There are plenty of jobs in the world, each with varying levels of difficulty and skills required. Some are tough, while others are easy. With long hours, back-breaking work, and toiling away in all weather’s, I think we can all agree that farming is a challenging career. So to make this difficult role harder, why not add in some zombies to complicate matters further. Farm for your Life plays with this idea in its colourful and cute world.
Developed and published by Secret Item Games, this is a fun but challenging resource management farming sim. Like many titles in this genre, you must help the local community, build bonds, and become the rock that people turn to. It uses many well-trodden mechanics, but introducing the undead adds an interesting twist.
It’s raining zombies!
I’ve played many cute life simulation titles and I particularly enjoy the farming themed games. There is something relaxing about cleaning up a dilapidated farm and making it successful. Farm for your Life plays with this idea in a slightly different way. Instead of you inheriting a farm from a long-lost relative, you are already a resident of this small island. A storm strikes and ruins the infrastructure. The islanders now depend on your crops to survive. What’s worse is the storm awoke a zombie apocalypse. Yes, you read that right, a zombie apocalypse!
It must have been one heck of a storm for it to bring the dead back to life. Fortunately, the slow meandering creatures won’t hurt you, as they don’t crave brains. Instead, they want to destroy your farm! They steal your crops, ruin your cafe, and take your resources. Nighttime falls and they plod on to your land. If you don’t kill them, they run amuck ruining your plans and taking your crops.
Farm for your Life is slow-paced but strangely hectic.
If you’ve ever played one of these games, you’ll know they are a slow-paced relaxing experience. You march around your land planting crops while tending to your livestock. However, Farm for your Life takes it to another level with its strange tower defence model. Alongside your defensive duties, you are also expected to run a cafe to feed the locals. It’s nonstop from the get-go and this makes it stand out from its peers.
The hectic nature of the gameplay keeps you on your toes and forces you to plan. You are constantly juggling between selling items and buying new crops. This was a nightmare and felt unbalanced. The cost of seeds was astronomical and slowed progress to a crawl. It made the game a bit of a grind until you hired the locals to help. This mechanic was a game-changer and prevented it from becoming tiresome. The help of the dreadlock wielding locals allowed you to explore, improve your facilities, and collect resources.
Upgrade your tools to improve your life.
The basic tools you are given are useful but make the easiest of tasks arduous. Digging the soil takes forever, your watering can is useless, and a twig has the strength of a mighty oak. Buying or finding upgraded equipment is a must, and this helps to reduce the grind. Finding these items is linked with opening up new areas and exploring the island.
The land is split into several zones. One has resources that respawn regularly but is filled with zombies. You must dodge them while seeking stone and wood to improve your farm. The rest of the map is opened up by building new bridges and removing obstacles with the improved tools. I liked how your farm stayed productive while allowing you the freedom to explore. The island isn’t massive, but there is enough variety to keep you entertained on your journey.
Farm for your Life is colourful and cutesy.
I love the cartoon graphics that was used. The OTT characters, the vivid colours and the cute creatures give it a wholesome appeal. The world is simple to look at, but there is enough detail to identify each item. The bird’s-eye perspective allows you to have a clear view of the action, though a lack of manual camera movement impedes line of sight. It ran smoothly and looked great, mostly, but I found one minor issue when talking to the volunteers. The text was jumbled, making it hard to read what orders to issue. It didn’t impact the action as it was easy to guess what was written.
Farm for your Life has a cute and upbeat soundtrack to match its graphical approach. The calming influence of the music is at odds with the Zombie invasions and the hectic day-to-day demands. I loved the sound effects of the groaning undead and the tools when you worked the land. There were no surprises from the audio, but it did its job perfectly.
Clumsy controls and a lacklustre tutorial.
I hate having to watch gameplay videos to understand what I have to do. Sadly, that’s exactly what happened here. The tutorial is confusing and lacks clarity. You are given quests to show you the fundamentals, but no further information is given. It was frustrating and tainted my opening hour. Luckily, though, once you understand the basics, it is very easy to play.
This has been ported from PC and the controls are clumsy because of it. Using Mouse and Keyboard would have been quick and accurate, whereas the controller isn’t so responsive. It affects the gameplay slightly, but you get used to its quirky ways.
As with all simulation games, this one is jam-packed with replay value. You’ll lose hours of your life gathering resources, purchasing crops and getting new animals. Exploring the island is fun, as are the constant fights with the undead. Though the gameplay doesn’t evolve too much, there is enough there to keep you going. There is a moderately sized achievement list that requires hours of game time. If you are a completionist, gaining all the achievements isn’t easy. So, if a 100% is your goal, you are in this for the long haul.
Farm for your Life is an unusual twist on a much-loved genre.
It was refreshing to review a game that has a unique insight into a tried and tested genre. I liked most aspects and though there were negatives, the developers countered this successfully. Using helpers removes the grind, and the exploration elements break up the monotony. If you love the genre, then you’ll adore this even with its clumsy and quirky controls. I enjoyed my time with it and recommend you to buy it here! A wrecked farm, helpless people, and a zombie apocalypse, what’s the worst that can happen!