It’s my first post E3 article! Farm for Your Life is a Mashup of farm sim, time management, and tower defense. Luckily, you can turn on peaceful mode if you would rather not play the tower defense part. It has as story mode as well as an endless mode, so you can play however you prefer.
The controls are simple, but cumbersome at times. Everything seems to be on a grid, but it does not show you any grid lines. This causes issues targeting certain items, and you may pick the wrong item. Otherwise, there is an action button, a cancel button, an inventory button, a button to bring out your tools, as well as movement.
The artstyle is cartoonist and family friendly, even wholesome maybe. You can’t slaughter livestock, and combat with enemies is done via throwing vegetables or using a slingshot. No blood is seen either. The color palette is bright and easy to see. The text boxes have high contrast but could use larger font. Most of the text isn’t necessary outside of understanding the story. Most interactions are symbol based instead.
The farming gameplay is as expected. You must till the soil before planting seeds bought from the merchant. Then you must keep the plants watered and fertilized as you occasionally harvest them. You can also talk to the plants to make them grow a little faster. Initially, these tasks are difficult with a small watering can, forced to pay for fertilizer, and having to tend to them yourself. Later, through upgrading the tech tree, your job becomes easier. You can get sprinklers, compost piles to produce fertilizer, and additional help via farmhands.
The time management aspect comes from you converting a church into a restaurant. Initially, you have limited seating, ingredient storage, recipes, and stove space. As you upgrade the tech tree, you alleviate all these issues as well as bring on additional help. Customers order different items, sometimes with a drink, for you to fulfill for an agreed upon barter price which is generally scrap you can’t get otherwise, but also occasionally plates, glasses, and even seeds. Each dish has a certain number of ingredients as well as a certain time for it to cook. You must be careful not to leave the dish on the stove too long or it will ruin by burning. You must also take the empty plates and glasses to the sink to clean them.
The tower defense aspect happens at night, when zombies come out of the forest to steal your produce! At first you cam only fight back by throwing vegetables at them but by upgrading the tech tree, you gain access to different automated towers to place around the farm. You can also build fences to slow down the assault. If you don’t like this aspect of the game, you can turn it off with peaceful mode.
Overall, I mostly enjoyed my time playing it. I had trouble at the beginning with the controls, I the mid game with the lack of guidance or tutorials, and in the late game with cows not producing milk and not being able to complete the story. As such I would only recommend it to fans of the genre or after waiting for a patch.
I received an Xbox code for Farm for Your Life from a PR agency with the expectation for coverage of some kind. I am mostly blind, so some things I have trouble with may not affect your experience with the game. The game is available now on several platforms