Farm for your Life | PS4 Review
Farm for your Life, developed by Hammer Labs and published by Secret Item Games, is as I'm sure you can gather from the name a cute, quirky and chilled out farming game with some tower defense element added in and you can't forget everyone's favourite - zombies! It was released in June 2021 and currently available on all major platforms. For the purposes of my review, I was playing the PS4 version.
After designing your character you find yourself in a lovely little farmstead - however don't get too attached because very quickly a horrible storm rolls in and destroys everything, tasking you with the job of re-building and restoring the farm to its former glory. You quickly learn that the area is surrounded in peril as you venture into the forest to find it is overrun by zombies. From what I played, there was no real explanation of how the storm triggered these zombies but it must have been serious! So from here, you have to rebuild and get the farm running again whilst also fighting off zombies. My biggest gripe with this game was that the zombies didn't feel terribly threatening, perhaps as the game progresses they become increasingly difficult, but in the just over 6 hours that I played altogether there was no significant difficulty spike. To me the zombie aspect felt a little lost and lacked any real purpose for me in terms of the gameplay and because very little was provided about the zombies storywise, it felt like a waste of time in an otherwise fine game. The only benefit that I found to the zombies was that it was a change of pace from any other farming game and for a little while helped to bring some urgency to spend your days wisely and make sure that you have your farm well protected. However as far as protection goes it appeared to be limited to a basic catapult and throwing fruit or vegetables at them. Also, I don't want to discount the game because of this as I'm not necessarily the target audience considering the age rating, graphics and general ease of the game but it would be fair to say this game is more catered towards younger folk and would certainly be a game I'd be happy to recommend to kids or people with kids.
There's certainly a lot of content available in Farm for your Life with there being two game modes; one being the story mode which is what I played, and the other is called "endless", where you could quite literally just continue going back to the game for weeks or months, building your farm and really creating something special so for its relatively cheap price tag I'd say its worth buying. I equally wouldn't be against buying this for the Nintendo Switch due to its portability and spending a few hours on a train or car journey wandering around building a farm. It's also important to note that if you want to enjoy everything this game has to offer but without the hostiles, it's very easy to turn off the zombies and simply enjoy the farming and cafe features without the stress of all your hard work being destroyed by a bobble head looking zombie wandering aimlessly through your farm.
It's quite fair to say that Farm for your Life has a little bit of everything thrown in there. As well as the zombies, the farming and all the challenges that it brings, you also have a cafe to manage, I got some Cooking Mama or Overcooked vibes (minus the crazy, chaotic insanity, of course). The cafe has a multitude of benefits for the farm; its run from the produce from the farm meaning you need to manage what you're growing and take orders appropriately; you need to upgrade it by adding more tables and chairs; and you need to use the resources found to build other equipment for the cafe such as apple juicers or grape juicers. One thing I really liked is that after you're left to fend for yourself, you quickly meet your first acquaintence. As long as you feed him every morning you can send him out to work on either the farm or your cafe, whichever you choose. I found the helper to be a far better farmer than he was chef/resteraunt manager but once I learned how to manage him to make the absolute best use of my time, he was a very worthwhile addition.
My only other major criticism of this game is that at times the controls felt slightly clunky. I'd be trying to dig up some areas for crops but in the process I was repeatedly destroying my fence which was borderline infuriating to repair every single time, but it's clear that I had these issues because the game has been ported from PC to console, so if you were playing the PC version I'd imagine the controls to be far more user friendly.
I would certainly recommend this game to people who enjoy a nice, chilled out farming game. This game has a bit of everything to enjoy. During my stream of Farm for your Life I frequently commented that it felt like a cocktail mix of Stardew Valley, Farmville, Cooking Mama and Plants Vs Zombies. Whilst I felt it lacking in a few areas it doesn't diminish the chilled out fun I had playing it. I just think perhaps it could have benefitted with some features to maybe add an extra element of challenge to it or the zombies be a little more threatening.
Lj's Rating: 3 peaceful zombies out of 5.