Homescapes and Gardenscapes publisher Playrix has recently brought the latest installment of the series to Android and iOS devices worldwide. Titled Farmscapes, this is a match-3 game from the company who previously brought users countless hours of enjoyment with Fishdom and Township.
Despite the title, Farmscape is not a farm game per-se. You won’t be growing crops or taking care of animals, instead the game’s narrative is set around a farm where players join Mary in her efforts to turn the abandoned ranch into a rural paradise. It’s basically the same recipe that made Homescapes and Gardenscapes famous, minus Austin the butler.
As the story unfolds, Mary develops an interest in Philip, a handyman who visits the farm to help every time his services are needed. Other characters make an appearance along the way as well, and players are tasked with solving as many match-3 puzzles as possible in order to move the narrative forward.
To start renovations around the farm you need to collect Horseshoes – special in-game resources that players can get only by beating levels. Each level can produce 3 Horseshoes.
Puzzles are structured like in any match-3 game out there. Meaning that you get a limited number of moves that should be used to complete the given level objective. These goals usually require that you collect some type of blast element – pieces you can interact with by matching next to them.
Like with many games from this category, levels start off easy enough in but get progressively more difficult as you advance. Actually, the difficulty of this game is a bit above average, so by level 30 you might already be dealing with tricky puzzles that can’t be solved straight away. If you’ve been playing the game and stumbling upon issues of your own, then you’ve come to the right place.
We’ve recently compiled a Farmscapes beginner’s guide which aims to help you become better at solving puzzles. Check out our list of tips and tricks and maybe you’ll find the solution, or at least a new angle to approach the challenges thrown your way.
1. Be Willing To Replay Levels
Replaying levels should become second nature to you while playing Farmscapes. Don’t get frustrated if you can’t solve the level from the first go. Instead make good use of all your lives in trying to beat it. Sometimes you won’t even have to exhaust them all to solve the puzzle.
Each time you reload a level, the tile arrangement will be different. This is good news, because it gives you the chance to try out different strategies to complete the puzzle, like for instance, starting to match on a different part of the board. Deciding to leave the level once you viewed the initial tile loadout and ruling that it’s not in your favor is discouraged because doing so costs a life (unless you’re running on unlimited lives). Simply continue playing with what you have until the end and perhaps the outcome will be in your favor.
If you feel like you need a fresh perspective on things, you might even try quitting the game for a while and coming back to it later. In a number of cases, simply taking a break from playing a certain puzzle over and over again and coming back with a clear mind makes all the difference in the world to your strategy.
When back into the game try as much as possible to think like a chess player and visualize what would happen if you performed certain moves. With this in mind, our advice is not to rush into the level and start matching randomly. Take your time and carefully evaluate the board first, and see which matches would be in your favor. You might notice that if you stand idle for a few seconds, the game will take it upon itself to suggest your next move. While this counsel is highly welcomed in some situations, most of the times they might not really be in your best interest. Our advice is to objectively evaluate these suggestions, before taking them on. If you feel they bring no real benefit to the table, go ahead and skip them.
Given that you have a limited number of moves to solve the puzzle, it’s important that you don’t use any of them without a clear purpose. So if you’re tempted to go for a match just because it’s there, we would highly recommend that you find something better to do. Instead look for those matches that can get you closer to reaching your level objective. Since the puzzles aren’t timed, you have all the time in the world at your disposal. So take it easy, don’t rush into making moves you’ll regret later. If it doesn’t work out in the end, rinse and repeat.
2. Choose The Location Of Your Boosters On The Field
Boosters are a common denominator of most match-3 games. In Farmscapes, the basic ones can be created on the field, but there are other types as well, as we will see below. The most accessible ones are those you can make yourself by identifying heaps of five or more blocks while playing. In Farmscapes it’s easy to spot them, as the game marks them with a relevant symbol.
There are three type of Boosters you can make in-game and we’ve listed them below for your convenience:
Rockets – created by matching five pieces of the same color, when activated they can remove a full row or column (depending on their direction).
Bombs – players can create a Bomb by matching seven pieces of the same color. Once activated, the power-up will remove everything within a three-cell radius.
Propellers – made from nine or more pieces of the same color, Propellers remove all pieces of the same color from the field.
To make your Boosters even more effective, you can go ahead and combine them for a more brutal effect. In Farmscapes it’s quite straightforward to mix and match Boosters, because the game allows you to choose where to place a power-up once it’s created. Naturally, the position you select has to be within the cluster of blocks that eventually gets turned into a power-up. Think of where it would be most useful to have the power-up and then tap on a specific block to indicate the spot you want it to appear in.
This quirk makes it easier to create Booster combos more often, by allowing players to position two power-ups in close proximity. Simply select the position that’s closest to another Booster on the board to create a second power-up adjacent to the first.
You can go ahead and mix whichever two or even three power-ups you want. The most destructive ones combine a Propeller with another Booster. When mixed together, the Propeller will replicate the second power-up all over the board causing mass explosions. So whenever opportunities like these arise, be sure take advantage of them. They’ll certainly get you closer to achieving your goal.
3. Activate All Pre-Level Boosters When Going Into A Though Level
Pre-level Boosters are another type of power-up. They are identical to the Boosters we’ve just described in the section above – you’ll get a Rocket, Bomb and Propeller – but with one major difference to highlight.
You don’t create these through matching. You can either win or buy some and then activate them before going into a level to use them. This way you’ll be able to begin a game with some Boosters already formed and waiting for you on the board.
This can be extremely helpful during really hard challenges. Our recommendation would be to go into these levels with all three pre-level Boosters activated. In most cases it does help you successfully complete the task, but obviously, it’s not a fullproof method. Nevertheless, it can’t hurt to attempt solving a puzzle by employing this tactic. The only caveat here is that overreliance on these Boosters might leave you empty-handed rather quickly.
Once you’ve run out of these pre-level Boosters, you’ll have to visit the Shop to get more. Here you can acquire power-up packs in exchange for real-world currency, but that’s definitely not a solution if you don’t have money to spend on this game.
Players can get more free pre-level Boosters simply by playing the game and unlocking progress rewards, although these aren’t as frequent as you need them to be. There game is careful to dispense small rewards once you’ve unlocked a number of renovations (which is not small!) around the farm. Spend Boosters too quickly and you risk running out of them long before you can get your hands on a new batch.
Luckily even without pre-level Boosters, you’re can still make regular ones on the board. And you also get a series of additional helping tools, which can be accessed from the right part of the display. You can check them and their uses below.
Shovel – clears any tile you want from the field without wasting a move.
Rake – clears a whole column of pieces without spending a move.
Lawnmower – destroys an entire row of pieces without spending a move.
Basket – removes all the pieces of a certain color from the game field without wasting a move.
Whenever you need additional help during a round, don’t forget you can turn to these tools for assistance. They are perhaps better suited for use towards the end of the game, in case you need one extra push to finish the puzzle. Like in the case of the pre-level Boosters, don’t get too attached to using these tools, or you risk running out of them pretty quickly. Instead, use your logic to determine when it’s the right time to throw them in the game.
4. Make Your Way F from The Bottom Up
Whenever there’s room on the field, try and match at the bottom. This is standard match-3 strategy that can be applied with success in Farmscapes, as well. Working your way from the bottom up allows you to clear space in the lower part of the field, thus bringing new blocks in that fall from the top.
This might result in random Booster clusters forming on the board, which is great because the more power-ups you can create the easier it will be for you to solve the puzzle.
It’s not always possible to match at the bottom. In some cases, the filed will be blocked in the lower side of the display, so you’ll have to concentrate on removing the elements that are blocking the way first.
5. Keep Your Eyes On The Level Objective
The level objective is shown as you go into a level, but as you start getting busy with matching, this important piece of information might slip in the back of your mind. Don’t let it do that. Keep your eyes on the level objective, it’s important.
Sometimes the goal might not include all the blast elements you would intuitively expect. For example, a puzzle featuring both Creates with tomatoes and Kittens might include only the pets in the level objective. In such a case, you will be wise to focus your efforts on the cats instead of the crates, because they do not matter ultimately. Sure, if you find these elements are blocking your access to the hay (where the kittens are hiding), you have to get rid of them. But don’t worry, if you left a bunch of crates untouched, they won’t affect your outcome.
6. Don’t Spend Coins, Unless You Really Have To
For each puzzle you spend successfully, you will be rewarded with coins. Coins are good for one thing in Farmscapes – to buy you extra moves should you fail to complete a puzzle. This doesn’t come cheap, though, so you’ll need to shed 900 coins for 5 more moves.
Collecting coins is a painfully slow affair in Farmscapes considering that for most levels you’ll earn approximately 50 coins (with small bonuses based on how many moves you have left). Alternatively, puzzles that are tagged as Hard or Super hard can earn you 100 and 150 coins respectively.
It’s also possible to earn coins by unlocking progress rewards, as well as through events. Even if you can make extra coins on the side, they won’t be enough to support constant spending. Which is why you shouldn’t be wasting your money on extra lives every time you’re having a bit of difficulty sorting a level. Instead, make the transaction only if you really have to.
If you tried everything to solve a level but failed, you can consider purchasing more moves. But make absolutely sure you can complete the puzzle with these extra moves, or else you risk spending money in vain, and you don’t want that. It will take you long enough to earn back that cash, so don’t take the plunge unless you really must!
7. Play During Events
Events are hosted every now and then in Farmscapes. These happenings offer a great opportunity for getting your hands on more currency, as well as Boosters and unlimited lives.
Whenever you notice an ongoing event in the game, make sure to get active by trying to solve puzzles. For example, during the Pumpkin event you can get rewards for beating a number of levels in a row. These can range from coins and Boosters to tools.
Given the extra power-ups available for the taking, your chances at solving levels also increases significantly, which is why we recommend you play as much as possible during Events.
8. Set The Time Forward To Get More Lives Instantly
By default, you get five lives in Farmscapes at the beginning of each day. Once you run out of them, you’ll have to exit the game and wait until they’ve regenerated. But what if you wish to continue playing? Well, you could log in with your Facebook account and ask your friends to send you lives (if you have any who are also playing the game).
If you’re lucky you can unlock unlimited lives during events, which is another big reason why we so strongly encourage you to play during these happenings. Just keep in mind that events aren’t always available, and their rewards tend to vary between them.
The third option you have at your disposal is to set your device’s time ahead. Just go to Settings > System > Date & Time and manually set the time with a couple hours ahead. Go back to the game and you’ll notice your lives have fully regenerated. It’s an easy trick to try out, one that enables you to keep playing for as long as you want.
9. A Few Tips For Beating Blast Levels
Like any match-3 game, Farmscape levels feature countless blast elements – items you have to remove from the board by the end of the level. The common rule is that you interact with these elements by merging in their vicinity. Sometimes you have to do it more than once to completely remove the piece from the field.
Most blast elements in this game will appear in various instances on the board. For example, Garlic first shows up as a standalone element, but later emerges encased Cages. You will need to match once to remove the first type of element, but the second kind requires two matches or more (depending on the Cage type). There are other elements like Pumpkins or Crates with tomatoes which take even more matching to remove. To get rid of these elements faster, especially the layered ones, players are encouraged to use Boosters as much as possible.
Some levels will feature a bunch of elements that can’t be destroyed. Instead, they have to be removed from the board by clearing a path for them and allowing them to fall through the bottom of the board. These elements including Chicks and Hens – the former occupies one cell, while the latter takes up a total of four cells on the field. Boosters like the Rockets are super useful during levels with Chicks and Hens, because they can be used to quickly remove all the titles blocking the path of these elements.
Other elements need matches so they can produce something. For instance, the Birdhouse holds a bird that will go free, while the Flower pot can create a flower. These types of elements can be activated with power-ups, as well as standard matches.
Kittens are an interesting type of element. They are hidden in haystacks and will be drawn out and collected only if you match exactly near the particular haystack they are lurking in. If you match next to another haystack, the kitten will just go hide somewhere else. How can you know where a kitten is hiding? Don’t do anything for a few seconds, while keeping an eye on the haystacks. You’ll notice that some of them are shivering slightly – and this is your indicator that a kitten is hiding in there. Of course, if you could use a power-up like a Rocket on an entire row or column of haystacks, the kittens will be easily revealed to you.
Color-coded elements are another type of obstacle you’ll encounter throughout your journey in Farmscapes. These are items that can be collected only by matching pieces of the same color next to them. For instance, a red Flower pot will open if you match it with a cluster of red blocks. These can be really hard to get rid of sometimes, which is we recommend using Boosters on them as much as possible.
Other elements can only be removed from the field by using Boosters. For example, Cones won’t be affected by your matching. Instead, during these levels you’ll have to focus on creating multiple Boosters, so you can remove them as quickly as possible. These elements are almost always part of the level objective, so the quicker you find a way to deal with them, the better it will be for you.
Spreading elements can also be quite tricky to tackle but not impossible. You have to be careful though, as Jam spreads with every move you make. If left uncheck, it will expand farther and farther until it will engulf all of your tiles. When playing a level featuring Jam, you need to target this element immediately and not let it get out of hand. If Jam overspreads, it will be highly difficult to get rid of it all by the end of the game.
And this concludes our Farmscapes beginner’s guide. Hopefully our compilation of tips and tricks will prove of real use during the early stages of the game and beyond. If you have your own hints and you wish to share them with others, please go ahead and put them in the comment section below!