Over the last few months, I have found myself exploring the wonderous world of farming simulators. It has been amazing to track down hidden treasures and discover impending works of art. I often get asked, “Which one is your favorite?” and I hesitate every time. The obvious answer is the classic Harvest Moon however, many people don’t still own their GameCube and it’s quite unfair to display such emotional bias. I’m also not a fan of blurting out Stardew Valley, don’t get me wrong I adore it but that also feels too, for the lack of a better term, mainstream. There are hundreds of video games that boast a casual atmosphere and farming capabilities and it was difficult to pick one mega favorite. Therefore, I decided to pick five.
Number Five: Graveyard Keeper
Graveyard Keeper is only number five because it is less of a farming simulator and more of a morgue adventure game. The gaming mechanics are similar to those mentioned throughout this article and I feel it deserves a place on the list. For those of you that haven’t had the pleasure of reading my previous review on the alpha, I have provided the link. Otherwise, here is a short overview.
This game is more complex than your average casual sandbox, it has all the elements of a great story including romance, adventure, and suspense. It begins with a man simply vanishing from his home and the woman he loves and ending up in a strange new town. He is immediately given the title of graveyard keeper and befriends a talking skull. The pair must keep up with the morgue’s demands, mingle with townsfolk, and do a bit of light farming. The overall goal is to get home and dismantle a few bodies along the way.My favorite part of Graveyard Keeper is the light-hearted cynicism strewn throughout the game. It’s essentially the complete millennial package. Sarcasm allows the players to laugh while throwing corpses into the river when work gets backed up. Overall, it’s funny and relaxing in a highly macabre way.
Number Four: Garden Paws
Garden Paws is seriously one of the most adorable games I have come across. Although I have previous talked about it, there are so many great things to say. It’s fun, imaginative and unique. One can play as a bear, cat, or rabbit with a variety of different patterns and accessories. It’s very cutesy and much different from the previously mentioned title.
It was created by couple, Daniel Snd and Kristina Vandale who wanted to play a game they’d both enjoy together. This means multiplayer for up to four players! The basic plot is centered around your character’s grandparents retiring and leaving their farm to you. Players can explore the world, fish, mine, and fight dangerous creatures. One can also sell their wares which can be anything from milk to poop. Nothing goes to waste in this farming simulator!
Number Three: Harvest Master: Farming Sim
Harvest Master: Farming Sim reminded me of an early Harvest Moon and I was instantly hooked. As per usual, a family member dies leaving the farm to our player. Unfortunately, the farm wasn’t doing too well and now you’re in a lot of debt. Working the land, raising animals, mining and fishing are all going to help bring the farm back to its former glory. While it sounds highly depressing, never fear there are happier elements as well.
There of course is marriage in this game and the NPCs can actually propose to you! The heart events are sometimes emotional, but always charming. Harvest Master: Farming Sim is the throwback game I was desiring when I wrote the initial article. Looking back, it is well crafted and ambitious. Plus, it’s always nice to have a game you can play on your cell phone.
Number Two: Fantasy Farming: Orange Season
Fantasy Farming: Orange Season was a game I actually played in the Phoenix International Airport. I was terrified and thought it’d be a good idea to work instead of worry, so I may be a bit biased. This game is obviously farming oriented however, the biggest appeal to me was the marriage system. Sure, one can get married in almost every game I have mentioned in previous weeks, but this system is completely different.
There are more spouses than ever, and it appears that the game is actually centered around falling in love. There are rival spouses and individuals can bring a date to help them with their daily farming activities. Overall, I am a hopeless romantic and it’s exciting to see a game so immersed with the prospect of falling in love. If you want to learn more about Fantasy Farming: Orange Season click here.
Number One: Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles
Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles was one of the best games I played all year. Everything from the graphics to the characters intrigued me. This game follows a sea explorer after their ship was wrecked in a storm. Left with nothing but their trusty compass, the player needs to make a quick decision. Making their way to the only island in the vicinity, the adventure takes off.
Players can look forward to quests, fishing, farming, taming of the creatures, and puzzles. The visuals are the most appealing portion. I could stare at my screen for hours just observing the adorable creatures. Speaking of which, animals migrate based on the seasons. Overall, I loved Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles and can explain more in depth here.
In conclusion, I adore all of these games for various reasons. They all give me the sense that I never grew up and allow me to get lost in a space of peace and monotony. The real world has been rough lately and it’s nice to take some time to till the earth and maybe fall in love with a pixelated spouse. All in all, I hope you all take a moment to try these masterpieces out and maybe share your favorites with me in the comments below!