Farm Heroes Super Saga by King
King, the game company responsible for all things ‘Saga’ today released a new title, Farm Heroes Super Saga. This is a companion to the existing Farm Heroes Saga and King hopes that players will enjoy both games rather than replace one with the other. We don’t really represent mobile gaming as a category here at Play3r but there’s a lot of people in the world who play games on their phones so maybe we missed a trick there. Anyway, as the launch date approached I took a trip to London to peek inside their Soho studio and learn a bit more about the new game as well as the company behind it.
Where to start? Well, that’s a bit rhetorical as we should always start at the beginning, which for King was way back in 2003 with AOL and Yahoo as hosts for their games. In 2011 as Facebook gaming became big, King moved over and released Bubble Witch Saga and has continued with the impossibly popular Candy Crush Saga series and others. The Facebook gaming model, for a lot of companies, means that shares and likes give in-game bonuses but it can result in spammy news feeds, however since King has flourished to 200 game titles and employs thousands of staff in studios across the globe, the model is clearly working. Now King has over 460 million active monthly users throughout phone and other channels and boasts other gigantic stats as accomplishments, such as 10 billion hours of play time in Q1 2016, and 1 TRILLION levels played since the company launched.
Their newest title, Farm Heroes Super Saga, as mentioned is an advance on the previous title in the series with much better and more engaging graphics, adorable animated characters to entertain you as you play, as well as new moves and events like Wind mode, Country Show, Rancid Raid and ‘Super Cropsies’. King has produced a short video hosted by two of the game’s artists who introduce some of these characters and effects:
Back in London and after a short presentation, I was straight into the game, which on the surface is yet another match-the-objects-so-they-disappear-and-the-board-refills game. After a short while, I was engrossed in the challenge as well as the beautifully illustrated characters, not just the main ones but even the ‘Cropsies‘ – those fruit and veggies that you are trying to match – which have individual personalities that the artists have tried to incorporate. There were other subtle differences as well such as the way the game deals with matched objects by giving bonuses to surrounding Cropsies which helps you reach your collect-this-amount target for each level.
A completely new angle introduced by King in Farm Heroes Super Saga is Wind. This changes the way the board refills so instead of refilling from the top it fills from the side or the bottom depending on the direction of the swipe. This gives a completely new way of overcoming challenges and means that you can plan a more in-depth clearance for better scores or even just avoid locking the board up with no possible matches. Trust me, Wind is truly one of those things that are easy to learn and difficult to master, especially when it comes to trying to plan 2 or 3 moves ahead.
Also new for this title are the events; a timed one that takes place over a few days and gives a more social aspect to the game named Country Show and a random one called Rancid Raid. Grow a plant within a few days by completing levels to win the Country Show – the better plant you grow the better rewards you get. I’m not entirely sure what the social aspect is for the Country Show as I was unable to invite my friends to play the pre-release build but it seemed to be a case of showing off to them if you get there first :). Rancid Raid pops up every now and then as you play the levels – kick the can at Rancid the Raccoon and if you knock him out you get rewards. These rewards are trophies and silver coins which gets us on to the money aspect of the game…
I got a chance during my trip to sit down with Ceri Llewellyn, the producer who leads King’s Farm Heroes Super Saga team. He was eager to tell me that it’s not all about the money, “From my perspective it’s all about making a fun game that people are going to want to play, and our philosophy is that all our game are obviously free [though] there are boosts and help that you can buy [with cash]… You earn coins from beating Rancid that you can spend on boosts in the shop, even with that you can beat levels without using any boosts at all.” Yet I can’t help feeling that with so many staff and such a large organisation there is at least some pressure to keep the lights on, and that shows when you look at the in-game store.
Most things in-game can be bought with silver coins that you win as you play the game, but there are still some that are only available with a purchase of gold bars and the price for packages can be quite startling especially if you choose the “Best Value” one. Yes, it’s the most bars per £, but at £46.99 you’re not talking about a small investment. Still, as Ceri says, it’s not like you need the gold bars. If you are not that into using bonuses then you only really spend them on refilling your life stack if you fail at levels frequently (12 bars = full 5 lives). You don’t have to buy lives back though, you can send a message to your friends asking them to send you a life if you are running short or you simply wait a while and they refill automatically. So the challenge for some will be how much they can play without spending any cash, for others it will be all about beating the levels regardless of irritating interruptions like getting the wallet out and trying again on that particularly tricky level.
As far as judging the success of the game, Ceri says, “I guess my ultimate goal is to produce a game that works alongside Farm Heroes Saga, gives people a choice within the Farm Heroes universe to play both games, that they will always stay engaged and happy and giving us great feedback. They enjoy the levels we’re presenting [to] them and they enjoy the puzzles and challenges that we’re putting in there and they keep playing for as long as we can provide them with stuff.”
Farm heroes is available on Facebook (PC), Apple and Android devices from Tuesday 28th June 2016. I’d like to thank King for their generous invitation and for putting up with me poking around.
Bigger is Better!
Farm Heroes Super Saga Launches Worldwide on Mobile
NEW YORK, LONDON – 28 JUNE 2016: King, a leading interactive entertainment company for the mobile world, today announced the launch of Farm Heroes Super Saga, the second instalment in the popular Farm Heroes game franchise. The new sister title from King’s London Studio reintroduces players to the beautiful farm lands where the quest to maintain peace continues as they switch and match their way through a range of exciting new features, game modes and social mechanics.
Now available to download for free from the Apple App Store, Google Play Store and Facebook, Farm Heroes Super Saga will offer players new dimensions of gameplay in order to beat Rancid the Raccoon and win the Country Show. Players can look forward to an exciting new feature, the ‘Super Cropsie’, which is made when four ‘Cropsies’ are matched in a square. When in their ‘super’ state the ‘Cropsies’ are worth more points and regardless of the matches made after this, the ‘Super Cropsies’ never lose their value, allowing players to reach their goal faster.
The new game will also launch with more animated ‘Cropsies’ including a jolly but awkward tomato, an excitable banana, a cute and innocent plum, a sassy pear, as well as the return of the much-loved carrot and water drop. The game also has new characters including Fidget, the hyperactive (and at times forgetful) squirrel, and Darwin, the chatty and helpful goat.
Other new elements include a lenticular map, new characters and four challenging new game modes including:
- Growth: in Growth Mode players are required to collect both regular and ‘Super Cropsies’. ‘Super Cropsies’ will have a dedicated crate and the collection of these will be separate to the normal ‘Cropsies’
- Wind: In this mode, when you make a match, the wind pushes the ‘Cropsies’ in the direction of your last swipe
- Nut: The aim of the nut mode is to get the squirrel to his nut. Players can use the wind mode to move the squirrel around the board
- Hay: Players must feed the goat his hay by matching ‘Cropsies’ in line with the goat to lure it around the board
Farm Heroes Super Saga also launches with a brand new social feature that will enable players to compete against their friends by earning more points and climbing the leaderboard. The ‘Country Show’ is a timed event where players must try to grow their own ‘Cropsies’. The more stars gamers earn while playing the game, the more ‘growth formula’ they have to feed their ‘Cropsies’. At the end of every event, there will be a Country Show and the bigger the ‘Cropsie’, the more coins players win to spend on boosters.
“We’re thrilled to be launching Farm Heroes Super Saga, the second instalment in the Farm Heroes franchise”, said James Nicholas, Executive Producer of the Farm Heroes franchise at King. “We’re always looking for ways to innovate within our games and give old and new players something to enjoy when they have a few minutes’ spare. We’ve moved Farm Heroes Super Saga on from the original game and added new challenges and features that we know our players want such as being able to play against their friends in the new ‘Country Show’ event. This is also the first time we’ve brought the characters to life into the game board in the Nut and Hay modes.’
Farm Heroes lovers can grow, farm and swap their way through the 205 Croptastic levels that are now available. To learn more about Farm Heroes Super Saga visit http://farmheroessupersaga.com/