Paul Farley from Tag Games, creators of Car Jack Streets [App Store] unveiled the first screenshots of their upcoming game Astro Ranch this morning. With a launch date currently set for early winter of 2009, Astro Ranch is said to have a 1950's sci-fi asthetic with the characterization of Animal Crossing and the farm management game-play of Harvest Moon.
Tag Games' artist Laura Whyte explains the design direction behing Astro Ranch:
We are really excited at how well Astro Ranch is coming together. It is rare to have the opportunity to create an entirely new alien environment from scratch and whilst Astro Ranch pays visual homage to some of our favourite cartoons, movies and games it has a style that is all its own. The iPhone version is looking great but we’re also excited by the opportunity to implement Astro Ranch on consoles as well. Once iPhone gamers have taken the game and characters to heart I’m sure console gamers will demand nothing less!
Here's what we know right now:
Astro Ranch is set on an unidentified alien planet which our intrepid galactic explorer Sindy Starlight has accidentally discovered after crash landing. This may or may not have been caused due to checking her hair in the rear view mirror - mission control is still running the data on that particular question! Sindy must start from scratch to build a ranch and earn the cash needed to buy enough spare parts to fix her rocket and return home. It won’t be easy. The locals range from obsessively friendly to outright hostile plus the planet is host to all manner of hazards, natural disasters and weird goings on.
If you ever wondered what would happen if Erie Indiana met Animal Crossing whilst playing Harvest Moon – now you know… Astro Ranch!
Needless to say, we'll be keeping a close eye on this. If Tag Games manages to pull off a successful hybrid between Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon, I think there will be a lot of happy iPhone gamers out there.