Magic Tree brings 3D farming to iOS

Magic Tree is a new iOS-based farming game from Korea’s Com2uS. The company already has a wide variety of titles on the App Store, but Magic Tree is just one of the 28 titles the developer/publisher is planning to release this year. Magic Tree is a social title which combines recognizable, familiar game mechanics with a distinctively Korean take on aesthetics and online interactions. It’s available now as a free Universal download on the App Store.

Magic Tree casts players in the role of their own custom avatar living on an enormous tree — the titular Magic Tree, in fact. Beginning with a small amount of land, it’s up to the player to manage their initially-limited space, grow crops, chase away wild animals and breed strange new species of magical trees. This is achieved in a manner that will be immediately familiar to anyone who has played a social farming game in recent years — clear land, plant crops, wait periods of real time before harvesting them (or use hard currency — here called Stars — to speed the process along) and attempt to acquire as much money as possible while leveling up their character.

So far, so conventional, but there are a few little twists on the formula that Magic Tree provides to set it apart from its numerous competitors. Firstly, there is the “tree breeding” aspect. Players will acquire magical seeds from the plants and trees they grow and are then able to use these in various combinations to create new species. These begin as simply strange-colored variants on regular trees, but gradually expand to a variety of weird and wonderful plants including Plants vs. Zombies-style anthropomorphic sunflowers, lollipop trees and mandrake roots. This gameplay element adds a fun collection mechanic to the game along with a welcome sense of structure beyond what its quest system provides.

The second noteworthy thing about the game is how the social mechanics are implemented. In many other social farming games, friends may come and “help” on a player’s farm, though the player never sees them or directly interacts with them — the limit of direct interaction is usually limited to exchanging gifts. In Magic Tree, however, players are able to visit friends’ (or random strangers’) farms, emote towards the other player’s avatar and perform various tasks on their behalf. When the other player logs back in, they’ll see a fully-animated (and skippable) cutscene of their friend helping out and performing the tasks. Players are also able to earn “friendship experience” with one another according to how many times they’ve visited each other and interacted, with different emotes available for higher-level friendships.

Magic Tree’s basic gameplay may not be very original and the translated English text may have more than a few grammatical errors and badly-managed line breaks, but the little twists on the formula that the game provides coupled with the attractive 3D “chibi” (super-deformed) visuals make it a distinctive, enjoyable title that’s fun to spend some time with. Whether it will help Com2uS with their plans to gain greater traction with a U.S. audience remains to be seen, but it’s certainly a solid start that makes it clear this is a company to keep a close eye on.

As a new release, Magic Tree is not yet listed on the App Store leaderboards. Shortly, you’ll be able to follow its progress with AppData, our tracking service for iOS and social games and developers.