Zombie Farm on Android Review.November 20, 2011
Oh Zombie Farm. How I adored you on the iOS platform (iPhone, iPad, iTouch, etc.) When you were first released 3+ years ago. Your quirky take on the Farmville fade that was sweeping Facebook. Your fresh take on an idea I hated from the start. But your new twist of adding Zombies touched on the one spot that could get me to follow along…. Zombies. Well, after 3years of success on the iOS stage, you’ve come over to the big times with Android… You probably should have studied more and done less coke.
First and foremost, when the game was released on the iOS platform a few years back, it was running on iPhone 2G and 3G devices, which clock in at 412mhz with a paltry 128MB of RAM. and it ran pretty “alright”. Once the game allowed for bigger farm sizes and larger (graphically, speaking) crops, the game did slow down a bit, but because it isn’t a game that requires quick response times it was forgivable. Back then there were a few bugs here and there, nothing game breaking. just odd graphical glitches that made you go “hehe, his eyes are not attached to his head. lawlz” I decided to install the newest version of Zombie Farm on my good ol’ iPhone 2G. At first I figured it simply wouldn’t install, considering my O.G. iPhone hasn’t had a firmware upgrade in a while. To my surprise it installed fine, no warning or anything. So, I booted up the game, and IMMEDIATELY saw a huge difference between to 2 versions. The android version will start with a static image and say loading, then after a few seconds, switch to a different loading screen, after some more time, finally gets the Start menu which shows a static image and “Play” or Options. in Options is 3 whole selections… Volume, Sound FX volume, and music volume. obviously something you’ll never use so you just press play, to which it sits on a static image once again to load your farm, So essentially.. 3 different load screens… clearly a very well programmed game it’s turning out to be, isn’t it?. The iPhone version opens with a Playforge intro and goes into loading the game, during this time, it shows you exactly what it’s loading, once its done, the start menu, but it shows you your current level, whether you are online or not (this version can be played offline!) etc. In it’s option menu is the typical volume level, plus notification settings, day/night mode on and off, etc etc. ETC! lots more options available!. We hit “Play” and it fades in and out of new items that have been added, special holiday based items, and deals that are going on in the game right now. Just in loading the game it’s a huge difference. Like a chiseled athlete in his prime versus a diabetic whale who had too much pie.
Graphically, the games are almost the same, the iPhone version actually has more FX though, from the glow of a fertilized crop, or the day and night difference. aside from those little extras the games look simliar. When you get into the items though, its another story. iPhone version has a multiple of different a “special” zombie types that are not present in the Android version, same with items, while the iPhone has special items that become available during special times, this doesn’t happen on the Green guys phones. In terms of performance, while my ancient, barely above a “Dumbphone” these days iPhone 2G did have a couple issues playing the game (RAM based closes, you remember those on the OG, right?) the game ran relatively alright. it was slow, but steady, it was a constant sluggish feeling that can be dealt with this is with extra graphical effects, remember. On my dualcore 1.2Ghz with 1GB of RAM android phone on the other hand. it did speed along smoothly for about 30secs at a time. every 30 seconds there was a huge pause of anywhere from 1sec to 4seconds as the game…. I dunno… thought about what I told it to do next?. I honestly can’t tell you why it did this, one idea was it kept calling back to the server to….piss me off? it wasn’t saving my game to any cloud service, I know that much. It honestly had NO reason to do this, the iOS version doesn’t HAVE to be online to play, but this version does. it’s REQUIRED.
One other part that stings, although, I honestly hope only a small number of people actually use this feature, is that purchasing brains with REAL money is MORE expensive on Android phones. On iPhone, you can purchase a single brain for $0.99 on android, you have to use MC (Mobage Coins).. 100MC for a single brain to be exact, but you can’t just buy 100MC, the first option available is 300MC. which is $4.99. lets do the math. 300MC is 4.99 so, that means 100MC is roughly $1.67. you are paying $0.67 MORE PER BRAIN in real money. So if you opt to buy the big bundle of 50 Brains, instead of paying the $39.99 it is on the iPhone….you’d HAVE to spend 100 dollars, because Mobage coins only come is specific bundle sizes. you’ll have to buy 1200 MORE coins then you need to buy the 50 bundle. Shit, the iPhone version has a 100 brain bundle for cheaper than the 50 on the Android. That’s insulting.
This all comes down to how the Android version is built, on top of Mobage and their terrible abortion of a mobile gaming platform. Instead of Playforge biting the bullet and development for the Android platform, they licensed the game over to Mobage who shoehorned the game into their awful platform like a street whore in a dress 2 sizes too small…. you know, because it makes her breasts look bigger. Which makes it use WAY more resources to run (Really, the game uses up 200mb of RAM on my phone.) you are REQUIRED to start a Mobage account, REQUIRED to be connected all the time, charged way more if you actually want to buy brains, a game that is HALF what the iOS version is. NO option to visit other players farms and aside from all that. It runs like garbage, I’ve had it crash multiple times on me. from locking up after a battle, resulting in me having to wait to invade again AND I didn’t get any of the loot I won, to destroying a saved game completely and forcing me to start completely over.
I missed Zombie Farm, I really did… All the release of the Android version did was make me pine for the very first release of the iOS version. While it was buggy, there was a reason for it. This had 3years to release and it’se worse.
Another thing that should not be happening on the Android versions is that the latest update is asking for Super user permissions. When an android device is “rooted” it means that any program can now ask for root access to the device. It can then mess with root level files that have the potential to do some amazing things..and amazingly bad things. “SuperUser” is an app used to permit or deny this action. It pops up and tells you when a program is asking for permission. No game should be asking WHAT SO EVER. There is absolutely no reason it needs it to function properly, its actually a bit disturbing that this game is just now asking for persmission to access your devices root directory. Mobage. You have failed tremendously.