The concept of Farm For Your Life on Xbox intrigued me. A cute farming game that sees you growing crops, looking after animals, and running a restaurant during the day, but building defenses, automated weapons, and holding off the zombie hoard at night. Harvest moon meets plants versus zombies.
Fans of Harvest Moon and FarmVille may rejoice at the fact that the Xbox has a new farming game to enjoy but before you jump in, it’s worth noting that this game came out on steam eight years ago and it is only now the consoles get a port.
So, is Farm For Your Life a game worth betting the farm on, or should this ancient title be left for dead; here are my first impressions of Farm For Your Life.
The look of Farm For Your Life has aged well considering its eight years old, the colourful cartoon graphics and cutesy characters still hold up on the new console edition, despite then looking like Nintendo Mii’s. I wish, however, I could say the same for the controls. The game feels like it was built for a PC or touch screen and feels clunky and cumbersome using a controller.
The story behind FFYL follows a community that was destroyed by a heavy storm. This same storm also caused a zombie apocalypse in the local area unleashing the undead who have a tendency to attack at night. These zombies however are omnivores and are happy to devour both people and vegetables making them a danger to both the villagers and your fruit and veg.
It’s up to the survivors to rebuild their sustainable community, maintain their on-site restaurant and keep the village safe from attackers. Players start by creating their own characters from an array of different looks which is great and they are tasked with rebuilding the village. From planting seeds to milking cattle, it will be a race against time to get your chores done before nightfall.
Farm For Your Life is a Jack of all trades, as it has elements of farming, building, cooking, tower defense and time management. All of these elements work well together, but each mechanic is only skin deep and none really go into much depth. For the most part, you are continually grinding to get the next big item before going back to the grind once again. Once the item is simply a gold version of a tool you already have, the motivation is soon lost.
The main game takes around 5-6 hours to complete and there is a peaceful mode for those looking to simply farm and remove the zombie defense side of the game.
Overall, I liked the premise of the game and the graphics are cute and simplistic, but frustrating isometric controls and continual grinding for minimal reward won’t be for everyone. It’s great to see more farming games on the Xbox but one made for consoles might be preferred. For a cartoon farming sim without the Zombies, check out my review of Summer in Mara.