A farm building simulator with more than eye candy to offer!
Supercell took the world by storm with the release of two of the most popular titles to date on mobile: Clash of Clans and Hay Day. Hay Day actually arrived some months earlier on iOS, and Clash of Clans, while being released some months later, managed to make considerable noise without stealing Hay Day’s thunder. Supercell could not have fared any better at this point in time.
But, what made Hay Day so enticing? It’s not enough to simply yell “the graphics!” There was definitely something more, and I’ll get to the heart of it!
One of the first things that really struck me about this game is, aside from the aesthetics, the pleasant UI! This game has definitely been designed with usability in mind, especially taking into account the constricted screen real state that mobile phones had back in the day.
Straight to the Point (Well… Sort Of!)
Secondly, the game had a fairly straightforward premise and story. No “War of the Roses” drama, no tedious walls of text, but just plain harvesting fun. The game’s entire premise centers around your uncle just being too old and tired to take care of the family farm and tasking you with tapping incessantly on the screen doing some reaping and milking.
For some reason, a talking scarecrow does some “splaining” about the hardships of tapping on some crops, sifting through menus, and skipping timers. No, you can’t skip the tutorial, which is probably one of the most wanted and, at the same, time, most neglected features in mobile gaming history.
You also get to interact with some nice neighbors who will gladly assist you as you begin your venture. Greg, for example, is actually very nice and, apparently, extremely wealthy, being able to buy virtually every item on your roadside shop (a bit more on this later) when you’re unable to sell them. He’s one of the first characters you get to talk to, and he offers you tools for your basic farming needs.
What Doesn’t Kill You…
Experience here is earned by harvesting animal yields and crops, crafting, and popping a balloon held by a boy named Tom (don’t ask why. It just happens!). As you earn more experience and level up, you’ll be capable of building more stuff to help expand your farming business.
The Roadside shop is one of the many buildings in the game and the only one that does not need to be bought or repaired. It’s unlocked at experience level 7. It allows you to sell your goods to other players and NPCs. You’ll be given five product slots or boxes at first, and you may unlock more of them by buying them with diamonds (the game’s premium currency) or by adding Game Center and Supercell id friends.
You can also meet and unlock more characters as you progress, who will grant you some additional benefits, such as the aforementioned Tom, who will enable you to get goods at discounted prices; or Maggie, who’ll customize your roadside shop and farmhouse truck.
Anyone Can Play
But, perhaps more importantly, Hay Day passed the “mom test”. It’s very easy to get acquainted with how the economy and main features of the game flowed. This naturally drew the attention of some of the most casual gamers on the mobile market. Supercell knew exactly what their main target was, and it was hit with incredible accuracy!
However, while the game is not technically speaking a “pay-to-win” game (because there is no winning here). Nonetheless, unless you have some spare money to spend on speeding things up, you’ll be waiting quite a lot. There is no extreme offender here in terms of monetization tactics, and you’ll not feel overly cheated or deceived, but you would probably be tempted to either pay or put the game down for a while.
Hay Day is one of Supercell’s crowning achievements in the mobile market, and it’s a game that has firmly stood the test of time for a good 9 years (and counting, as of this writing). It’s probably still one of the best farm simulation games on mobile, though the market has overflowed ever since with a plethora of competitors bent on stealing Hay Day’s throne. At this very moment, Hay Day is still a very decent alternative.
What about you? Did you have your “hay day” yet? Let us know in the comments!
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