Saturday, 29 March 2014

App Review No. 50 Hay Day

Strong points:
Nice graphics and animations
Cool control scheme
Good music
Fishing is fun
Lots of crops, buildings and animals
Trucks and people delivery are fun and quick ways to generate income
Roadside shop is good to sell your stuff
Newspaper is good to get what you need
Wheel of Fortune gives you a new item everyday
Lots of achievements
Events are good
Can get the premium currency quite easily without spending real money
Neighbourhoods add a bit of variety

Weak Points:
Very slow game
Not much point to the game
River Boats are hard to do and take too much time
Some actions like painting your house, only appear once
Newspaper normally only has basic items like eggs or wheat
Slow to get upgrades and expansions without using diamonds
Vouchers are hard to get
Pets serve little purpose

In-depth Review:

Release Dates:
World Wide: May 3, 2012

Tap and slide finger to perform a variety of tasks

A game from Supercell creator of Clash of Clans which is odd seeming as it is completely different to Hay Day. Yes, they both has colourful graphics, good animation, chances to get the premium currency without spending real money but while Clash of Clans is a relatively fast-paced action build 'em up, this is slow and laid back.

And by slow and laid back, I mean that you have pretty much no objectives in the game and are allowed to play at your own pace. Which can be a good thing, if there was more to do. Because while there is a lot of crops, buildings and animals, they all serve pretty much the same purpose. To get enough supplies to sell off on the roadside, to people (in-game or online) and the river boat. This in turn gets you more money to get more supplies and so it repeats.

There is no story or minigames (except for fishing) to break up this pattern and while events do change it slightly, they are still 'a get so many supplies to get prizes' style of event. Fishing (which is unlocked at level 27) is a fun minigame in which you have to tap the water to deploy the lure, aim with your finger to get a fish to grab hold, then aim the fish into the little circle. However, the fishing boat is quite expensive at 39,000 coins and only serves to give you more supplies to get more goods and fill up a scrapbook of fish.

To get lures to get the fish, you have to have vouchers (except for the most basic lure which is free). Vouchers are used to get pets, certain decorations and of course lures. You can get vouchers by spinning the Wheel of Fortune, mystery boxes or completing certain riverside or roadside jobs. These are quite hard to get with the golden voucher especially being rare. This would be fine if there was a minigame to get the vouchers, but no it has to be the 'get supplies and get rewards' theme. Also, pets serve pretty much no purpose except for giving you a little bit of XP and getting rid of a lot of your supplies

While roadside, and people jobs are quite easy to do and have no time limit, river boats are the ones you want to do if you want to get a lot of gold and vouchers. The jobs start off regularly easy and get harder as you progress, with more crates (up to a maximum of 12) and the time limit can hinder you a bit however if you persevere you can get great rewards. You can ask for help with 3 crates and can send empty boats off if they are too hard. Also, while waiting for a new boat, you can see what items you need to get so that you can prepare. Newspapers can help you get goods from online people but because people all want the same rare items, you normally only see the most basic items (which are helpful) in your newspaper. You can of course spend the premium currency to finish roadside, people or riverside jobs.

The premium currency is diamonds and, like gems in Clash of Clans, is quite easy to get. You can get it by watching trailers for games, maintenance breaks or update presents, mystery boxes, completing your fishing scrapbook or through achievements. There are lots of achievements ranging from collecting so much in a certain time frame, to collecting so much overall. And here lies the problem. While there is a lot of stuff in the game, there isn't much variety.

The control scheme is a good idea, but things which were introduced in the tutorial like painting your house don't appear again. Neighbourhoods are basically clans from Clash of Clans, with chat, neighbourhood leaderboards and elders and co-leaders.

Finally, the buildings look good and have variety in what they produce e.g ingots, juice, sugar, however some buildings are quite expensive to get and you have to get to quite a high level to unlock all the produce on offer. Also, everything, ultimately, leads to the same goal: get supplies, get money and repeat.

Conclusion: overall this is a good game, with great graphics and control scheme but is let down by little variety in things to do.

Rating: 71%

Thanks for reading, Satamer.

Update: the mayor has been so impressed with your efforts on the farm that he feels like you would want a town to look after. So here it is. Unlock, build and grow your very own mountain town with buildings including a vintage diner and relaxing spa. Welcome visitors to your town and earn reputation. Repair your own personal train to pick up visitors from your Neighbourhood. Drop them into your town, serve them and unlock bonuses. Your Neighbourhood has also increased in size, allowing you to have more members

Improvements on the user interface, improved balancing on the Town, improved loading times when visiting other players, support for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, fixed crashes, revised UI settings, Neighbourhood and Derby tweaks, improved performance on lower end devices, fixed FAQ's, fixed Champions League reward UI, fixed the Derby trophy count in the Neighbourhood house
Fixed the farm like counter, improved performance and stability and many bug fixes
New Cotton crop
New Sewing Machine - can produce cotton shirts, woolly chaps and violet cotton dresses
Decoration filter - allows you to find your favourite decorations even faster
Mystery Treasure Chests filled with great rewards in your town and other friends' towns can now be found
A new Cowboy character has come across your town and will give you rewards if you serve him
A new visitor - the graceful Actress
New town specific postman package in your postman catalogue
New products in the Wheel of Fortune
New mining tool - the Pickaxe, allows you to get the best results from the mine
A limited-edition Summer themed event with exclusive summer decorations such as a Pool with a Slide, the Picnic Mat and the brand-new Mushroom House
Bees and Honey - place the Bee Hive on your farm and welcome up to 12 busy little Bees. Plant Nectar Bushes and watch the Bees fly off to collect Nectar which they will then change into Honey Combs. Use the Honey-Extracting Production Machine to produce Honey. This Honey can then be used to make a lot of honey-infused products, such as Honey Popcorn, Lobster Skewers, Pumpkin Soup, Honey Toast and Honey Apple Cake, using your existing production machines. You can also use the Honey Extractor machine to get handy Beeswax from the Honeycombs. This Beeswax can then be used to create up to three different aromatic candles (strawberry scent, lemon scent and raspberry scent). A new notification has also been added to alert you as to when your Honeycombs are ready to be collected
A new Gift Shop service building where your visitors will just love to shop
New decorations - two relaxing beach chairs and a little sand castle and more!
A limited-edition Fall theme was added
The FAQ section was replaced with an entirely new database help system
The newspaper now remembers your last visited page
A limited-edition Winter theme with Holiday Season Decorations and jolly Music
New animal - Ducks. Travel to your fishing area and repair the new Duck Salon (and upgrade it up to level 6 for more seats and funny animations) and send newly caught Ducks (courtesy of the new Duck Trap) to it for a feather cut (which will provide you with Duck Feathers). These Duck Feathers can be used to make Pillows and Blankets
New mid-level rewards - collect additional rewards on the way to your next XP level (starting from level 15)
Tap your XP-level star icon to see upcoming content for your next level
Refreshed the level-up pop-up screen
Improved visualization when getting a rare item
Added seller XP-level to the newspaper
The fishing area has been expanded with two new fishing spots, including three new fish
Tap on the Town visitor speech bubble while in the building to see any building upgrade bonuses
New checklist board next to the town platform on your farm - find out easily what your town visitors are asking for
An additional boat crate help request exclusively for your Neighbourhood friends
Help requests are now posted in your Neighbourhood chat
New Achievements for bees and ducks
Tom and Boat timers will pause during maintenance
Special events for the holiday and New Year season
The Neighbourhood Derby - a cooperative Neighbourhood event. Claim and complete Derby Stand tasks (which work like normal activities on your farm) to increase your Neighbourhood score. Excellent rewards for friendly and effective cooperation as well as additional special prizes for the top Neighbourhoods.
New pets - Kitten, Puppy, Pinscher Puppy, Calico Kitten, Hound Puppy and Tuxedo Kitten as well as the Lipzzaner Horse and more animations for these puppies and kittens
New Production Machine and Products - Hat Maker: used to make fashionable Hats!
Level increases on every building in Town
Personal Derby Task Log - starting with the next Derby after the update, you will find your previously completed, expired or trashed tasks at the bottom of the Derby task board
Derby Pause - starting with the next Derby, there will be a 24-hour pause following each race, allowing you to make Neighbourhood changes and saddle up for the next ride
Derby Trophy Count - from now on, each Derby trophy you win will be counted and added to the Neighbourhood info screen
New Derby Achievements
Huge new farm expansion area - further down the road as well as across it
New Pasta Maker - produce fresh Pasta and use it to make Noodle Soup, Pasta Salad, Lasagna, Gnocchi and Lobster Pasta using your existing Production Machines.
New Hot Dog Stand featuring Hot Dogs, Tofu Dogs and Corn Dogs
New limited edition decoration items exclusively in the Derby
When receiving a request to join your Neighbourhood, you can now visit that player right from the chat room
The postman now has a shiny new scooter when he delivers letters
Hay Day's 3rd Birthday - an exclusive Birthday decoration available only during the special event
Limited edition Summer Themed event with exclusive decorations and summer outfits
New in-game events such as double XP and serving town visitors
A personal inbox for important developer messages
New decorations - ditch and trail tiles, a super-fly pink scooter and, for players at level 100 or above, a unique thank-you decoration
Improved Neighbourhood search
Neighbourhood and Derby unlock level decreased to level 18
New and improved animations for Tom
During the next Derby race, place in the top three to progress to the next league but if you are in the bottom three then you will drop a league
More horseshoes, more tasks and more trophy rewards await those in higher leagues
You can opt out of Derbies
Leaders and co-leaders can now choose to show all members' Derby points
Many new exclusive decorations as Derby rewards
The game will now remember your orientation choice when planting several bushes in a row
Improved sorting order for the Town Hall visitor list
Limited edition Fall theme
New decorations in the shop
Updated soup kitchen visuals
Arabic support added
Traditional Chinese support added
Reach the Champions League (the highest League level) in order to compete with the world's best Neighbourhoods for Derby points so as to climb up the Global Leaderboard
The Champions League also offers more Derby rewards than ever before
A new Neighbourhood Trophy tab helps you keep track of your Derby wins
A Spectator Mode allows opted-out players to still see their Neighbourhood's derby progress
See everybody's achieved points from the previous Derby and final standing during the Derby Pause
Derby League level is now visible on your Neighbourhood house for everyone to see!
The Newspaper Box now has an animation for when a new Newspaper is available
The Gift Catalogue and the Wheel of Fortune prizes have new decorations
Newspaper Tool Offers have been improved
Added more information on where to get the necessary building supplies for upgrades in the Barn/Silo UI
A limited-edition Holiday/New Year's themed event with very special decorations

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