues the story of Scarlett, the star of Farm Frenzy 3 and its followup game American Pie. In her quest to help farmers around the world, Scarlett now finds herself in the North Pole after buying an arctic farm through a newspaper ad. Honestly though, what kind of farm would succeed in the frozen wasteland of the North Pole?!

Not one to be intimidated by a challenge, Scarlett is determined to make her arctic farm work. This isn’t a normal farm though; you won’t see any watermelons, pumpkins or chickens here. Instead, Scarlett is focusing on breeding arctic animals such as penguins (Penguins in the arctic? Right…), walruses and even mammoths (Mammoths? Maybe that’s why they named the game “Ice Age”…).

The game engine for Farm Frenzy 3: Ice Age is the same as for the other Farm Frenzy 3 games, so the majority of the gameplay is very similar, but with a cooler (heh) more arctic look and feel. For example, you won’t see any predatory wolves here, but you’ll get crazy polar bears trying to ruin your day.

The gameplay starts out pretty intuitively, with the farming processes from the other Farm Frenzy games translating pretty well in this arctic sequel. You start off breeding penguins whose eggs you collect. These eggs can then be tractored off to the nearby town for some quick cash, or they can be transformed into powdered eggs, then into cookies, then into cakes… that is if you build the necessary machinery on your farm. There will be some recipes that require ingredients not produced on your farm, so you will need to order these ingredients in via helicopter.

The objective of the game is to manage your farm as efficiently as possible and completing each level’s set objectives which include earning a certain amount of money or producing a certain number of cakes for example. The challenge is to efficiently manage the various operations on the farm with as little machinery downtime as possible, and making sure your farm animals are not eaten by roaming predators. Fast reflexes will get you very far in this game.

As you progress through the 90 levels in the game, you will earn stars, credits that you can use to buy new farming machinery and upgrade your existing technology, making your farm more efficient in various ways. The stars you obtain depend on how well you perform in each level. Beating a level in record time will get you more stars than finishing in “Silver Trophy” placing. Because of that (and because later levels have technology requirements before you can attempt them), you may find you need to redo certain levels in order to obtain enough stars to buy the required technology.

The town grid of previous Farm Frenzy games is back in Ice Age. You can see your progress through the levels along the streets of this town. What makes this interesting is that when you reach street corners, the gameplay reflects that by allowing you to choose which “street” or level chain to work through, making this game not as linear as its predecessors. Also interesting is the fact that the buildings on this town grid slowly upgrade and expand as you work your way through the levels, giving the picture of a farming community that is growing with your farm’s success.

Gameplay-wise, Farm Frenzy 3: Ice Age does not bring many new mechanics that have not been seen before. This is pretty understandable considering it is basically a re-design of Farm Frenzy 3. What it does do however, is dress the mechanics up in an exotic arctic feel that makes the game fresh and a welcome change from the tired wheat and chicken farm games. If penguins and ice cream are your thing, it looks like an Ice Age is coming!

Rating: 4.0/5.0

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