Farm Together

If you'd have shown me this a while ago, I might have dismissed it as a mobile-style game where my cynical consumer mind imagined it would be ram-packed with EA or Activision style micro-transactions. I've become that jaded these days; this is where my mind automatically goes when I see a game like this one.

Lots of unlockable items, customisation options, crops and so forth.

Then I recently saw the trailer, watched a couple of streamers play the game and found that I really wanted to play it. So, I bought it. After talking to another buddy of mine who also bought the game, played co-op with me, and helped with my farm, I decided to do a review since I feel this game deserves a bit more light shone in its direction.

You can get it on the PC already, and it's now out for Xbox One.

My version is the Xbox One version, so that's the one I'll be referencing in this review.

Chill Farm Experience

Farm Together, from Milkstone, the makers of Avatar Farm is a really chill experience with some simple yet effective game systems which make running your farm fun, easy, and rewarding. It has that whole 'reward' style of play down to a T. Farm Together is a refreshing change in an era of AAA games mired in the mud of shoddy DLC, overpriced content, and predatory micro-transactions.

It has none of that. There are a couple of DLC packs for the Xbox One, but you don't need them to get the best out of the game. You don't need them unless you want to further support the developers.

So, Farm Together is a laid back game, it's not a realistic farm sim like Pure Farming or Farm Sim 2019 etc. It's a fun, cartoon-style, addictive game which lets you build and maintain a farm stocked full of flowers, fish, produce, animals and crops in a real-time environment.

Crops and other such harvestable goods all have a real-world timer, and that timer ticks down from the moment you plant, or buy the first one.

Some of them take a few minutes, some hours, some even days.

Don't fret though, because Farm Together's crops grow in real-time so you can plant a high yield crop, do something else on another game, come back and you'll find there's something to harvest.

It's this particular facet of the game which lends it the really chill aspect.

You're not worried about crops withering and dying here. You plough the land, you plant the crop, you wait some time and you profit.

It's all about getting resources, and Farm Together has several.

Gold: money, the stuff to buy your harvestable items with.

Diamonds: Sell crops at shops for diamonds, which let you build shops and stuff.

Medals/Ribbons: These let you build the high end things, like Gas Stations and the like.

Tickets: Used to decorate your home, pay Farmhands, and other things.

Levelling the Land

Or rather, levelling in general. Farm Together presents several things that earn experience: You, the harvestable items, and the Farm. Higher level crops mean you can make more from each harvest, your level means you unlock more customisation options, more fuel for the tractor, and so on. The Farm's level unlocks buildings, crops, and decorations for the farm.

Everything you do in Farm Together nets you something and usually more than one thing at a time. You'll level from working on the farm, then selling lots of crops and so on will level the farm itself, and the whole do-thing get-reward in the game is incredibly satisfying.

How'd you play, can you play solo?

You play in third person, with a tap of the right bumper to change the view from over the shoulder to farther away, and a near top-down view at the maximum view distance. The latter view is excellent for crop placement and harvesting.

To start with you'll have one plot of land and a bit of money to get you going. Later on you can use diamonds and buy more plots of land, have a bigger farm, and create a truly massive farm empire.

The tutorial does a good job of introducing you to the various systems in the game, so I'm not going to dive into this too deeply. You very quickly learn about the Quest system, do a few first quests, get rewarded with Ribbons and start to build out your farm based on your profit needs and the needs of the Quest system in general.

Quests are simple, but can have several crops and harvestable items attached.

It might want you to plant a certain vegetable for example, and harvest 20 tropical fish.

Quests = Ribbons = Stuff for the farm to make it better.

The bigger the farm gets, the more you're going to have to do to keep things going smoothly.

You can play the whole game solo, you don't need to interact with a single person, and you'll have a fun old time if you do play solo. Nothing is taken away; you're not forced to interact in a public manner with randoms and so on.

I'll talk about multiplayer co-op in a short while.

Farm Stuff

You don't need to worry about tools, you have those automatically. Dig a single tile and it'll cost you 10 gold to do. Pick a crop and you're good to go.

I tend to dig a 3x3 grid of 9 tiles, and put 4 of those in a nicely walled off field. It might take you some time by hand, which is why you want to get the fuel pumps as soon as you're able to get 2 Ribbons.

They let you fuel the tractor and the tractor auto-ploughs a 9 tile square.

Now you can also harvest 9 tiles at a time, so, this is why I build the way I do.

Some crops can only be planted at a certain season, and seasons are about 17 minutes long, so you have a timer to ensure you do the work at the right time. Plant those yellow zucchini in Winter and Spring and you'll rake in money. You might need to unlock them first, since they're a later crop.

I also recommend getting a whole field of sprinklers, since those things cut down on watering and reduce crop times by half.

The rest you can figure out as you go.

Once you get the hang of doing all this it all becomes very easy, the controls of the game are simple and effective and there's numerous neat little touches like multi-select and multi-recycle for tiles you no longer want. You can also move things from place to place without having to break them and rebuild -- another nice touch!

Basically, it's very accessible and that's part of the game's charm.

Pretty Farm Adventures

There's a lovely cartoon look and nature to this game, it's full of big and bold designs, bright colours, fun animations and you can own customisable cats or dogs as pets. Everything looks good, it's super smooth, and the pop-in is designed to replicate a children's story-book style of pop-up pages rather than appear as an actual limitation to the game's engine.

It has weather/day-night cycles and special weather effects which have noticeable graphical changes to let you know it's happening.

The HUD is simple and effective, has a lot of information presented in a fun and friendly manner.

Farm Together, Together

So you can play the game on your own, or you can open your farm to friends and folks you trust. There's a handy set of permissions too to give various levels of access to people. So you can give friends full access, and even open the game to the public setting them as limited access so they can only harvest crops and help out without a risk of them doing something to vandalise your game.

2-16 people can play on the same farm.

The game's co-op is very smooth, we didn't notice any network issues during our time and when you're in someone elses' game you earn a boost bar to take back to your own game which gives you boosted xp and so on.

It's also just fun to work with people and create a good feeling/time on your game.

Plenty of cooperation with player emotes, pets, tractors, and general farm fun happens in a relaxed atmosphere.

You can even build a house to earn you tickets, and show off to your friends. Be warned though, this is in real time and each stage (there are 4) costs money, diamonds, or ribbons, and takes 24 hours to complete.

It's worth it though when you can invite your farm buddies in and chill inside on a raining morning.

Josh Woodward

The music the game is provided by Josh Woodward, it's all acoustic guitar and it's pretty amazing.

Support Josh if you want!

Farming without the Stress

The game has been designed to take all of the hassle out of farm sims, to present the bare-bones, yet lavish enough love and attention to the product so you want to keep on playing - to grow the next crop, to get the next cool thing, to level both yourself and your farm and even then, keep on making money to unlock the higher tier items.

There are no experience boosters you can buy with cash, there's no shortcuts you can do in this game - you have to play it - and in the game industry full of Ubisoft's time-saver packs, EA's short-cuts and publishers clamouring on about how no one has time any more to play games and unlock all the things - it's a refreshing game to play.

Give it a go, and I reckon you'll enjoy it!

Now I'm off to harvest my pumpkins!