Atomicrops is listed as an “action rogue-lite farming simulator” displayed in a raw pixel style. Although his description is enough to make my eyes glaze the back of my head, Atomicrops has something more bubbling under the surface.
First impressions of Atomicrops is that there is too much going on. On one hand, there is the farming aspect, where you’re tasked with looking after vegetables, tilling the land, watering the ground and other tasks like weeding. On the other hand, you need to battle away the swarms of enemies in a bullet hell shooter kind of way – Overwhelming: yes, does it work: kind of.
Atomicrops has a day and night cycle, that as vastly different. During the day, the enemies are small in numbers, don’t cause much to dispose of and act as more of an annoyance, rather than a threat. You’ll spend your time brushing past enemies, while growing different crops and general farm maintenance. During the night is where the game comes to life, as you back to the farm and defend whatever is growing, while fighting stronger enemies in larger numbers, lobbying mortars at you, more actively coming in to try and eat your food. And every third night, you’re dragged back to the farm for a boss battle against an angry sun or a giant slug, all this in a battle to survive the night.
As you survive the different nights, you’ll find yourself expanding and supplying the farm, as you cross the bridge and go in search of little camps where gun-toting rabbits are sleeping as they guard boxes of seeds and bats float around near pickaxes, and where you’ll find some power ups like pigs who automatically till the land, all to make things a little bit easier.
As dawn came, the nearby town that you’re hoping to supply with food will send a helicopter to bring you anything you’ve managed to successfully grow. The literal peanuts that you get as money can then be spent on new weapons – pretty low powered weapons that make weapon upgrading a big deal. The game gives the chance to top up your health, buy a drone, or grow roses that you can hand over to selected NPCs, if you’re feeling romantic.
Of course, die and you lose it all, which is expected in a rogue-lite. As this happens as a regular pace, it really is a steep learning curve that takes some getting used to, this could easily put people off. Another aspect that could easily put players off is that there is an element of grinding that does lose its novelty pretty quickly. You’ll frequently have to grind and save for guns that are guaranteed to be too weak at the start.
The game is also quite rough with its presentation, the graphic style doesn’t appear to be hugely engaging and could easily turn people off the product, even more as it’s almost impossible to move for pixel based games lately.
After getting through game aspects that didn’t quite sit right with me, there is solid foundations at play. Mixing the bullet hell with farming does add for a unique mix and even though levelling up is rewarding, it is extremely slow that can easily put players off. From the start of the game, it can seem very overwhelming but when the basics are realised, Atomicrops could do with expanding and experimenting with different wave ideas.
Atomicrops is an extremely interesting, yet bizarre concept that shouldn’t work, and just about gets away with it. Could do with polish and different gameplay aspects but otherwise a solid title.
- Great character and boss design
- Interesting and adorable game world
- Unique gameplay
- Grind gameplay
- Simplistic graphics
- Repetitive wave system