Remember when these games were all the rage? Now, it’s such a rarity to find builder games on the free to play stores these days. The concepts, hilariously priced in-app purchases and insane ‘timer’ system fell out of vogue. Rightfully so but in their place; the one-touch, ad-spam, five-minutes of gameplay trash has risen to take the dominant position.
So, it makes going back to a builder game feel so refreshing at least until gameplay grinds to a halt behind timers and desperate pleas to make you spend real money. This is New Year Farm of Santa Claus, a free to play builder game focused on the festive season.
Your job is to help Santa Claus build up his farm at the North Pole turning it from a quaint locale to a bustling town. Build and run factories to produce toys and more then send Santa out to deliver them. Upgrade buildings, harvest and plant materials, welcome animals and take care of them to get presents to go under the tree. Eventually, you’ll even be able to welcome visitors with gift shops and more for them to spend in.
There’s a hell of a lot to do in New Year Farm of Santa Claus, so much so that it can feel overwhelming at first. Once you do you get to grips with gameplay, you’ll find a very addictive game that embraces the holiday spirit with lovely visuals, sweet melodic music and most importantly, depth. You can easily lose hours to the game… at first.
If you’ve played any builder game before, you know what is coming… the timers, the ever-increasing timers. Everything takes time but as you expand, the waits get even longer. The first time you see 12+ hours to build a new factory, is the moment you’ll probably stop playing. It doesn’t get any quicker, unless you’re willing to spend real money or watch an ad here and there.
Which brings us to the premium currency, used in almost every faucet of speeding up gameplay. From completing tasks quicker to speeding up timers to unlocking a building you don’t have yet. If there is a way to monetise it, this game does it.
Prices start at £1.99 and go up to a hilarious £99.99 for a finite amount but it’s not the only area the game tries to charge you for. No, the main currency you use to plant, unlock mission-based buildings and more is in short supply and chances are, you’ll find yourself short on that regularly too. While producing in the factories and sending Santa out to deliver, will gain you more, the game is really stingy.
Then we have the subscription service. Yes, this game that is already jam-packed with in-app purchases, has a subscription service. A monthly sub that will provide you with big bonuses if you’re stupid enough to pay the gob-smacking cost of £19.99. Note, that is a re-occurring subscription. They want you to keep paying them a penny short of £20 a month to get some bonuses to make their game less of a drag.
Even the most ardent of free to play defenders won’t be able to put a positive spin on this.
It’s such a shame though because New Year Farm of Santa Claus is actually a really good game. One of the better builder style games we have played. Its problems are the same problems all these types of games have and that is greed.
If you have the patience, you could easily have a ton of fun playing this over the Christmas period. It will get really slow but you can do it without too much intrusiveness.
New Year Farm of Santa Claus (Mobile - Free to Play)
The Final Score - 6.5/10