Indie,  Indie Dev,  Lifestyle,  New Release,  Nintendo,  Nintendo Switch,  Reviews,  Simulation

Farm Together

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Title: Farm Together
Developer: Milkstone Studios
Publisher: Milkstone Studios
Website: http://www.milkstonestudios.com/games/farm-together/
Genre: Lifestyle, Simulation
Platform: Switch
Audience: 3
Release Date: 01/02/2019
Price: £17.99

What the Developers say

The ultimate farming experience!

From the creators of Avatar Farm comes Farm Together, the ultimate farming experience!

Start from scratch, with a small plot, and end with a huge farm that extends further than the eye can see!

Grow your farm

Grow crops, plant trees, take care of the animals, and much more! Spend your hard-earned money in new buildings and facilities for your farm! Earn experience to unlock hundreds of new items!

Hop onto your tractor and speed up the tasks, but watch out or you’ll run out of gas!

Chill out

Stay for as long as you want! In Farm Together time advances even if you’re not online, so you can be sure you’ll have something to do when you come back later.

Manage your farm all by yourself, allow entrance only to your friends, or open it to the public and start cultivating together! A simple permission system allows you to limit what strangers can do, so they can help with it without risks of vandalizing.

Customize your farm and your looks

You’ll have plenty of customization items at your disposal: Fences, roads, buildings, decorations… Show your gardening and decoration skills to your neighbours!

And don’t forget about your clothes! Customize your avatar and your tractor to your liking, and go visit your friends’ farms!

Take your pet anywhere

Are you a cat person or a dog person? No problem, we got you covered!
Your loyal friend will always be there to show you some love! Customize its looks however you like and have fun with it!

Build your own house

Want a change of pace? No problem! Just enter your house and relax!
Decorate the house interior however you like, and spend some time cooking some recipes, painting, or even composing music!

Introduction

If you were using Facebook in 2009, chances are you were a Farmville player too. At its peak, over 80 million people logged on and tended to their virtual farms. The game had an addictive loop of planting and harvesting that kept players coming back multiple times throughout the day, every single day.

Now some ten years later, developers Milkstone Studios have released Farm Together for the Nintendo Switch. First released on Steam late in 2018 and then the Xbox One in early 2019, the Nintendo Switch version benefits from early access feedback and various gameplay updates – but can it rekindle the green fingers in mobile players as well as those on home consoles? Let’s dig in (see what I did there?) and find out!

Looks and Sounds

The Nintendo Switch version of Farm Together has a lot to live up to in terms of how bright and colourful the PC and Xbox versions are – and for the most part, it delivers beautifully. From the colourful and cartoony avatars, the sheer volume of unique items available to place in your land and a living world with weather and day-night cycles. I say “for the most part” as the Switch version is not without its compromises. Aside from the odd hitch or momentary periods of slow down – neither of which cause that much concern, the most jarring performance issue is the draw distance.

At times, you can barely see what is 10 feet in front of you and large structures such as windmills or barns, pop into view from out of thin air. It’s nothing that affects gameplay too much, and it looks like a stylised choice by the developers (although obviously to keep performance up all the same) by the way items pop into view with a little animation.

Sonically, Farm Together is a different story though. The choice of music composed by Josh Woodward is stunning. Relaxing acoustic guitar tunes are the perfect accompaniment to toiling away on your farm and gives the game an incredibly relaxing vibe. You will find yourself humming along to these pieces of music very quickly.

Gameplay and Replayability

As I mentioned earlier, Farm Together is very much a fun farming game, in the vein of Farmville as opposed to something more serious like Farming Simulator on the Switch, or an RPG based on farming, like Stardew Valley or Harvest Moon. There is no real story here as such, although the unseen town folk offers you small tasks. This mainly serves as a smart way to ensure you diversify your farming, as they will request you harvest a set amount of an item, which you may not have bothered doing before.

There are an impressive, almost overwhelming amount of items you can sow, plant and build in the game. Most are locked behind the XP level of your farm, which creates an addictive goal to keep chasing, and XP is earned by simply carrying out farming actions. Pretty much anything you do on your farm grants you a small amount of XP, and you will be levelling up at a decent rate if you keep up the work.

As the title of the game says, you can also “Farm Together” with other players online. At any point you can jump into another players world and depending on the conditions they have set up for their farm, you can carry out the same farming actions to help them. Most work you do on somebody else’s farm fills your boost meter, which once you return to your farm, nets you a small XP multiplier on your farm work. It’s a clever system that encourages you to seek out other players and work collaboratively and technically, even with the maximum eight players all logged into a farm at once, runs pretty identical to solo farming.

Quality of life on the farm

Developers Milkstone should be highly applauded for just how much thought they have put into this game to make it fun above anything else. Little touches like being able to vault fences automatically – even in your tractor – make running around your farm a breeze, where it could have been frustrating. Defaulting your current action to ploughing after harvesting something again, is cleverly thought out as it means you can very quickly create farmable land with a couple of taps of the A button, rather than having to select different actions from a menu each time.

These are are just two small examples of how the quality of life features in the game have been refined and polished after a period of player feedback during Early Access on Steam, and it benefits Switch owners in getting a version of the game that is a joy to play straight out of the gate.

Conclusion

There is SO much to like about Farm Together. Its addictive loop of planting and harvesting is tried and tested and should keep players coming back at least once a day, but factor in the cheery graphics, fantastic soundtrack, customisation options and a cleverly thought out online system, and you have one hell of a package.

Realistically, it is hard to tell how long the game can sustain the same repetitive gameplay loop, but these types of games are limited only by your imagination.

If I was going to nitpick, I could point to the short draw distance, some minor slowdown, a slightly wonky lobby system for online (which is being fixed in the next patch say the developers), but I’d feel like the Grinch at the perfect Christmas.

Farm Together is a pretty much essential purchase for the Switch if you want a change of pace from action games and something that is both very relaxing, and utterly engrossing at the same time.

Rapid Reviews UK Rating

You can purchase Farm Together for Nintendo Switch on the eShop at the following link, https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/Farm-Together-1505722.html#Overview

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