This will be a spoiler for people who can’t read between the lines: A Wholesome Game About Farming is actually a dark comedy about a killing spree. Although this game uses RPG Maker — an engine that is almost its own genre with established conventions — A Wholesome Game About Farming discards a lot of tired clichés to offer a unique experience.
This is a short game, so talking about its strong points risks spoiling some of its best jokes. However, I appreciated how smart cues nudged me in the right direction without dragging me directly to the next story segment.
It’s like the idea that music is the space between notes; the best part of A Wholesome Game About Farming was the designer’s understanding of what could be left out. Brief dialogue quickly establishes the farmer’s situation and motivations for the game’s antagonists before putting the player back in the action.
(Obviously, a world with monsters is going to have monster hunters. We don’t need a full page of exposition for their backstory.)
Have Fun with It
The main activity in this game involves stalking victims through the night. And instead of the menu-heavy, turn-based combat expected from RPG Maker games, A Wholesome Game About Farming delivers a more dynamic experience by pushing the limits of its engine.
The daytime choices to plant crops and discover new recipes change how your victims are stalked at night. The result is more of a tactical stealth action title than a cozy farm-building sim. It also encourages fun experimentation. There are plenty of opportunities to fail, but failure never imposes any substantial penalties.
This game’s mechanics are so solidly executed that it feels like the story elements exist to support them. The impressive part is how well those elements justify the action. Sharp writing and clever details have created a consistent fantasy world where nighttime murder rampages are understandable.
The most meaningful choice involves finding someone who can watch your pet cat, and I loved every step of the process.
Despite the jokes in its promotional material, A Wholesome Game About Farming is not a farming sim, and it’s not a game where you’re expected to gradually make friends with an entire town. It’s a game about killing, and its short, entertaining story doesn’t overstay its welcome.
The name ends up being fairly accurate: this is a game, it has farming, and from the right angle, parts of its narrative are enjoyably wholesome. As a free game created with RPG Maker, it gets a solid 8.
|Clever writing||Limited assistance/tutorial sequences|
|Brings out the best of RPG Maker||Infuriating final boss battle|
Curious about what each of our scores means? Visit the Press SPACE to Jump Review Scale for more information.