Tag Games is on a roll lately between the recently released B-Boy Beats [App Store] and the upcoming Astro Ranch which was submitted last week and is expected to be approved and appear on the App Store any time now. Since our last look at the game, I've been able to spend a considerable amount of time with the pre-release version and as a fan of both Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing games, I'm digging Astro Ranch.

The basic premise of the game involves the character you choose at the beginning crash landing in to a neighborhood filled with aliens who surprisingly enough are more than willing to get you started with a house to live in, a barn to keep all your stuff in, and a plot of land for you to raise your various crops and livestock. The interface is all touch driven, and works surprisingly well with how many different things in the game are controlled with very similar gestures.

Walking around in game is just a matter of touching where you want to go, and entering a house just involves tapping on the door. When you get down to business and need to interact with the various tools required to farm, managing your inventory is just a matter of tapping a button on the lower right corner of the screen, then from your inventory you can equip anything you can use. Using the equipped item is a matter of touching and dragging a button on the top right corner of the screen and drawing a line with your finger ending on whatever you want to interact with in the game world.

These basic controls can be seen in the following gameplay video, which is just me completing the first parts of the tutorial:

From the time I've been able to put in to it so far, Astro Ranch seems to be a surprisingly deep game. I have yet to master the in-game economy which seems to be completely dynamic, and my farming output is fairly pitiful right now, but appears to be progressing nicely. Mini-games and silly quests your alien neighbors send you on serve as excellent distractions for when you tire of farming, and it always feels like there's something to do.

As mentioned previously, Astro Ranch is expected to appear on the App Store any day now. Tag Games is only waiting on Apple approval, and shortly thereafter the game will be available for download for $2.99.

  • Wordslinger

    This game looks pretty full-featured for $2.99. Should we expect a lot of DLC to fully enjoy the game?

    • http://touchreviews.tk Fleabag323

      I'm a beta tester, and am only repeating what has been said by the developer. The DLC in the game does not require DLC to fully enjoy the game, (AKA Eliminate), but the DLC is more superficial, like furniture and clothing. (AKA Pocket God)

      • Wordlsinger

        I'm cool with that kind of DLC. I just don't want to have keep buying seed for plants and basic things like that. Basically I don't want something like Touch Pets Dogs.

      • TheFamousEccles

        This sounds like it could be fine, but I'm still skeptical.

        Looking forward to it nonetheless.

  • TrueAxis

    I'm so tempted to get this when it gets released but I'm afraid my work load will suffer...

  • Snow_mani

    I'm another beta tester and this game is fun :)

    With regards to buying seeds and other farming items these are all purchased using currency earnt in the game from planting and selling crops, raising and milking/shearing/selling livestock, fishing, gold panning and completing mini quests/tasks for other game characters. No purchase of the DLC is required to get full enjoyment of the game. In otherwords it's not like having to buy dog food in Touch Pets Dogs. The DLC is all luxury items like decorations, outfits and for the lazy - in game currency if you don't want to earn it the old fashioned way by farming your ranch and playing the mini games.

  • mattman93

    I need this game to come out now, I've been waiting for this for months.

  • Nephilim Apps

    Honestly, As good as this looks I am not going to be a first day buyer just because of that fact that the developer is TAG games... I am still trying to get the bad taste of buying Car Jack Streets at launch.

  • paul@tag

    nephilim I'm sorry that you didn't have a great experience with Car Jack Streets. We've had over 100,000 paid downloads and once we removed the weekly payment requirement had very positive feedback about the game from most of our players! Customer satisfaction is what we are all about at Tag so drop me a line, remind me of your issue and I'll see if we can't make it up to you?

    If you email bizdev@tag-games.com it will come through to me personally.

    Thanks Paul

    PS Astro Ranch is still in the review queue as of monday evening UK time. Fingers crossed it wont be long now!

    • Oliath

      See I LOVED the weekly payment to uncle Frankie. It kept
      me playing. I was one week away from completing when my iPhone broke so I never found out what happened. Add the leaderboards and you were constantly fighting for number one every day, week, month b

      Anyway. I never understood why some people thought a feature that added replay value sucked. Perhaps too many younger players don't have the patience.

      Astro Ranch looks like something the iPhone has been missing for a very long time. Hopefully it will manage to please the bunch who love to moan about anything that doesn't have John Gore in it.

      • nephilim apps

        Hey Paul I just sent you an email.

        and oliath I actually liked the weekly payments to an extent I just sometimes was not able to play the game enough in one week and honestly that was probably the lowest on my list of issues about the game. However I sent you an email Paul with other issues I had. I honestly just think my displeasure with the game may have just been overhype.

  • starmonkey101

    im so excited for this! i want it now!

  • http://mommysportablebrain.blogspot.com/ Tracey

    Does it require an internet connection? I'm still looking for something for my kids to play offline.

    AND, can you have multiple "games" at once? The 3 of them share a Touch and it gets nasty around here when someone takes over someone's game.

    Like when the 5yo thought Mommy would like to start Giana Sisters all over last week. HMPH.

    • paul@tag

      Please to say tracey that the game has a whooping 8, yes eight, save slots. Only the first one can be used for social and DLC content but that shouldnt affect your kids too much!

      No internet connection required other than when sending stuff between friends, posting to facebook or downloading paid content so you are ok there as well!

      P

      • TheFamousEccles

        So DLC only works for one account? That seems a little illogical.

      • paul@tag

        The account is held by the device ID not the game save slot. I'm afraid its just the way it is... anyway don't most gamers think DLC is the spawn of the devil in anycase ;-) Can't image too many people wanting to buy the same items across multiple game sessions. Or maybe we've missed a trick here?

      • TheFamousEccles

        Alright, so if you buy DLC in one account it's in all? I just misread you, sorry.

      • http://mommysportablebrain.blogspot.com/ Tracey

        Cool Beans!!!!

        I can see an issue of all 3 of them wanting to buy something and all have it, but hey, they will have to survive without it!

        I'll be watching for it to hit the store and share it with them. I'm out of iTunes cash - they still have some left from Christmas! Although the oldest is getting an iPad when they ship, so I see her spending more "soon".

        Thanks for the quick response!

  • Karen

    Does the game offer support to listen to iPod tunes while playing?

    Thanks!
    --karen

  • aaaa

    i love the game, really
    BUT it's shit that my savegame crushed. so i can't play it anymore ... and to start from the beginning sucks.