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An Incomplete Review of the Giga Pets Farm


Currently Feeling: frustrated

I picked this up on Ebay recently because it looked really different from the other Giga Pets I've seen, and also I love games with farms. The review is going to have to remain incomplete for now, however, because I've set it aside after struggling with it for a while. Earlier Giga Pets are known for being more difficult to care for, and that coupled with the unique gameplay that comes with having multiple pets and crops to care for was a bit overwhelming for me. I kept a running log each day and I was playing with it, so click below the cut to see my thoughts and how my first run with this one went.

Giga Pets Farm crops screen


August 22, 2022
This one is waaaay different than the other Giga Pet I have, and took a little getting used to. I'm glad the seller shipped the instructions with it, because I wouldn't have been able to play with this thing at ALL without them.

For starters, the screen, while it has this lovely overly green tint (it looks so retro!) to it, is very difficult to see, and the icons are almost impossible to distinguish. Adding to this issue is that when they're selected or highlighted by the pet's needs, they don't get lit up completely like the Tamagotchis do. Instead, two arrows pop up on the top and bottom of the icon indicating that it's active. Once you figure this out, it's easy enough to deduce where you are, but it can be difficult to tell when the alert icons are active and the pet needs something.
You'll start with a choice between two animals, and there are two additional ones you can unlock. Definitely start with the horse, not the pig, because the pig is much harder to raise. It gets hungry much more quickly, and degrades the quality of your fields as it grazes. The horse, on the other hand, can feed on grass (according to the instructions, though I'm not sure how this affects gameplay exactly) , which means it doesn't need direct feeding as often.

Giga Pets Farm crops screen

The crops aren't a huge part of gameplay, but they are a fun little addition. It took me a while to figure out how to get to them. In order to cycle through each of the fields, hit the "Mode" button until you come to either an empty field icon, or the icon of a plant. Then hit "Enter"--if you hit it on an empty field, you'll be prompted to plant one of three crops: wheat, beans, or corn. If you hit Enter on the plant icon, the main game screen switches to show the plant's growth icon, and you can cycle between two icons on the top menu: the barn for stats, and the tractor for water/compost/harvesting. In order to switch back to your animal, press "Mode" until you see the icon of your pet, and then press "Enter" to change back to it.

The purpose of the crops is to feed the animals. Note the cow and horse can feed themselves if you run out by grazing on grass, so if you fail to take care of your crops you won't be totally screwed. They don't seem to need much work--just "feed" them with water and fertilizer every so often until they get large enough to cover the screen, then choose the scythe to harvest them. They'll then be added to your seed totals, which are decremented each time you feed your pet.

So far, I'm liking this pet more now that I understand how it works, mostly. There are still a few things I'm not sure about, but I'll get those figured out eventually.

August 23, 2022

Ok, so yesterday I know for a fact that I wasn't having this problem, but today the game is giving me ONE POINT per successful play, out of 100. WTF? It did this on the pig from day 1 and I'm not sure why. It's ridiculous. Giving the horse treats for doing tricks successfully seems to increase it just a LITTLE bit more, but we're talking like...2 points instead of 1.

Also, I've noticed that while the pets seem to be able to weather more or less a day of neglect, the crops usually die with the same amount of neglect. At the same time, though, watering and fertilizing them doesn't seem to affect their health at all (the heart icon that shows when you chose the barn icon). I'm thinking maybe that it's just a matter of time, and if you don't harvest them you don't get the seeds. At least, I'm hoping that's what it is because I'm low on them at this point, having lost several crops by now. I don't think there's any way to get them back other than resetting, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Later that day...

Success! I have harvested beans and now I'm back to 100 seeds! And I only watered and fertilized twice! There's no indication that they're ready, they just get bigger on the screen.

Another thing I'm not fond of is the "game" you play with the animals to keep them happy. In fact it's not much of a game, really: you hit the left and right buttons in order to get the pet to cycle through animations completely and reach the end, kind of like the power ups on the original Digimon pets. I wish it were more fun, but I guess it works.

August 24, 2022

Ok, I reset it today, because yesterday I planted the last of my corn, and apparently I harvested it too soon. This left me without any corn seeds, and since all the animals depend on it, I didn't see the point in continuing.

I also re-read some instructions that I found online (from https://www.virtualpet.com), which kind of confirmed what I had suspected about it being largely a matter of time. These said specifically to plant in the morning, and then harvest in the afternoon at about 6pm, and also that corn is the hardest to grow, so I've gone ahead and planted beans today. I didn't plant more than one since I haven't yet gotten the hang of it just yet. We'll see how it goes.

August 25, 2022
So, don't plant crops overnight. They disappear into the either. Learned that this morning. The ones I had planted in the morning were fine, though, and I was able to harvest them successfully later in the day. Looks like that's the way to do it for now.

Epilogue

At this point, I tried planting other crops and they ended up either dying, or when I harvested I got nothing from them, so I stopped before getting too frustrated. I'm going to keep the device on hand because I'd definitely like to try again in the future, but this one is definitely challenging!

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goesby on :

how nostalgic really!
I remembered something like...Tamagochi. Simple but intuitive to play and gain some patience to nurturing things.

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