TouchArcade Game of the Week: ‘Cash Cow: Anniversary Edition’

The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn’t necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable “best” thing. Instead, it’s more just us picking out the single game out of the week’s releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.

These picks might be controversial, and that’s OK. If you disagree with what we’ve chosen, let’s try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.

Without further ado…


Cash Cow: Anniversary Edition

Alright, I understand this might seem like a weird choice for Game of the Week, as there was some pretty cool stuff released in the past 7 days, but hear me out. We know Riverman Media mostly for their excellent mobile titles, like Pizza vs. Skeletons [$2.99 / Free], The Executive [$2.99 / Free], and MUL.MASH.TAB.BA.GAL.GAL [$2.99], but way back in the day about 10 years ago they released their very first game on PC. It was a matching game of sorts called Cash Cow, where you’d combine smaller coins into bigger coins with the goal of eventually matching enough coins to create a dollar, which would then clear those coins from the board. Mixed in between the matching levels are small bonus games and a mini take on a farming sim where you get to purchase and decorate your own farm with 25 different types of items.

While it started off on desktop, Cash Cow did make its way to mobile WAY back in October of 2009 and published by Chillingo. A lite version and later a “Deluxe” version followed, but all versions of the game have been pulled from the App Store in the years since. Well, Riverman Media was able to secure the rights to Cash Cow back from Chillingo, and with the game’s 10 year anniversary approaching they decided to spruce it up and re-release it for mobile as Cash Cow: Anniversary Edition [$2.99], which they’ve done this week.

Ok. Here’s the deal. Cash Cow, even in its spruced up state, is not much of a looker. It looks like a developer’s first game. And matching games? Sheesh, that might as well be a death sentence on mobile nowadays. I was more than happy for Riverman to be celebrating their very first game and their many years of being an independent developer, but I can’t lie that these were the thoughts that ran through my head when I first saw Cash Cow: Anniversary Edition. And then I actually tried it and… well, I freaking love this game, ya’ll.

I don’t know what it is, but the whole matching coins to make a dollar thing is extremely fun. There’s tons of strategy in how you make your matches, and how the board will fall once you’ve cleared some coins off of it. And there are a lot of neat power-ups to keep things fresh as you play. I am probably more over matching games than anybody, but for some reason the mechanics in Cash Cow are super engaging. The real kicker is that I absolutely adore the silly farm-decorating stuff, too. There’s just something so fun about deciding what color to paint your barn and placing items where you want them. It’s soooooo basic, but somehow really enjoyable.

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It’s really tough for me to explain what the special sauce is in Cash Cow: Anniversary Edition that makes it so fun, but just trust me when I say that if you think you can’t stomach yet another matching game or you’re put off by the pretty… not… great? graphics, then push those thoughts aside and actually try the game for yourself, you may end up just as pleasantly surprised as I was. It’s probably a tough sell for most mobile gamers as the game is a WHOPPING three dollars, but there’s 5 different modes, tons of levels to play through, and no IAP shenanigans of any kind. So if you’re cool with tossing a few bucks towards an interesting game and aren’t scared off by aesthetics, consider giving Cash Cow: Anniversary Edition a look and drop by the forum thread to leave your thoughts on it.