Review: My Asian Farm (DSiWare)

Enter Old McDonald-San

Farming comes in many forms. Sometimes it's exotic. Sometimes it's Australian. And sometimes it's just regular, old-fashioned farming. But nothing you've seen in this DSiWare series, consisting of split-up portions of 2009's retail release My Farm Around the World, could have prepared you for this: My Asian Farm, featuring farming that's far more Asian than you ever could have imagined.

Well, that's not entirely true. Each iteration of the My Farm series is basically a palette swap of the others, though there are slight variations in animal temperament and what you can get out of them. The menagerie here includes egg-laying hens, feather-growing peacocks and milk-producing water buffalo, as well as monkeys, tigers and elephants that, for some reason too horrifying to fathom, you're to fatten up and sell at market. Not that water buffalo milk sounds very appetising either.

The goal is simple – feed the animals, give them medicine when they're sick, wash them when they're dirty, buy or acquire special items from time to time, keep the poop swept up and manage it all well enough to afford it. It's simple, relaxing and somewhat addictive, though in the end the lack of complexity lets the experience down.

As with previous titles, this includes the bonus ability to trade animals with other My Farmers, even those with a different iteration of the series. It's a side-effect of splitting up the original retail release, but it makes for a nice extra.

As this is simply another matching slice of the My Farm pie, it features the same flaws as in past titles – Ling the Farm Girl, who gives you tips, lends them a bit too frequently and there's no option to turn the hints off, for example, while some may also have a hard time telling if their animals are fully clean. The sound they make is pleasant but can easily become a cacophony when many are together, and the occasional implementation of music is always nice. This graphics set is easily the best of the four, featuring an interesting art style and a beautiful mix of colour, albeit with some animals that don't look quite so impressive in the foreground.

Conclusion

As with the rest of the series, My Asian Farm is relaxing and simple, requiring enough skill to keep a player entertained for some time, but not nearly complex enough to do so with much depth or lasting replay value.