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Tractor Trails Review
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Tractor Trails, an agrarian puzzler from Origin8, is now available from the app store. Featuring a cute setting, simple mechanics, and a handful of upgrades, Tractor Trails is a charming game with a few minor annoyances.

Tractor Trails Pros:

  • Colorful, top-down presentation and fun animations
  • Whimsical soundtrack
  • Simple swipe controls
  • Perks and upgrades available for purchase using in-game corn currency
  • GameCenter integration for leaderboards and achievements

Tractor Trails Cons:

  • Controls suffer from responsiveness issues
  • Timers are unflinchingly tight, in some cases requiring in-game upgrades to beat
  • Gameplay can get repetitive

Tractor Trails contains 130 levels of puzzling fun. You are placed in control of a chicken-driven tractor whose goal is to plant trees on every available space without doubling over the previous path. You move your tractor by swiping north, south, east, or west, sending it in the chosen direction until it hits a barrier. As you drive, you plant seeds that burst into full-grown trees almost immediately behind you to form a new obstacle preventing passage or creating a new stopping point for turning purposes. Each level allows you to earn up to 3 stars, one each for running over a gopher, collecting all cobs of corn, and completing the level within increasingly stricter time frames. The collected corn can be exchanged for a number of perks and upgrades, such as improved speed or the ability to queue moves. As you progress, you’ll encounter new challenges like ponds to avoid and rafts to create temporary bridges.

Graphically, the top-down farm scene has a family-friendly feel, making this puzzler appealing to gamers of all ages. A handful of locations keep the visuals from getting stale. Animations include weather effects, floating rafts, hovering corn, the driving tractor, and growing trees, with a final pop that sends the tractor skyward when the last tree is formed underneath its wheels. The soundtrack is light and upbeat, providing a nice backdrop. The controls are the weakest point in the game, as responsiveness issues lead to re-swiping that tends to cause us to miss the time limit. This led us to replay levels way more than necessary simply to earn stars that we should have nabbed in the first place. Additionally, since the timer starts before you select your first move, the normal act of scouting a board for the best route will naturally lead you to miss the timer star on your initial attempt. Sadly, this issue alone caused us to shelve the game prematurely due to frustration.

Replay value is low, outside of the need to pick up the time stars. The other two are pretty automatic if you are to properly solve the puzzle. GameCenter integration provides global leaderboards and an achievement system. A universal app for $0.99, Tractor Trails is a 3.5-Dimple option.

Tractor Trails Review, reviewed by Kevin on 2012-05-09T00:12:07+00:00 rating 3.5 out of 5

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