I love farming simulators so it’s no surprise that Farm Together immediately caught my eye with its adorable graphics and multiplayer prospects. And it turns out, this isn’t developer Milkstone‘s first foray into the fields of farm simulators. They’re the developers behind the fan-favorite 360 game, Avatar Farm, and their experience with the farming genre put them in the perfect position to bring engaging, fun farm gameplay to the current console generation.
Customization is king in Farm Together. Working to level up your character will unlock new outfits, hats, backpacks, pets, and even tractors, while leveling up your farm unlocks new crops, animals, flowers, buildings, decorations, and more to give you a wide assortment of ways to keep diversifying your yields and bring a personal touch to your farm.
The game has already introduced seasonally appropriate events, like the “Lovely Harvest”, that will reward both casual and dedicated players looking for new ways to unlock items for their pets, characters, and farm (and even new animals and limited-time crops).
Thankfully, Farm Together doesn’t punish players for changing their minds or frequently redecorating. You’ll get back a percentage of the cost of items, both cosmetic or farm-related, when you recycle them (with some even reimbursing the full cost) and everything from turnips to silos can be moved, rotated and replaced somewhere on your map for free.
Crops in Farm Together grow in real time, which means you’ll find yourself planting veggies that take anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 days to mature. The real-time wait associated with growing crops might not be for everyone but personally, I found the downtime between harvests and completing jobs a less stressful way to go about the farming sim genre. Only having 5 minutes to play in the morning means I can plant a field of watermelons and pop back on during my lunch break to reap the rewards without having to have spent my time actively in-game.
With different background music tracks for each season and ear-pleasing sound effects for each farm activity, like plucking crops from the ground or fishing up salmon, the audio design in Farm Together is a delightful little treat. It sets the mood of this adorable farming simulator and has lulled me into a tilling, planting and harvesting trance more than once since I began playing.
Farm Together, as its name implies, encourages multiplayer play and makes it accessible right from the get-go. With a robust selection of settings that make it as easy to protect your farm from stranger danger as it is to allow your friends full control of your land, building, and quests, there is a happy medium for everyone. You even have the option to lock down your farm completely, if playing with others isn’t your style.
It’s easy to visit friends’ farms to help them manage their crops, complete quests and even visit their homes (among other things). You can interact with emotes, game chat and sign a guestbook to let them know what you thought of their setup. Lending a helping hand isn’t entirely selfless though, spend enough time on another farm and you’ll end up with an experience bonus when you head back home.
Even though you’re free to invite anyone and everyone over to your farm, I can see how Farm Together might not be for everyone on your Friends List. The wait times and simplicity of the game’s mechanics might be a turnoff to some while it’s one of the game’s strengths to others. Farm Together may not have an NPC-filled world and roleplay robustness of farming/life sims like Stardew Valley or Harvest Moon, but that does not mean it is without its own brand of charm.
Farm Together is an adorably animated farm simulator game that retains its simplicity while still giving the most dedicated of farmers all the crops, animals and decorative items to aspire to unlock and buy. Its Farm Together’s time-consuming, but completely satisfying monotony that acts like, as the title of this review suggests; chicken soup (er, coops) for my gaming soul.
DISCLAIMER: This copy of Farm Together on Xbox One was provided by Milkstone Studios for the purpose of content creation and review. The opinions expressed in the article above have not been affected by, dictated or edited in any way by the provider.