Gourmet Ranch - The Best Game on Facebook?
The best games on Facebook are typically Zynga games. They have superior visuals and content, steps they require you to complete to maintain your interest and have good development. You may find in higher levels they are repetitive and limited, but at the same time that must be what you’re after to some extent as you don’t get extremely deep and meaningful games on Facebook!
What is Gourmet Ranch all about?
Gourmet Ranch involves growing plants or nurturing animals and harvesting them. You use the resulting ingredients to create a variety of dishes using 1-3 ingredients, and serve them up in your café. You build up experience points (XP) which you get for every action you do including planting, harvesting and cooking to level-up. Each time you level-up you get 2 keys to unlock ingredients and one or two of: an extra stove space, an extra counter space, speed-ups (to allow you to finish growing or cooking immediately), coins, extra waitresses. Periodically there is a ‘free gift’ bouncing icon on the screen where you can get 3 speed-ups just by watching a video, but you do have to watch it from beginning to end without clicking off. You can build up large amounts of XP by buying expensive functional or decorative items.
Plants, Animals & More
At the moment plants and animals fall under the categories of trees, vegetables, fruits, grains, herbs, exotic animals, crustaceans, livestock, saltwater fish and freshwater fish and ingredients are locked, with a key value to unlock them. There are 2-3 plants or animals at each price level in each category with the cheapest ones at the top and the most expensive at the bottom. For most categories the top few animals or plants are already unlocked and the level below are 1 key each, the level below them 2 keys etc. For exotic animals the top layer of animals are all 1 key to unlock, the 2nd level 2 keys etc. You can’t go straight to growing a 4 key item without unlocking the 3,2,1 key items directly above them. Animals and plants need to be cultivated in your farm. Trees are planted straight in, earth is tilled for plants and enclosures created for animals. Catching fish takes place at the boathouses. Initially you can fish for 3 fish at a time. It takes from 5 minutes to 3 days for different ingredients to become mature. It also costs a set amount to cultivate the different items; trees and produce producing animals like cows for milk, produce the item 14 times for the price you pay but it stays on your farm for that length of time too. Once harvested, ingredients are prepared or cooked on stoves then placed on counters within the kitchen area. In your café area you can place tables and chairs (one chair per table) and once food is on the counter-top hungry visitors will come and automatically be fed and pay for their meal; different meals cost a different amount depending on the ingredients. The bigger the range of food for sale, the more people come.
The Social Aspect
You can have Facebook friends as neighbours in the game and if you have 4 or 5 active friends this would enhance gameplay although it is a good game anyway and less reliant on the social aspect than many games. You can send each other gifts of food or decorative items. You can put produce and dishes up for trade and sell items to each other. You can also visit their farms and spice their dishes which gives you XP points. They also count to various targets in the Medals and Achievements tab under Neighbours. There are lots of different achievements from harvesting a set number of fruits to cooking a set number of vegetarian dishes. The more developed a target (so 14 vegetarian dishes rather than 4) can generate 1000XP which could contribute significantly to level-ups. Therefore don’t forget to grow everything you unlock and don’t forget to cook every available new dish when you have harvested that new item. When deciding what to unlock next, you might want to consider how many dishes are available to you if you do use that ingredient.
Gourmet Ranch Cash & Getting Ahead
You can buy additional keys for 5 GR cash each. You can buy GR cash, or complete various ‘offers’ to gain GR cash. This is anything from ordering free phone sim cards to signing up a survey site or buying from a particular online shop. These will really help you ‘get on’ in the game but equally you can get on easily without doing this, albeit slower.
So all in all it’s the best game because it is easy, fun, there is lots of progression, it’s not too reliant on friends or spending real money like Farmville and Castleville, you don’t run out of actions like in Frontierland and have to wait to do things, your cooking food doesn’t spoil after the length of time it takes to cook like it does in Café World and you don’t repeatedly run into stumbling blocks like in GnomeTown. Best of all worlds with advantages over the other big hitters.
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