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Barn Yarn Review

Barn Yarn, a charming new game from the creators of the wildly popular Gardenscapes, is a sweet adventure game that marries hidden object play with the excitement of time management play. With its darling storyline, wholesome graphics, and unique gameplay, this little gem will provide hours of cherished playtime for the entire family. 

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by on 03-06-2013     

I didn't want to play Barn Yarn. I was hoping someone who really enjoyed classic hidden object games would be free to give the game a fair chance. Normally, I can't stand games that are just one endless hidden object scene after another... by about the third scene, I'm ready to lay my head on my desk and take a nap.

But alas,  everyone else had something important that was occupying their time, so it was up to me to grin and bear it, picking through endless piles of junk for no reason. Shoot me now, I thought...

I couldn't have been more wrong about Barn Yarn.

Title

First of all, it's freaking adorable. The graphics were so farmey and homey and just reminded me of Vermont, one of my favorite places in the world, and I immediately started to warm up to  the game.

You begin Barn Yarn with an intro cut scene starring Joe, (a character from the previous game, Farmscapes) who has just purchased an old, rundown barn for his ranch.

His grandson, Tom, calls to inform him that he'll be visiting soon. You then flash forward to the general map where the barn is being delivered. Joe will walk you around the old building and give you a quick tour of everything you can do there. Then, it's time for your first sale so you can make money to start repairing the barn.

Here's where I figured they would lose me... another hidden object scene... but wait, what's this? What are those hearts by the customers? That's something you would normally see on a time management game... omg... it is a time management game... errr.... kind of.

Hearts

It's still a hidden object game, but at each sale/scene you have customers who want to purchase items. They'll tell you what they want, and you have to find it in the room. If you take too long, they start losing hearts... just like in a classic time management game... all of a sudden, I was rushing through the scene chaining up finds for bonus points and raking in the cash almost as if I was playing a classic Diner Dash game. It. Was. Awesome.

Finally!!! A hidden object game I could enjoy!! And then, once I was done with the scene, they would tally up your points while this ridiculously cute chicken looked on... look at that... look at how cute that is!!

Chicken

Anyhow, as you earn money, you can start making repairs to the barn, very much like a serving style time management game. Choose between three different styles for your upgrades and change the design at any time.

Pretty soon, your old barn won't look too shabby... new floors, new stove, a super expensive dog bed for Molly...

Molly

Oh yeah, you know what else is great about Barn Yarn... the little interactive side stories. Like when I was able to name the dog Molly after my own puppy dog, or when an earthquake rattled the barn, and I had to hammer in all the nails that popped up, or when a movie producer needed cowboy hats because they ordered knight hats instead...

All these fun little side adventures ensured the game was never boring. They were always introducing some exciting element or mini-game to the plot that was just darling.

Riddles

They would even throw some twists in the hidden object scenes themselves! For example, one board, the customers would only tell you riddles, and you had to guess what item they were talking about just by reading their obscure hints.

They also added in hint tools that could be found in the scene like a magnet hint that once you picked it up it would point to the general location of the item or a light bulb hint that would flash the items you were looking for quickly giving you a chance to pounce.

Hints

Early boards where pretty easy, but just like in a time management game, the levels quickly became more difficult. Customers lost their patience sooner, items were harder to find, there weren't as many hints available...

And don't even think about random fast clicking... the penalty isn't just freezing the screen... you start to lose $5 of your hard earned money every time you clicked too much!

Penalty

Overall, I think I was in shock how much I really enjoyed Barn Yarn. I couldn't wait to hit the next level of repairs so I could continue to fix up and decorate the barn.

Classic hidden object fans might be a little put off by this hybridization, but I can tell you this time management lover was pretty darn satisfied with how Barn Yarn played out. Now if you'll excuse me... my barn still needs a lot of work before it's ready for winter.

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