Farm For Your Life
I wrote a preview for this game a while ago and was pleased overall with the content that the Beta build had offered. I admittedly have never met a farming game that I didn’t like, but this one introduces other gameplay elements that sets it apart from the rest of them. Let’s face it, how many other games can you name that take elements from “Planets vs. Zombies”, “Diner Dash”, and “Harvest Moon” and roll them into one neat, inexpensive ten dollar package? “Farm For Your Life” has been out of the Beta stage for a little less than a year now, so it’s about time that I get off my behind and get planting! Before we get started with the review, I’d like to quickly thank Andreas Bendt from Hammer Labs for sending me a press copy.
The main menu allows the player to start a new game, continue a previously saved one, and adjust game options. The options menu addresses screen resolution, audio volumes, language, and has a “peaceful’ mode toggle. The last bit surprised me, but I’m glad to see that the game could cater to those not interested in the zombie / tower defense aspect of the game. In regards to game types, “Farm For Your Life” offers both a campaign and endless mode. There’s also a character creator, albeit a simple one. While it’s not anything to write home about, I appreciated having the option to give my character a fedora…because fedoras are awesome.
For those of you who haven’t read my preview already, “Farm For Your Life” is a mash-up of tower defense, farm management, and time management mechanics. The undead awaken after a great storm destroys your once peaceful community, and it’ll be your job to fend them off while rebuilding the town. As such, you’ll be splitting your time between planting crops, building defenses, and serving the townsfolk meals with the ingredients you harvest. In an odd twist, the crops you grow can also be used as weapons for fending off the undead…though I try to reserve that ability as a last resort.
If that sounds boring…trust me, it isn’t. You’ll have your hands full doing a lot of other things like chopping wood, smashing rocks, talking to townsfolk, and the like. Acquiring new recipes for your restaurant, for example, requires the player to purchase them from a trader or cut deals with the townsfolk. I often found myself running around like a maniac, darting back and forth between my farm and the restaurant, making sure that all was in perfect order. As I previously mentioned, the game is made up of many different gameplay elements. Neglect just one of those elements and the rest of your town will fall apart and succumb to the undead. Not to worry, you’ll eventually be able to hire some extra hands to help you out around the farm and restaurant.
As chaotic as it may be at times, the flow of play is relatively simple. You’ll grow crops and feed hungry patrons during the day whilst fending off the undead at night. The daytime is where your farming and time management skills will come to bear, tasking you with planting, watering, and harvesting crops for the meals that folks will order in the restaurant. With the materials you earn from restaurant profits (scrap, supplies, etc), you can unlock and buy relatively non-violent towers like slingshots to fend off the undead at night. Sorry, there are no shotguns or pipe bombs to be found here…though as a parent, I found that I didn’t mind the family-friendly setting in the least.
I am not going to lie, it may be a bit overwhelming at first, especially to players who have never played the majority of the games that “Farm For Your Life” draws inspiration from. Luckily, the game starts you off slow and offers a satisfying sense of progression. In the beginning, your town will look like it should just be bulldozed and wiped off the map…though after a while, you’ll begin to feel a sense of belonging as your town grows around you. There’s always something to do in your first few hours of gameplay: new recipes to learn, new crops to grow…that kind of thing. As you serve customers, you’ll be able to trade for new seeds and purchase new tools to help the community grow. The campaign is admittedly on the short side for a game of this type (5-6 hours), though the endless mode and price tag bring the game’s appeal back onto the plus side.
When it comes down to it, “Farm For Your Life” offers a unique and gratifying experience to those willing to learn its ins and outs. Combining so many different gameplay elements is a risky business, though I’m glad to report that this particular game did so with relative success. I don’t recall encountering any bugs, though my helpers did spaz out on occasion when picking up a water can…though I found the animations humorous. I would like to see more content added in the future…more recipes, more tower types, and etc. For ten dollars however (as of 9/18/13), it succeeded in keeping me busy for a good while and then some. There’s something for everyone in this game, whether you enjoy the farming, diner, or tower-defense genre. As such, “Farm for your Life” is the type of game that I’d be hard-pressed not to recommend.
Final Verdict: 8/10
You can learn more about and purchase “Farm For Your Life” by visiting the official website, here:
Need help finding the Golden Tools? Check out my quick guide here: