Space Famers, unlike its title, doesn’t actually have anything to do with farming – at least in the traditional sense – but don’t let that deter you from a fun, party style co-op game with adorable graphics. The game can be purchased on Steam as a 2-pack, which is good because Space Farmers doesn’t really have a single player mode, so grab a friend and some snacks and get ready to laugh, yell, and realize just how bad you can possibly be at video games.
The graphics are simple but fun, and the music is a delightful accompaniment to the countless deaths you’ll likely encounter as the game forces you to put an almost unhealthy amount of trust in your gaming partner. ‘Turnips’ are the game’s currency, which will drop off any enemies you defeat, so any of the hats you see during character select are easily obtainable if you play the game. It’s a much appreciated change in a world of micro-transactions and dlc. As you play you can also find various hidden accouterments – I managed to find a bubble pipe! – so be sure to explore everything it lets you.
In the beginning, all the levels are chosen for you until you manage to complete 10 of them. The problem with this method, while fun and random, is that it doesn’t seem to pick a good selection for those just starting out. You could start with a level that just has you running for your life with a shotgun, or end up in a dark puzzle maze with creatures trying to jump out at you from all angles and ledges to oblivion you can’t see. You may find yourself quitting to replay with a different set of levels because you’re just not quite ready for what the game has thrown at you. There were some levels that just left me so frustrated that I needed to walk away for a few minutes, but I think that had more to do with the fact that I was still learning the game than the difficulty being too high.
In each level you may find a different set of tools to work with than the one before, ranging anywhere from a shotgun, gravity gloves that help you pick up critters, or a jet pack to help you fly across the abyss. There’s even one where you feed pies to cows so you can make them fart, while your parter uses a flare gun to light said farts on fire. The game always gives you the tools you need for that level, it’s just up to you to figure out how to use them correctly. Oh, and try not to get your partner killed in the process or you both have to start at the beginning of the level.
As far as combat goes, it’s balanced and fun, but it’s certainly not the focus of the game. The controls are your basic WASD, with left and right mouse to fire or use your items. Yet, monsters seem to only be there to hurry you along or keep you on your toes while your partner is solving the puzzle. As the levels get harder and harder you’ll find yourself relying on your partner to keep you from dying and vice versa, leading me to playfully dub Space Farmers “Trust Issues – the Video Game”. Playing a level with your best friend, where each of you can only see each other’s platforms in an otherwise terrifying void of space, can either strengthen your friendship or destroy it.
The game is playful, challenging, and not afraid to make fun of itself. The level selector could use some tweaking, but honestly, Space Farmers had us laughing and yelling the whole time we were playing. One little piece of advice however: you’re going to need some kind of vocal interaction between you and your partner or you’re probably not going to get very far. This game is all about communication, so I’d lump it in with games like Mario Party or Mario Kart. Invite some friends over, load up the game on two computers, and prepare to laugh over food and drink as you all die repeatedly. It may only allow for two players, but it’s as much a spectator sport as a game. If you’re looking for something simple you can just jump right into and play without a lot of story or hoopla, then Space Farmers is just the game you’re looking for. It’s a very solid and interesting game, for sure, and you can grab the two-pack for just $9.99 on Steam. Let us know what you think!