Confession: I’m a sandbox phone game junkie. In fact, as much as I love video games, portable systems have always been my favorite. Naturally, I gravitate toward anything cute on the phone and about five months ago (early February) I started playing Fantasy Forest Story by Team Lava/Storm8. I’ve never reviewed iOS/phone games before, but now’s a good a time as any.
Above you can see my (ID: zombukidolls) fantasy forest. The game is similar to Pokemon in that you get adorable animal-esque creatures and level them up to battle. While there is a battleground where you can win rare animals there are also pop-up tournaments about every two weeks where you can win exclusive animals. If you miss them then you might get a pop up to buy them (I confess that I am a sucker and paid actual money to get a Rumblebee). Once you reach a certain level in the game you will only be offered the $14 animal packs, which I think is a huge rip off. I’m at the cap now, which is level 40, and there is no way I’m paying hundreds of dollars for digital animals. I have said it before and I’ll say it again, $10 for a fully unlocked game where you can buy gems with in-game money and I’d hand them the cash for sure. $14 per animal is insane and greedy, it’s My Life as a King all over again.
Above you can see my Ancient Sloth (a battleground prize) fighting a limited Halloween animal. The animals live in themed habitats, and you can breed them to collect most of the 90+ animals that are currently in the game. You can feed them food from your farm to raise them up to a max level of 15, which will help them battle, and as they grow they have four forms: baby, juvenile, adult, and shiny adult. In addition to the tournaments there are stock battle grounds that you move through at your own pace. I find this much more gratifying than the often frustrating tournaments. For tournaments you need to play every hour on the hour using a guide, it’s a huge time suck, and there is no guarantee you will win. Out of maybe a dozen tournaments I have three of the prize animals.
Team Lava also has seasonal events like Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day where you can unlock limited animals and habitats (very top photo) by breeding and farming. Once you get to a certain level you can win more limited prizes with the whole community and so far the goals have been very attainable. They have smaller, limited animal events like this that are usually achievable, but can get sticky. The last one I missed because I didn’t have internet access for eight hours. That’s just too tight a squeeze.
The game really takes about 5 minutes maybe four times a day so it’s one of those nice time-killing games when you’re stuck in a long line, but it won’t take over your life, which I appreciate. The tournaments, on the other hand, are much harder to beat, if you like a challenge. The major down side is that, once you hit level 40 (4-5 months in) you will be expanding at a very slow rate, have a super crowded forest, and have way too much money with nothing to buy. Clearly, the company does not see you playing this game for a long period of time.
In conclusion, if you like cutesy phone games like me consider downloading it, the game is free until you start buying animals like me because I have no impulse control.
– updated 7/16/15