If you’re like me and you’re on Facebook quite a bit as well as having totally awesome friends, there a good chance you’ve heard of Pot Farm. I hesitate to make this comparison, because I feel each game is really in its own league; however, in short, Pot Farm is Farmville but a lot cooler.

I did spend far more time than I would have liked to on Farmville, so I was very hesitant upon discovering Pot Farm, fearing I would get sucked in only to realise half a year later that I had fallen into [automaton-mode](http://www.mmogames.com/gamenews/4566/dans-guide-to-being-a-lazybusy-gamer-part-1), not really having fun at all.
I was pleasantly surprised upon entering [Pot Farm](http://www.facebook.com/potfarm), upon realising it was far less gimmicky and more in-depth than Farmville. The core gameplay of Pot Farm involves planting crops and later harvesting them for experience and gold. Different strains have a different grow times, as well as different gold and experience yields. Some crops may take as little as 2 hours to grow, allowing you to constantly play if, for instance, you’re always at your computer.
In contrast, if you’re a busier person and only have access to your PC and Facebook at less regular intervals, you can plant crops that can take 3+ days. The latter crop in this case will yield much better experience and gold; the sacrifice being time itself. This mechanic is by no means new. It a mechanic that has featured in [Facebook games](http://www.mmogames.com/facebookgames) for years now, but in Pot Farm, there are other elements to the game that add a lot more depth than in previous similar titles.
**Best field trip ever!**
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You can’t just plant ridiculous amounts of crops with no repercussions. You are limited; first and foremost by the amount of land you have available. You start with one quarter of available space and, as you level, you will periodically gain the ability to purchase more land.
The other limitation you have is the authorities. You have a protection level, which can be enhanced by buying items under the protection tab in the in-game shop. Planting crops will counter this and drop your rating by a set amount based on the quality of crops you plant. Should you get careless and drop below 1 protection, there a high chance that Ranger Dick is going to come and raid your farm and you can end up potentially losing everything. This system adds a unique level of balance and forward-thinking to the game and essentially counters the automaton-playstyle problem.
**"What you growin' here boy? Better not be that blasted dope!"**
The secondary currency in Pot Farm is Pot Bucks, which is used to purchase many cosmetic items as well as excellent crops. Pot Bucks can be purchase with actual, real-world money, earned in much smaller quantities by levelling up or by completing challenges.
Pot Bucks can also be gambled in the ‘Gold Rush’ mode, where players can bet a certain amount of Pot Bucks and try and raise their Pot Bucks by crazy amounts in a Bejewelled-style mini game. This addition to the game does a lot for breaking up the gameplay, adding more variety, and potentially allowing good (as well as lucky) players to gain a huge temporary advantage to their farm.
Of course, all of these things are made a hell of a lot more fun due to the fact that you can get all your friends involved as ‘neighbours’. You can visit your neighbours and help out on their farm, earning you a variety of awards, from crops, to extra experience, to aesthetic items to show off on your own farm. You can also send and receive gifts from your neighbours.
**Just a quiet night in.**
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Overall, Pot Farm is better than Farmville. I would even go as far as claiming that it is the best game of its genre on Facebook. It can definitely be enjoyed solo; however, the fun really comes about when you share the love with your neighbours. There is also a great sense of humour and style, which is apparent in just about every aspect of the game, and goes a long way in making the game accessible and stops it from becoming a serious grind.
If you’ve got a Facebook account, friends and a spare couple of minutes—even if you’ve played this style of game before and weren’t impressed—there really no reason not to [**check out Pot Farm**](http://www.facebook.com/potfarm) and start growing some crops today!