Thursday, 23 June 2011

Game - Farm Blitz

This game was shortlisted at the Games for Change festival in 2011 in the Direct Impact category. Apparently this is for "Games targeted at specific audiences with proven outcomes." The game is apparently targeted at low-income adults, and takes inspiration from Bejewelled and Farmville to try and instill good saving habits in the players.

I really want to see the evidence for the proven outcomes. For me it was intensely patronising, and not particularly difficult or fun. The instruction screens seemed to last forever, and every other screen was reminding you to 'get rid of your bunnies of debt' and 'buy trees as savings'.

I suspect I'm not their target audience (although as a PhD student I am certainly a low-income adult!), as these are not new or novel ideas for me. Maybe if it hasn't occurred to you that clearing your debt before you save is a good plan it might be handy to play around seeing what happens if you don't. Maybe.

I felt this was a game that had little to do with the mechanics of earning money - but was all about what you do with it once you have it. The game mechanic of matching crops to earn money just felt a bit wedged in for me. Perhaps I'm wrong. And I'm not sure what I'd do instead. The overly-long instruction process that didn't let me do anything was just so frustrating that by the time the game started I was already pre-disposed to rubbish it! I'd love to see what Jim makes of this one...

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