It's really simple, Funky Barn is a farm management game for the NEW Nintendo Wii U console. It's a port or updated version of the game offered on the Nintendo 3DS with the added option of being able to "Pet" your animals to make them happier using the Wii U Gamepad (the one with the LCD screen). I am renting this game and have not purchased it.
I've taken 2 stars off for three reasons:
1. The recurring game breaking glitch that freezes the game/console.
2. The issue of NOT being able to build fences/walls to the very edge of the farmland barrier.
3. A 90 second loading cutscene slideshow that is UNSKIPABLE and plays everytime you load/start a farm from the Main Campaign and Challenge Mode.
GAME BREAKING GLITCH:
First comes first. There is a troublesome game breaking glitch that has been occurring in my gameplay. After completing the main campaign story for the 1st available farm on the easy difficulty I ran into a glitch that causes the game and console to completely freeze. Whenever I would build one last structure, the game would have the "Home" screen popup and if I back out of that the whole console and game where frozen. The only available option is to restart the console and load the game up again. Unfortunately, you end up losing a good portion of your game progression even if you save shortly before the game/console freeze.
I believe the issue is caused by having too many items in the game which causes the game and console to overload and freeze. What's annoying is that there is no in game system to stop this from happening. Even after completing the campaign and completing your farm you can keep playing as along as you lay off building too many items. You still get trading offers and can still upkeep your farm, add items and feed and process your items but if you build too much you are ultimately screwed. So, I would recommend that once you complete the campaign story, to simply save your game and then proceed to play on one of the other farm's, a different difficulty or one of the challenge modes. There is absolutely no point in trying to progress any further or maintain and/or max out your farm.
PLEASE NOTE: There is NO AUTO-SAVE in this game. In order to save your in game progress you have to press the "+" sign on the gamepad and then choose "Save Game". I would recommend doing this often.
I'm not sure if this game is worth the $50 asking price. Personally, I think it's worth about 1/2 that and I wouldn't bother paying more than $30. Just wait for it to be on sale or rent the game. It's a lot of fun and engrossing... Just avoid the freezing issue and start a new game once you complete the campaign/challenge requirements. Once completing all 3 difficulties for both the main campaign and the challenge mode I am NOT sure there is any point in continuing to play this game. The game breaking glitch prevents you from maxing out and maintaining your existing farms.
There are three difficulties for both the main campaign and the challenge mode; Easy, Medium and Hard. Each difficulty has a different farmland layout. For the challenges, you have to unlock the previous farm in order to play the harder difficulties. There are no multiplayer options (local or online). There is no reference to future DLC in the game.
The main story missions take several hours to fully complete. There are like 7 or 8 missions within each campaign where you can to progress through the story by having XYZ in whatever amount the farm needs. Such as having 5 chickens, 2 Decorations and 1 Cow. Then you unlock more in game content and then continue to progress through the story until you are done.
I was able to complete each of the 3 different Challenge difficulties in about 10-12 minutes each. The Challenges are all very easy and amount to making your Farm 100% happy as per the in game progress bar. You really just have to maintain your farm and build enough Water Towers to make enough grass to get the animals happy enough. I would recommend holding off on doing the Challenges until you've at least completed the main game on Easy. It can get a bit hectic if you DO NOT know what you are doing. There is a countdown timer so you don't have all the time in the world to figure out how to play the game like you do in the main story levels.
Outside of the freezing, I really enjoyed this game. Using the gamepad was a lot of fun and is one of the things that really makes this game work. This game does require the use of the gamepad so you cannot just use a Pro Controller. One of the things you use the gamepad for is petting your livestock which makes them happy. You have to use your finger or the stylis in a circular motion to increase the happiness health bar. Make sure NOT to poke your animal(s) as they get unhappy and you lose a good percentage of happiness (5%-10%). When the livestock are unhappy they get a balloon and fly away, which is something you don't want to happen. There is a progress bar for the overall happiness of the farm that is displayed on the gamepad. Animals will display popups with relevant icons displaying what they want or what is making them unhappy. Such as; being scared by farm equipment or other animals, a lack or water or food, or being lonely (no other same type animals).
Using the gamepad you can change the camera overhead view (top down, close up and off angle) as well as access the "General Store" to purchase items you want to add to your farm such as; roads, fences, walls, decorations (statues, topiaries, etc) , trees, flowers, plants, crops, farming equipment, homes for livestock, etc... etc... A lot of the processing mechanics of the game can be automated through the use of equipment that will suck up livestock and process their eggs or wool or gather things such as hay, fruit, and truffles. The two things that cannot be automated are the resupplying of food and water for the animals, which they go through quite fast. Fortunately, the game displays red eclamation points "!" with the relevant icons "food, water, etc" letting you know what needs to be done. Providing water and food for the animals is the most hectic part of the game and will keep you very busy.
Other things that can harm your animals are foxes and weasels that will eat small livestock like chickens, geese and pigs. However, they can be thwarted by the use of Kennels which include guard dogs. There are also UFO's that will abduct cows (ha ha) and can be chased away by Defensive Airplanes and Lightning strikes and Tornados that can eliminated with Weather Controlling equipment.
Every 30 minutes or so you'll get Trading opportunities where you have to provide XZY in a certain amount of time and you'll get paid a good amount of money for your produce/product. If you don't complete the challenge then you lose whatever you had put into it. Fortunately the challenges aren't too difficult and they give you at least 30 minutes to complete each trading challenge, at least in the Easy Difficulty.
One other thing that really annoyed me was an issue with the Fences and Walls where they cannot go right up to the edge of the map. What ends up happening is that you have to encase your fences/walls a few feet off of the edge of the map. Otherwise, the animals will walk around the fence/wall. It would be great if you could build the fence/wall right up the edge of the map but the fence/wall ends up turning red as you are building it and it prevents you from completing the construction of the fence/wall. A lot of the times my geese and chickens managed to get past some tight areas around the fences/walls. I ultimately solved all of this by constructing my fences/walls off of the edge a few feet and closing off all ends. You end up losing some farmland but there really isn't any other option other than to try and use natural barriers which don't always work. Use the topdown camera view to get a better look on the fence/wall and see where the animals are getting through.