God Help Me, I'm Enjoying A FarmVille Clone

Spare me your criticisms. I hate FarmVille and its kin for the same reasons you do. Games like that are manipulative, reliant on spamming and barely constitute being called games at all.

And yet... what would happen if one came along dressed like Advance Wars? And actually had some gameplay to go with all the farming? That's the conundrum I now find myself in, because Battle Nations on the iPad does just that, and I cannot get enough of it.

There is "tending" to be done in this game. Just like in FarmVille, you have to build things, even literally farm things, and they sometimes take hours between clicks. Other things generate small amounts of money, and if you want more stuff, or stuff to come faster, then there's the option to pay real money for it.

So far so FarmVille, until you get to the key distinction: in FarmVille, this tedium is all there is. In Battle Nations, it's simply the support stage to some actual gameplay.

Being based around armies, and not animals, the goal of Battle Nations is to construct a base which can supply and fund your troops. Grow/build more stuff and you can recruit/build more units, which are sent into battle in a tactical system that anyone who's played a game like Final Fantasy Tactics will be right at home with.

What a difference it makes. The boring stuff suddenly has a purpose other than...just doing it, and while relatively simple, the unit variety both of your own forces and those of the bad guys (either AI or human) make most battles fresh and interesting.

Helping things is the fact the game has a great look to it, going the Advance Wars route of "military cute" and that surprisingly its characters are well-written and even sometimes genuinely funny.

While I'm pretty sure I should still be slightly ashamed at playing this, given that under the window dressing and real battles it's still FarmVille, but I don't care. Battle Nations shows tht with a little extra thought, and work, that basic template can be turned into something genuinely enjoyable, not just painfully addictive.


    Command and Conquer Tiberium Alliances is similar in that you build a base like farmville then commit forces to attack bases check that out if you are on PC and want something similar as described above.

    I played and liked this for a while, but much like Tiny Tower, I got bored of all the waiting.

    Hmm, all it really is is another way of making you interested in something enough to be encouraged to pay real money. If the pure management of Farmville isn't a person's thing, put some tanks in and a tactics system and a new market opens up to encourage people to keep playing and spending money to buy condensed time chunks.

    Marketing 101: Find something a person is interested in and then find a way to monetise it while making them think they get the better deal.

    Been playing this game since I got my I Pad end of last year, I have to say it is quite addictive! So far my interest in this game has lasted longer then games I play top dollar for and only lasts a month! Yes it's a drag because of the long waits for update but here I am still playing it! Z2 are sitting on a goldmine and I hope they keep their players satisfied!

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