App Reviewed on: iPhone XR
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Farm Punks has all of the right ingredients to be great. It mixes charming and cool art with a premise that’s wild enough to keep you interested in coming back to it. It’s just too bad that none of this great potential really goes anywhere. Farm Punks is largely just a grindy free-to-play treadmill with pretty mediocre gameplay.
In Farm Punks, you pilot rogue fruit in a downhill race to the market. You swipe on the screen to roll your fruit off of ramps, over boosters, and onto vehicles in a way that feels kind of like SSX with a dash of Katamari Damacy thrown in.
While you’re on this wild journey, you have to look out for walls, trees, and other obstacles, because you want your fruit to be in good condition to fetch a high sale price. If you’re too cavalier, you may have to settle for selling your fruit at a cheap market, or—even worse—you might bruise your fruit up too much and have to mulch it.
Buying the farm
The reason you want to sell your fruit for a good asking price is because you want to spend that cash on upgrades for your farm. Between your downhill sessions, Farm Punks features a management layer where you upgrade your trees for better produce—in addition to a few other things—that basically just let you sell your fruit for higher prices so you can afford ever more costly upgrades.
Roll, sell, upgrade, repeat is the name of the game in Farm Punks, much like it is in other free-to-play games. In addition to having a premium currency you can buy to speed things up, Farm Punks also pushes you to watch ads to gather non-premium currency faster. It’s a tried-and-true method for monetization, which basically just another way of saying it’s a boring kind of predatory.
The one thing that kept me playing Farm Punks for as long as I did was its core premise. The idea of doing produce parkour was just too intriguing to resist. Unfortunately though, the way Farm Punks actually executes on this idea is about as dull as its monetization scheme.
The levels are pretty sparse with not a whole lot of variation to them. Also, the controls are floaty and imprecise. Players are only basically rewarded for staying in the air a lot, but once you’re up there, there’s nothing to do except look for the next ramp. To top it all off, Farm Punks is really restrictive with how durable your fruit is from the start of the game, meaning your starting runs last under a minute, which is hardly enough time for anything interesting to develop.
The bottom line
The ideas in Farm Punks have a lot of potential. I can see a good version of this game hiding somewhere inside of it. It’s not just the monetization to blame, here. Even if Farm Punks was a fully premium experience, its underdeveloped gameplay undercuts its interesting premise.