Farmville Reviewed By an Ex-Farmhand

You probably won’t find this information in any other blog post or review I’ve written for LAPTOP, but before moving to the big city I used to live on a dairy farm. Cows, chickens, barn cats (and rats), tractors, sweet corn, hay bales, wild coyotes—the whole shebang. So, as an ex-farmboy, it was only an eventuality that the duty would befall me to review Facebook’s Farmville. With more than 82.5 million active users and counting, this “real-time farm simulation” game lets you start from scratch to cultivate a menagerie of flora and fauna throughout your virtual rolling estate.

While tens of millions of sheeple out there are lining up in droves to get in on what can only be described as a Facebook phenomenon, this editor entered the Farmville scene with considerable doubts.

After all, I’ve been there in real life. I know what it’s like to spend an entire afternoon baking away in the mid-July sun while stacking wagon after filled-to-the-brim wagon with bales of crispy Timothy (a type of grass, for the uninitiated, and common grub for the common cow). I’ve helped Holstein mothers deliver their calves by myself with nothing but a bucket of warm water, a pair of birthing chains, and a can-do attitude.  I’ve been chased through more than one electric fence by unruly bulls, whose ferocity and rippling body mass are only rivaled by their refusal to listen to reason. The bar has been set pretty high for Farmville, is what I’m trying to say here.

So, when my editors assigned me to rate the Farmville experience against the real thing, I couldn’t really argue with them. I am the most qualified, after all. And despite my currently immaculate, milky white palms, I can’t help but remember a time when they contained more calluses than…well, a farmhand.

Getting Started

Setting up Farmville is easy enough. After installing it on my computer and creating my character, I’m basically good to go. My only complaint, really, is the lack of realism in my avatar. I was a lanky fellow back in the day, sure, yet my shoulders were definitely broader than what I see portrayed on the screen before me. My head size, at least, is depicted proportionately.

The game starts me out as a lone overalled man-child amid six plots of land. That’s it. No house, no barn (or shelter of any kind), no animals, no farm equipment, nothing. The game is clearly asking its users to remember older, simpler days, when wealthy estates were founded on literally nothing more than two acres of tillable soil and a handful of beans (soy beans, to be more specific, which are inexplicably ready to harvest within the first five minutes of gameplay). Collecting and selling the sparse crops I have puts a few coins in my pocket, and I find that the game has started me out at Experience Level 2; I have more farming to do before I get kicked up to the next level, apparently.

Though I doubt it’s necessary to explain what will happen to a young agricultural entrepreneur should you plunk him down in the middle of an endless green field with nothing but the clothes on his back a few seeds in his hand, I’m going to do it anyway. Left exposed to the elements, that man-child will die until he is dead.

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  1. Brad Says:

    As a technogeek who also contains a healthy dose of redneck and some land in the country I heartily approve of your suggested method of fox control. Although personally I would use .223 out of an AR-15.

  2. lenni Says:

    Haha! Mr. Fink’s assesment of Farmville was great! I appreciate his humor as he attempts to build a fantasy farm.. but i suspect he has somehow been scarred for life by some innocent fox in his childhood… a re-occuring nightmare, perhaps? Good to know Farmville is a safer place in thanks to the ” Fox Avenger”

  3. Bennett Nevison Says:

    Enjoy the game for what it is guys, a game. Don’t get to frustrated early on, it is going to take some time and patience to get good at the game, but it can be a very fun way to relieve some of the days stresses.

  4. Silver Bullet Says:

    Why is it that these games must be based in reality? I’ve been on a real farm, and being a city boy, if that doesn’t make you want to fall into a coma or run in fear of 16 hours of slave labor a day, then I don’t know what will. Farmville is a game that has a sense of humor. I own a Hot Rod Tractor… and it’s funny watching it blow fire while harvesting my crops, and of course I would never see one in real life. Also, a million coins seems like going from here to the moon, but in reality, you can get that amount of coins with the right crop and harvest it every 2 days, repeat 5 more times and have a million coins, it’s not that hard. Also, it seems the writer kept the game running all day? That’s not necessary either – just a simple 10 minutes to check in on your crops and animals and your done, no need to sit there staring at the dirt. Also don’t forget, all the many bonuses, arbor hands, farm hands, prizes and gifts you can grab from all the Facebook updates throughout the day, makes getting ahead in this game much easier, and keeps it free. Unless your very impatient, there is no need to buy FarmBucks. it’s an enjoyable game, when taken in moderation.

  5. Devil's Advocate Says:

    Hey Silver Bullet, are you employed by FarmVille? You seem like you’d make a great spokesman. Also, are you aware of the words ‘satire,’ ‘lampoon,’ and ‘parody’? All synonyms, incidentally.

    Reading your comment was about as refreshing as rolling in a pile of rabid skunks before attending a BBQ of dirty hamsters.

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