Game: Farm for your Life
Genre: Adventure, Puzzle, Simulation, Other
System: Nintendo Switch (also on Steam, iOS, & Android)
Developers | Publishers: Secret Item Games
Age Rating: US E | EU 3+
Price: US $19.99 | UK £17.99 | EU € 19,99
Release Date: June 24th, 2021
Review code used, with many thanks to Secret Item Games
Most of us have played farming simulation games at one time or another. But I imagine, like myself, you probably haven’t played a game quite like Farm for your Life. Let’s see what it’s all about.
Customise your Character
Once the game starts, the first thing you get to do is customise and name your character. A good amount of options, skin colour, eyes, hair, even hats and outfits are included. After that, the game opens with you and your Grandad surveying your farm. He takes you through the basics of looking after crops, how to water and plant them.
During the night a storm arrives and wreaks havoc on the farm and everything is in ruins the next morning. Grandad and you clean up the mess left behind by the storm and re-plant some of the crops. In the evening, while you are working on the farm tending to the crops, the area is attacked by vegetarian Zombies…..Yes, you did read that right, vegetarian Zombies in a farming simulation. That’s a new take on the genre!
Zombies and More
When the vegetarian zombies attacked that night, the villages tried to fight them off unsuccessfully. Afterwards, it is discovered that grandad and most of the villagers are missing, they have been taken by the zombies. I’m not entirely sure what vegetarian zombies would want with humans but there you go.
Zombies only attack you and your farm at night and during these nighttime skirmishes with the zombies you take up arms and fight back. Though the weapons you take up just happen to be fruit or the crops you are growing on the farm. Lobbing fruit or veg at zombies is a lot of fun, if you do get attacked by them you faint and the game starts a new day.
Serve the Survivors in the Restaurant
All the crops you are growing on the farm don’t go to waste. In another diversion from what is considered the norm in a farming simulation game, you run a restaurant in a derelict building to feed the survivors of the zombie apocalypse.
You can buy plates, glasses and recipes from the vendor to use in your restaurant. Supply the vegetables, fruit, eggs and milk you produce on the farm for the recipes of the dishes you make in the restaurant. If you build tents for the survivors and feed them they will even come work at the restaurant or the farm with you. You can upgrade your farm grounds and the restaurant. The cottage in the pictures is only used to customise your character, not as a house, so there isn’t any customisation of the house.
Play a Mini-Game
To learn a recipe you have to play a kind of mini-game, it’s very similar to Fruit Ninja. You have to only slice the fruit appropriate to the recipe you are making. The mini-game is fun, but half the time the fruit misses the pot it is meant to drop into and lands on the side of it unused. You only have control over the slice in the pot so the items that miss the pot are useless. I’d much prefer to just have the recipe without having to train to use it.
When I started playing Farm for your Life for this review, I wasn’t sure if I liked the game at all but it grew on me the more I played it. It is a little as if the game itself isn’t sure what kind of game it wants to be when it grows up. With the mixture of looking after crops, cows and chickens, the restaurant and the zombies it is like a mix-up between Plants vs. Zombies, Diner Dash, Harvest Moon and not forgetting Fruit Ninja all rolled into one.
There is a story mode, or you can play an endless mode, and in the settings you can turn off the zombie attacks if you wish, I like that the developers have included this option.
Visuals and Controls
Visually Farm for your Life is bright and cartoonish in appearances. The music is fine as are the sound effects. You can fast forward the game and have your little character run around very fast if you wish. But to take full advantage of that Farm for your Life needs better controls as once your character is speedy they are difficult to control.
In addition, I found the character, the shop and the restaurant menus all difficult and fiddly to control. There isn’t any icon on the ground indicating where you are about to dig or for watering the plants. This means that watering the plants takes longer as you water the same plant two or three times instead of the ones beside it. The controls just seem flaky and not as precise as they should be.
Farm for your Life is an interesting take on the farming simulation genre. It is slow to start, so don’t expect to go rushing through the roughly six-hour story mode in the game. If you like farming simulation games with added zombies, fruit ninja mini-games or just looking for a game that is different to mix things up a bit in your gaming then check out Farm for your Life.
Final Verdict: I Like It