In Atomicrops from Bird Bath Games and Raw Fury , we have to take care of a very special crop farm . Atomicrops has been in the early access format for a long time in the Epic store and today it is officially published for everyone with a new update that includes several new features.
I absolutely love the intro off Atomicrops: An old farmer explains to a young urban man that he is now getting his grandfather’s farm and has to get it going again. Sounds a bit like a typical scenario of these farm games, doesn’t it? But still in the video, the young urban man discovers a bunker – and is thus protected when a gigantic mushroom cloud puts everything in ruins. Well, that’s it with the farm, right?
Of course I – the young city man – survived the whole thing because my grandfather made provisions for whatever reason and I was able to use the bunker. Then the real adventure begins. I no longer have a farm and only a handful of seeds. I quickly find out that the vegetables that I can plant serve as currency: if I have enough vegetables, I can buy new weapons to defend myself against mutant rabbits and nuclear worms at night and protect my fields.
In addition to a farm game, Atomicrops is a classic twin-stick shooter, which means that you run with the left stick, aim with the right, with LT you hack your field, with RT you shoot at opponents. Sounds confusing? It is, so I clearly recommend playing with a controller, otherwise it will probably be even more confusing. But do you know what Atomicrops is? A roguelike game, which means that once you die, the game is over …
At the end of each season, which lasts only three days, you will receive an evaluation of how good you really were and how much you have achieved. This is very nice and almost always comes with very nice rewards.
Atomicrops is definitely fun, but puts its own gameplay elements in the background. I only have a few minutes a day before I have to protect my field again. This means that I have to be pretty quick when I am looking for new seeds or other tools. And I always keep in mind that death means the end of the game, so I have to start all over again. This is annoying and gives me an uncanny pressure that I hate to have in games.
I just can’t use Atomicrops to relax a bit in the evening. Not even the shooting effects can really help here, because I always have in the back of my head that I could die. I don’t understand what the point of a permadeath in such a game is. Even without this constant fear on the back of your neck, it is a demanding game that really challenges you. But that’s exactly what kind of loses the charm for me.
The mix should be much more balanced: I shouldn’t have just a few minutes during the day to explore. After all, I also need seeds to plant something. I can also buy them for a lot of money, but especially at the beginning it makes more sense to search the area. I’m just constantly energized in Atomicrops and don’t even have a real idea what to do here other than planting vegetables and defending myself.
And I always keep in mind that everything I build is free. The fact that I have to start all over again when I die, and that makes me incredibly frustrated. Even if the level of difficulty has been reduced a bit compared to early access, this does not change this fact.
As soon as night falls in Atomicrops, I am forced to return to my farm to defend my plants. At night the atomic rabbits and worms come around the corner who want to eat my crop and destroy me. Why? I am not quite clear. But the night always comes with a pretty awesome soundtrack. It’s kind of a mix of … atomic funeral music? Can you say that? I guess so.
There is this tone that makes it fast and slow music at the same time. The man who hums something in the background also gives him a very special sound. I’ve never heard a song like this. Excellent choice! Atomicrops also fits quite well in terms of sound technology, even if I can’t really remember the song that is played during the day. But the sound itself is good, the sounds fit and these moles, which just make puke sounds, give the whole thing the perfect sound. Graphically, Atomicrops doesn’t have to hide either. It draws a colorful pixel art style that fits well with the setting, and in this way even brings in a comic effect that underpins the whole concept with a certain sense of humor.
Atomicrops is primarily a twin-stick shooter, where you have to try to plant plants in an atomic world and defend them from wild and gun-happy bunnies. As crazy as it all sounds, that’s how it plays – but again and again you have to live with the idea that every night could be the last, because Permadeath is also part of this game concept. I don’t think that’s really good, because in this way it personally takes away all of the charm. I’m not really good at games like this and whenever I think I’ve made it, an old worm comes back and shows me that I’m not that far after all.
Atomicrops could be a really cool farm game with variety, but somehow farming is only secondary to the rest, because the brilliant soundtrack and the colorful graphic style can’t really change anything, which I think is a shame. Without Permadeath, Atomicrops would be a suitable pastime for me to play a few rounds in the evening and show the mutant bunnies where their limits are. It is fun, but unfortunately I lack the constant motivation here. Definitely suitable for fans of roguelike games.
Atomicrops is a highly octane, thrill of a ride. Where every night is a battle to the death. Just make sure not to die in the long run because starting over is never to fun.