Carrot Fantasy 2: China’s most popular game reviewed
I was somewhat surprised when I saw the name of Google Play’s number one app for China this week. That might be because I have a dirty mind, or it might be because carrots and fantasy are two things that rarely go together. But a short time in Carrot Fantasy 2(保卫萝卜2) showed me the error of my ways and a few minutes turned into a few hours.
Carrot Fantasy 2 is a standard tower defense game, filled with cute critters looking to eat your precious carrot. It’s your job to defend the carrot using the towers provided. It’s a simple concept and it never gets much more complicated than that. But, as a certain flapping bird has taught us: simple does not mean easy.
As you progress you will find those cute critters become more resilient and you have fewer spaces for your towers. More importantly, money becomes scarcer. This forces you to think about which unit should go where and whether it’s worth building a new tower or upgrading an existing one.
You have a variety of towers so choosing them is an intricate decision. Will you use a poop (yeah, a poop) to slow your enemies down or blast them with a sunflower’s area of effect fire attack? My favourite tower hurls flowers like shruriken, cutting through all lined-up enemies. Its great at the end of the row or as a last-ditch defense. Your carrot can only receive ten bites before it’s finished, so last minute defenses are important.
Carrot Fantasy 2 adds an extra layer of complexity by allowing you to destroy the scenery around you for coins and space. Coins mean towers, so destroying scenery becomes essential later in the game. It’s a simple idea, but the developers have made scenery removal key to your strategy.
As you complete levels you are rewarded with one-time use items which allow you to clear the screen of enemies, or freeze them. It’s also possible to buy these abilities through in-app-purchases. So far I have never felt the need to do so, but Carrot Fantasy 2 has a lot of levels, so I’m not ruling it out for the future.
Carrot Fantasy 2’ levels are short and sweet, as is befitting a mobile game. Each level requires 5-10 minutes of free time, perfect for a bus or subway ride to work. The visuals are charming and the characters are cute; they even make cute noises as they die.
Any die-hard tower defense fans are going to find Carrot Fantasy 2 lacking in substance. For a casual gamer, or those like me who aren’t a massive fan of the genre, this is a perfect introduction.
Carrot Fantasy 2 is currently available on Android in Chinese. Translation and iOS ports are both upcoming.
( Game ranks sourced from App Annie)