Review: Farm Frenzy 2: Pizza Party
When I first reviewed Farm Frenzy on Windows Phone, I found that the XBox Live title was very addictive, but it seemed to be missing a little something that kept me coming back. Well, six months later, on a whim I downloaded the app again, and it hooked me. Once I had burned through the levels, I was looking for more. And while it's not an XBox Live title, the 'sidequel' 'Pizza Party' is available as a standalone title in the Windows Store.
Version Reviewed: 188.8.131.52
Like any good sequel, Pizza Party does not change the formula of the original too much. You still have a farm to manage, and as you gather eggs, milk, beef, and other produce from your livestock, you can either take them to market to sell them, or build factories to process the foods into something more valuable, assuming you have the time to spare.
Farm Frenzy is played against the clock. You only have a limited amount of time to reach the goals of each level. That could be the production of a specific number of items (for example five eggs or ten packs of bacon), having purchased a certain number of livestock (twenty dairy cows), or amassed a specific fortune by selling produce. Although most levels will require a combination of these goals.
Each level also has a number of time limits. If you want the gold award, you're going to have to work out the most efficient way of completing the level. Pizza Party ups the difficulty here from the first Farm Frenzy title on Windows Phone, with a much more punishing time limit to get gold. The silver time is relatively easy if you are smart (and unless you make some disastrous errors, the basic 'pass' time so you can advance to the next level is not that hard). But it's the increase in the difficulty in the gold time that makes Pizza Party a worthy sequel. It's more of the same, but with more challenge for the experienced player (albeit with a good learning curve if this is the first title you have played a Farm Frenzy title).
Like a good sequel, this title does have a little bit more than what had came before - and of course the clue is in the title. While many of the ingredients for making pizza can be made on your farm, you'll be able to fly in more items to build up a number of different types of pizza, and sell these on at a very nice profit. This makes better use of the aircraft and purchasing system that was present in Farm Frenzy. Then it was a case of you could just order as needed and it wouldn't make a huge different to the time it took to complete a level. That's not the case here, you'll need to be very careful when to buy goods and ship them to your farm.
One of the few awkward things about the title is that the graphics are slightly changed. I don't mind the different look in the menu system and splash screens, but the produce items have a subtly different look - it's more mature and less cartoony, and on the smaller screened Windows Phone devices I found them slightly harder to tell apart.
Also, these produce items are now named in the game. I had my own mental names for what was being made, and they don't match with the names in Pizza Party (really, those little slicy things are 'curd' and not 'Kraft cheesy slices'? Who'd have thought...). A very personal problem, and one that I did get over relatively quickly, but it made the game a little less accessible to start with, although having a new Farm Frenzy title was more than enough to get over that hump.
I'm still not sure what changed in my attitude to Farm Frenzy, but something did. That means that the same attraction has carried over to Pizza Party.
The first title picked up a score of 82%, and I'm going to be horribly predictable and give Pizza Party the same score. It's a little harder, but it's a little less fresh and original. There are more levels, but there is a tiny sense of deja vu if you've played before. It feels like an extra level pack on the original game, with all the same brickbats and bouquets. So it's the same score, it's recommended, and now I need to go and tend to the chickens.
Reviewed by Ewan Spence at