In the vein of rogue-like procedurals emerges Atomicrops, a joint effort by three developers: Danny Wynne, Toby Dixon and Joonas Turner. Published by Raw Fury, the game takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where resources are low and farming is a dangerous job. Version 1 of the game launched on May 28 for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
Players are given the task of growing crops in dangerous terrain, while fending off their land from various invaders and stealing valuable seeds from entrenched nearby encampments. Only one life is given, with limited opportunities for finding better resources. As players progress through the seasons, the crops they harvest will go towards a pool of cash for upgraded weapons, seeds and buffs to assist in farming.
The game is reminiscent of Don’t Starve in that it gives players a singular task of going as long as they can. Getting through a single season is a fun and difficult balance of taking dicey risks fighting encampments to access seeds and buffs, while focusing on protecting land from invaders and harvesting crops for sale. Waves of enemies strike at night and become more difficult as the seasons progress.
Combat itself is essentially top-down bullet hell. Some graphical chug can be apparent when multiple enemies or projectiles appear on screen, which is a minor irritation when the action really kicks up.
Another interesting aspect of Atomicrops is its romance option. In addition to coins made from selling crops, growing roses can sway in-town residents to build a relationship with you. Woo them enough and they’ll provide valuable perks that can be used to further build up and defend your farm. If romance isn’t in the cards, players can still recruit helpful farm animals or plant-soldiers to assist in tending to the land.
A lot of the charm of the title is in its challenge. How far can you make it? A season? A year? Even more? As players build up their arsenal and their plant life, the game ups the difficulty in kind. Have a bad harvest and it could cripple your prospects for a better weapon or upgrades to defend your farm. Successfully finishing out a season will merit key rewards for getting further in the year and open up more areas.
This is what makes Atomicrops a fun pick up and play option. Take a few minutes to run through a few rounds or settle in for a full on farm-to-table war, this title is an easy one to dive into. For the price and especially on the Nintendo Switch, the game is a fun break from other time-sink titles.
Atomicrops final score: 4/5 stars
Atomicrops is available on PS4, Xbox One, Epic Games Store and the Nintendo Switch. A launch on Steam is planned in September.