Since the Nintendo Switch released, mobile gaming has taken a drastic turn. However, we forget that mobile gaming refers more to playing on your smartphone or tablet, and I decided to give the locally-developed Fruit-Full a try.
Fruit-Full comes from Big Brave, and was developed for Tru-Cape (yes, the fruit company). I love watching local development studios rise, as we have such talent, and judging by the reviews for the game in the iOS App Store, so do most others. Moving on, Fruit-Full is a simple, yet captivating, mobile title that tasks you with the growing, production, and distribution of fruits, which you sell to grow your farm.
Despite being categorised as a simulation, it’s far more lenient than you expect. A really simple premise of watering your orchard, waiting for harvest, and then harvesting your fruit is what you will be doing most of the time. In between this, you need to erect delivery hubs, distribution channels, and productions facilities.
I love my time in Fruit-Full because it’s an easy, relaxed mobile game to play, while you sit on the couch and absorb TV, or even sitting at a coffee shop. It’s not taxing on the brain, or the hands, so you don’t need to worry about focusing so intently that you can maintain a conversation. Also, it’s relatively light on battery power, so you won’t need to carry a power bank everywhere.
Starting out with one orchard, I was to grow Top Red Apples, and provide fruit to fill orders. Orders offer Tru-Coins and XP; coins are used to build new roads, buildings, and vehicles, and XP is needed to level up and unlock new equipment. For example, you can only place a new orchard after you reach the necessary levels, and to buy cold storage facilities, productions facilities, and collection points you will need them unlocked and the necessary Tru-Coins.
Big Brave have not added in a multitude of fruits for you to grow and harvest, so you are essentially growing differing types of apples and pears, just as Tru-Cape does. However, this doesn’t take away from the experience, as Big Brave has included slightly longer growth and harvest times for pears, just as it is in real life. A cool feature that doesn’t negatively impact gameplay, but brings a slight tweak so that it isn’t repetitive (I had to have an extra pear orchard at all times to keep up).
As you grow and expand your farm, you will need to buy new pieces of adjacent land, which cost Tru-Coins and time, or you can unlock it immediately using Sun Points. Sun Points are the quintessential mobile mechanic because they act as your fast payment system. You can speed up processes that would usually take forever, or you can have instant access to new land, as I said.
The Sun Points are relatively sparse, but they aren’t crippling to get a hold of. You typically receive a new Sun Point every time you level up, but this isn’t always guaranteed. I used my Sun Points to accelerate some buildings that I would have had to wait for an hour (real-time) to finish, but Fruit-Full doesn’t really force the need for them down your throat, which I enjoyed.
The mechanics of the game were a little tricky to handle in the beginning but once I got the hang of it, it was fluid. To zoom is a double pinch, to move is a single-finger drag, but to rotate used a double-finger slide, something that took the most time to come to grips with. Often I would just zoom in and or out, or move the camera, instead of actually rotating.
I was really impressed to see the lack of progressional micro-transactions in this game, and whatever the reason was for not adding them in, I applaud it. Yes, there are the Sun Points that need to be gathered that you can use but there is no store to buy more from with real money. I am not sure if this is something that will be added in later, but I really hope that it doesn’t. You can also earn more Sun Points by scanning in the barcode of any Tru-Cape product.
The mobile title is easy on the eyes, and actually looks well-polished, compared to other mobile games. You won’t be getting console graphics but it adds to the querky feel of the farming title. Having played Farming Simulator 19 recently, this game was a “light” version of that, and I loved both. Fruit-Full is not meant to give you an authentic farming experience, but a convenient and fun activity to do while you are on-the-go, or just looking for some casual gameplay. Bonus: you get to learn about the ins-and-outs of apples and pear farming in South Africa through little info tid-bits from Tru-Cape.
Loves games with deep character development and a rich storyline. Also, shooty-shooties. Loathes microtransactions. Likes to use sarcasm and metaphors.
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