|Platform(s)||Adobe Flash (Facebook)|
|Release||October 10, 2009|
Country Life is a farming simulation social network game developed by the Country Life development team and released on October 10, 2009. It has been inspired by the seminal Story of Seasons series and shares similarities with FarmVille. Gameplay involving various aspects of farm management such as plowing land, planting, growing, and harvesting crops, harvesting trees, and bushes, and raising livestock.
It is available as an Adobe Flash application via the social-networking website Facebook. The game is a freemium game, meaning there is no cost to play but players have the option of purchasing premium content. It was once a very popular Facebook game, however recently has seen a decline in popularity. As of April 2010, Country Life broke the 10 million players threshold. According to Facebook, the game still has over 100,000 monthly users (and over 50,000 for the Lite version).
The farm is shown from an isometric viewpoint. Animals are animated (e.g. cows are chewing, bees fly from their hive to the flowers to be pollinated, mills are spinning when grinding) and greenhouses can be opened and closed. The game can be played inside the browser or on the full screen. Visibility of trees and tall buildings can be toggled by making them transparent. There is an option to take photos of the farm and share it with friends on Facebook. There are no game sounds or music in the game. In contrast with FarmVille, the player does not maneuver a virtual avatar through his farm.
The game begins with a farm consisting of 15x15 plots to grow on with some plots of Clover in bloom, fully grown Wheat and a Holstein cow, as well as a fixed starting amount of Coins, the currency in the game. Players are rewarded "XP" (experience points) for performing certain actions such as plowing land or seeding plants. At certain XP benchmarks, the player's level rises. As the player obtains more items and progresses through levels, seeds, trees and animals become available to them via the store (named "Ranch Shop") where items can be purchased using either Coins or "Ranch Cash". Ranch Cash is earned by leveling up or purchased for real money.
Players can earn XP and Coins by visiting their neighbors. Players can also send and receive certain items from friends.
Country Life incorporates the social networking aspect of Facebook into many areas of gameplay. Players invite friends or other players that are not Facebook friends to be their neighbors, allowing them to irrigate other's farms per day by "visiting" it. Neighbors may also send gifts to each other. Gifts are sent by choosing a particular item to send. They do not cost the sending user anything.
The main way a player earns coins is through harvesting of crops. The player does this by paying coins for plowing a unit of land and for planting crops on it, finally harvesting them after a certain amount of time has elapsed. The amount of time it takes for a crop to mature, and how much money a crop yields when harvested, is dependent on the crop planted and is noted on its entry in the Ranch Shop. In contrast with FarmVille, fully grown crops do not wither. As a player levels up more, crops with a higher payoff and economy will become available. Trees and livestock cannot die. Decorations can be purchased in the Ranch Shop for coins or cash or can be sent in the form of free gifts.
Country Life Lite
Country Life Lite was later released and mainly differs from the original Country Life in that XP requirements necessary to rise to the subsequent levels are reduced, permitting quick advances in the game within a short time. Also, prices are different (e.g. 5 instead of 15 coins for plowing a plot; 25 instead of 15 coins for a clover seed).