FarmVille hits Apple devices, just in time for iPhone 4 launch

FarmVille fanatic far from Facebook? Fear not. Beginning this week, you can play FarmVille on your Apple iPhone and iPad.

FarmVille, the Zynga game popularized on Facebook, arrived in iPhone and iPad form this week. (Warning: FarmVille graphics may look drastically different from the photo at left.)

Here's the scenario: You're a FarmVille fanatic, hopelessly addicted to the thrill of raising pixelated plants and animals on a virtual farm. After a while, you discover that playing FarmVille on Facebookor on Yahoo – isn't enough. You want more FarmVille. You want FarmVille all the time. You want FarmVille in the palm of your hand.

You're in luck.

Beginning this week, FarmVille, the insanely popular video game so memorably skewered by South Park, is coming to the Apple iPad and the iPhone 4, which hit store shelves today. We haven't had a chance to play FarmVille on our iPhone, but Zynga, the game's creator, says the experience will be more or less identical to the one on Facebook.

Best of all, FarmVille profiles will transfer seamlessly between your computer and your Apple device – so you could begin building your farm at work, continue on the long bus commute back home, and pick up again in the morning.

"The FarmVille App offers users a new social gaming experience that leverages the power of the touch screen," Zynga reps wrote in a press release today. "By swiping a finger or double tapping to zoom in and out, players can view their farms, harvest crops or drive tractors. iPhone users will get alerted to the status of their crops and farm through push notifications."

Sounds like bliss.

For the uninitiated, FarmVille is a social media game which allows players to manage crops and livestock on a virtual farm. Before this week, the game ran entirely inside Facebook and Yahoo. For the most part, FarmVille is free, although critics had assailed Zynga for inadequately stressing that many upgrades cost real, live cash. Earlier this year, for instance, a UK boy ran up a $1,400 bill on FarmVille in a matter of weeks.

"I do think [Zynga needs] to shoulder some responsibility in this business and put systems in place to stop this happening again," the boy's mother said at the time. "The fact that he was using a card in a different name should bring up some sort of security and the online secure payment filter seems to be bypassed for Facebook payments."

In May, Facebook and Zynga announced they would extend their partnership for at least five more years.

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