Hay Day – Retrospective Preview 2015

There are a lot of farming simulation games out there right now, and while most of them do a lot of things right, Supercell thinks they’ve put the whole package together. Hay Day features more options, more facilities and an entirely new engine. Players will be able to experience better farming elements. With single player missions, extensive multiplayer and an excellent farm editor, Earth 2150 looks like it may be the shiniest farming game ever.

The first thing that most players will notice is the excellent 3D world in Hay Day. Although the textures are tiled, the terrain effects are outstanding with subtle gradations between smooth, flat terrain and increasingly rocky crags. Even better, the environmental effects actually effect gameplay. There are also day and night effects and weather conditions that players can use to their advantage.

Since the game employs a 3D hardware engine to present all the action, the camera needs to be agile and informative. Fortunately, Hay Day employs a simple system where players can rotate, scroll, pan, and zoom in and out with just couple of buttons. Even better, the screen can be divided up into a main window with three interchangeable sub-windows, each of which can be easily repositioned with gestures. This allows gamers to keep one eye on the main action and another eye on vital — or vulnerable — placements.

The actual gameplay will be familiar even to a casual simulation game fans. Construct a farm as quickly as possible, start gathering resources, build some machines, then go use them. Although we didn’t get a chance to test out the massively multiplayer experience, we did discover that standard rush tactics can be easily thwarted with a few basic maneuvers.

In an intriguing addition, Hay Day introduces subterranean to the mix. Along with the addition of air and sea forces, the game is definitely going to make realtime players think about every surface in the game.

Finally, SuperCell has included a very convenient tool for user-created farms. Along with the basic size of the map, players can customize the terrain with surprising detail. There are dozens of textures and an easy “brush” tool that can be modified to raise, lower and smooth the terrain. Although the water table is at a fixed level — so floods would occur instantaneously when land is deformed — it is possible to create lakes at differing altitudes.

Although the simulation field is pretty crowded, Hay Day does make an admirable attempt to set itself apart. Polished graphics and unique features are nice.