Farmville 2: Country Escape - life in the boondocks for Windows Phone and Windows 8

Farmville is a popular online game developed by Zynga and has many Facebook users addicted to farm life. Farmville 2: Country Escape brings the Farmville concept to our Windows Phones and Windows 8 devices with a slight twist from the original game.

While the original Farmville was more free-play in nature, Country Escape is more task or quest oriented. You still have a farm to build and manage with crops to grow and livestock to raise, but the game seemed to have more structure.The Farmville gaming genre is a fun way to pass the time and Farmville 2: Country Escape came across as a nice installment.

When you first launch Farmville 2: Country Escape you will meet Marie, an old family friend. Marie will walk you through several aspects of game play and will always be around to show you new features as they become available.

Game play with Farmville 2 will have you first tasked with fixing up your farmhouse and barn. From there you will be shown how to grow crops, feed the cows and go to market to sell your goods. You will also have the option to connect with your Facebook account. Connecting with Facebook is not required. However, if you do connect with Facebook you will be able to synchronize game play between the Windows Phone and Windows 8 versions of the game.

The main gaming screen for Farmville 2: Country Escape centers around your farm with a few gaming controls/menus scattered about the edges of the screen. They include:

  • Cash, Keys and Seed counts in the upper left corner
  • Your Experience Level is displayed in the top center screen
  • Facebook tools and game settings are in the upper right
  • The game's current task/mission and country store is in the bottom left
  • Your messaging center is in the bottom right corner

Cash, keys and seeds are earned through game play. These items will open up opportunities to buy more land, more crops, more livestock and speed up timed events (that would be the keys). Farmville 2: Country Escape does have the option to join a farm Co-Op with your Facebook friends. If that does not sound appealing and all you want to do is build a farm, grow crops and raise pigs you can play on your own in Anonymous Mode.

The country store is where you can buy everything from fence posts to cows. Here is where you find your buildings to buy (pastry ovens, windmills, tool sheds, etc.) that will be instrumental in tackling the gaming tasks. For example, the windmill converts wheat into flower, which in turn can be used for baking or sold at market. You can use the wheat to feed you cows that in turn produces milk, which can be used for baking or sold at the market.

If you are looking for an action packed game for your Windows Phone, Farmville 2: Country Escape probably is not for you. Game play is somewhat slow where you take on various missions and keep the local market stocked with goods.

There are three key landmarks on the Farmville map. There is the farmhouse that will give you access to a help section, achievements and any farm hands and prized animals you have.

Then there is the barn where you store all your harvested crops, fish, milk and other goods your farm generates. The third key landmark is the farm order board, as you might guess, will display any needs the market has for goods. Goods that can be sold to build up your cash flow.

The game also has several areas to visit such as a fishing dock, farm stands, an airport (complete with dirt runways) and a country fair. These areas will slowly become unlocked as you move up the ranks in experience.

Again, game play is very task oriented where you often find yourself working towards goals of harvesting a certain amount of crops, building or acquiring items or simply keeping up with the farm orders.

Overall Impression

Farmville 2: Country Escape is a nice gaming option if you like city builders and time management games. Graphics are nicely drawn up and the gaming mechanics are easy to pick up on. However, there are a lot of timed events (i.e. it takes time for your crops to grow) which doesn't appeal to everyone.

The missions/tasks help give the game a little structure and the social aspects through Facebook gives you an opportunity to connect with your friends. I also liked how the game would reflect the current season (e.g. snow in the winter, sunny days in the spring, etc.).

In looking at some of the user reviews in the Windows Phone Store, some note glitches in the game's performance. I did notice a periodic lag time when the game first loads. It seemed to take a little longer to draw up your farm but once things got up and running, I did not experience any crashes, glitches or bugs. You do have a Windows 8 version of the game that is identical to the Windows Phone version, you just have a little more elbowroom on the game screen.

Farmville 2: Country Escape does pull down a 4 star rating in both the Windows Phone Store and the Windows Store, which is about right for this gaming title. Are you a Farmville fan? If you've given Farmville 2: Country Escape a try, let us know what you think about the game in the comments below.

George Ponder

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.