Baker's Boards: Farming with Nukes
Initial Response – 10/10
When I saw Farmageddon on Kickstarter, I funded instantly. I knew it was going to be a winner. The artwork done by Brett Bean and Erin Fusco had me locked in immediately. I have been becoming more excited with games targeted toward younger audiences ever since my wife became pregnant (she’s at 19 weeks!), however, even during your initial look through of Farmageddon, you’ll find that even though it might seem as though it is targeting younger audiences, it’ll match par for par on all ages! Not only that, but it’s extremely modest price will have you ordering a copy or two before you know it. I then knew I had to try out the game.
Wifey’s Response – 9/10
Farmageddon is not going to be a print ‘n play game, however, my wife considers all printed prototypes print ‘n plays. My wife hates Print ‘N Play games. She hates handling the paper. However, she still loved Farmageddon. She said it makes her want to punch everyone playing against her, but the game moves a pleasantly moderate pace and can be picked up very quickly, and she still has an awesome time playing!
“I can see how it would appeal to all ages; not only because of the artwork and ingeniously simple game play, but because its fun to destroy your friends, regardless of age! Not only that, but the concepts and ideas used could easily be expanded upon in the future, in which ever way the developer would want to take it…” -Wifey
The People – 10/10
After some friendly deliberation with Farmageddon’s creator Grant Rodiek and founder of 5th Street Games, Phil Kilcrease, I found myself with a Print ‘N Play prototype of the game. Not only are these two genuine and kind and working hard to get the Game Player what they want, but so are the two artists that are working their butts off to get us some preview artwork! The efforts they’ve put forth to get this game on the radar would’ve probably won them their funding as is, but they still give the community a chance at some inexpensive funding for their epic game. They’ve been through interviews and several other game reviews already, and by much larger names than I. Yet they still cared enough to let a little ol’ reviewer like me give it a play test or two for review.
Basic Components and Setup – 9/10
Farmageddon is a card game with an obvious farm theme too it. While I’m a sucker for themes, it is still loved by those I’ve played with that don’t find themes all that amusing and are hardcore for gameplay. I play tested with regular card gamers, to nongamers, to strictly Euro gamers, and even to Wargamers, and they all loved Farmageddon, and here is why.
The version of Farmageddon I playtested (didn’t have the Frankencrops now included as a successful Stretch Goal on Kickstarter) had approximately 108 cards. These cards can be split up into 3 categories: Action, Crop, and Plotted Land cards. The Plotted Land cards (brown) are simply 3 cards you set out at the beginning of Setup, in between all players (plays 2-4).
After that, you split up your Action Cards (red) and Crop Cards (green) into their two respective decks, after shuffling of course. Each player is then dealt two crop cards and 3 action cards to start out their hands. The first player to go first in the player who visited a farm last! Thus began the antics.
Gameplay – 8/10
Gameplay is fun, fast, and as they put it in their promotions: frenetic. Each player starts out their turn by drawing two Crop cards. The player may then plant as many crops as there are open fields. In the bottom left corner of each card, you’ll see a number in an encased circle. This number represents how much Fertilizer you need to harvest that crop. One of your first questions in the game will now be “How do I obtain Fertilizer?” ‘Tis quite simple folks: You flip over your crop card and place it down on your planted Crop. The green backside of the Crop Cards is the “Fertilizer side”.
You have to play at least Fertilizer no matter what on your turn, unless you have none in your hand, all crops are filled up to their set level of fertilizer, or there is a Manure Action card on the crops. However, let’s say only your buddy has some crops out. You still have to play a fertilizer on their crop, regardless of if you want to or not. Some of the play testers I played with found this aspect kind of dumb at first, but when in practice, was found to be intriguing and quite useful for game play mechanics and keeping the flow of the game nice and smooth. So even if it turns you off right away, give it a game or two, and you’ll be using that factor as strategy at the very least.
After doing what you will with your crops, you may also play up to two Action cards per turn. Action cards vary between having another Plotted land used for play called “Rented Land” all the way to “Dust Bowl”, which can wipe the playing field clean, which can be very valuable when your crop has been dirtied by the cursed “Manure” Action card. There are action cards that also can benefit you positively, like Bumper Crop, which you can place on other opponent's crops, so that when they harvest it, the Bumper Crop goes in your Harvest Pile ($3).
After drawing your two crop cards, and playing your crops and/or two action cards, you then end your turn by drawing two more Action cards off the top of the Action card deck.
The crops you’ve planted must survive the other player’s turns after you planted it until it is your turn again. If they survive, and have the appropriate amount of Fertilizer on them, you can harvest them! There is a second number on each Crop card in the form of a dollar amount in the top right corner. This is how many “Victory Points” it is worth. The game end when the Crop card deck is emptied. Each player besides the player who drew the last Crop card gets one last turn. The player with the most expensive harvest pile is the winner!
However, getting to that point is quite treacherous indeed. It is Farmageddon after all…
Thoughts and Criticisms
There are so many questions I had through my first play through. The first thing I would say to do is: play a second game and relook at the rules when you think you need to. This game is learned so quickly and easily, your brain finds ways to make it complicated. I had a few personal questions for the game that I presented to developer Grant Rodiek, and he answered them as if I were trying to develop more aspects to the game. It is too easy to get caught up and not truly be sure you are doing it right, but that is exactly what sets this game above many that I’ve play tested and played altogether. It is literally that smooth of gameplay, that it just keeps going and seems to end too soon.
The Final Countdown – 9.5/10
If I HAD to change one thing about this game, it would be that there is less random chance for scoring. While strategy actually does play a part is this fabulously frenetic game, a lot of random chance depending on what your opponent draws for action cards determines your fate. Now this is coming from my Euro/Strategic gamer background and opinions.
However, the randomness is exactly why it matches its wonderfully unique theme of chaos, mayhem, and Farmageddon. I would not change this game in the slightest. I cannot wait for this game to be released. As of right now, it has a little under 3 weeks left of funding, and its already almost to 200% funded, and on its way to unlocking its third Stretch Bonus! Reserve your copy today.
I would recommend this game to gamers of all types, ages, and occupations. If you are a farmer, you’ll probably get a kick out of this game as you begin to fantasize about nuking your opponents or throwing your manure stockpile all over the competitor’s crops. If you aren’t a farmer, you will still adore this game.
*No farmers were hurt in the making of this game*
For more reviews, check out Baker's Boards: Review Platter
For more on Kickstarters, including comments from the developers and links to each game’s respective Kickstarter link, check out Baker's Boards: Kickstarters Galore!! today!