This post brought to you by Cali, who put the idea in my head.
I don’t really talk about this sort of game much. They aren’t exactly the sort of intense high-action stuff that’s popular with most people. I am, of course, referring to the games focused on farming, Stardew Valley, Farming Simulator, that sort of thing.
I myself have over 100 hours in Stardew Valley and about half of that is after the multiplayer update. I also have over 200 hour in Farming Simulator 15, but that’s because I was hosting the server on my own computer. I honestly have no idea what actual playtime is.
Farm Together is going to be a little different though. First, you as a farmer have a level. You do things, you get xp, you level up. As far as I can tell this unlocks new cosmetics for you to use and allows you to carry more tractor fuel. This is visible on the title screen and I would assume it persists across any farm you’re playing on.
Your farm also has a level though. It controls what crops/tree/animals/fish you can buy, which buildings you can make, and the rate at which you can expand into new areas. Much like farmer level it goes up from doing practically anything, but mostly harvesting.
On top of that, each harvestable has it’s own level. This limits the selection available to one-crop wonders. The required level shown is the farm level, but his also requires yellow onions to be level five, and they’re currently at one.
One of the things that make this different from most titles is that crops grow in real time, including offline time. This is sped up some by watering them, but it means you’re not gonna log in and plant/pick a bunch of eggplants, right? You plant a bunch of eggplant you’re gonna be done until tomorrow.
This means that long continuous play sessions aren’t really encouraged. It’s more of a jump in, play for a little bit, then go do something else sort of deal. I think I kind of like it, actually. I’ve even tried to do long sessions but it generally means planting quick turnaround crops like lettuce. Those have an awful profit margin though. Between seed cost and plowing cost the profit is only 5g per plant. Compare this to say, the 200ish gold per plant of yellow onions. Of course, you can grow 21 rounds of lettuce in the time it takes to grow one round of onion, but 105g per plant is still only half what you’d get for the onions. The amount of fuel you’ll use on the lettuce is absurd too.
Fuel doesn’t really cost anything, but you refill at little gas pumps that cost two ribbons each. The ribbons come from completing requests.
Not hard, but it’s a time thing. A lot of times it will include fish or trees that may only be available once per season or even once per year. In this case it’s harvest apples 30 times, which can be done once per tree per season.
You also don’t have to use the tractor, but it allows you to work on nine tiles at once instead of just one. This greatly expands the area you can effectively work on at once.
Seasons are also a strange thing. After so much time playing Stardew Valley where there’s 28 days per season and each day runs around 10-12 minutes, this is a major shock to the system. Each season in Farm Together lasts 17 minutes. Right around enough time to push through two rounds of consistently watered quick crops. There’s also seasonal weather that can make things a little harder or easier. Summer can be hot, which I guess means plants don’t retain water as long. We had one autumn, shown in the tractor picture, where it rained, meaning we didn’t have to water anything all season.
This is our entire farm at the time of writing. About four sections unlocked and a lot of empty space. Most of what we do when we’re playing involves that big field next to the trees. It’s our “quick crop” field. Usually we’ll fill it up with a long grow time crop before we stop.
All in all I like it. It’s cute, plays well, and doesn’t quite drain the day away like Stardew Valley does. Besides, I gotta go play Real Life Simulator and do some grocery shopping. Y’all take care.