Sunflower Farm

Sunflower Farm is a voxelish minigame collection where you and up to three buddies can sit down and be bored while slogging through three games that range from dull to clunky to outright abysmal.  First up is Harvest Time, where you walk around a wheat field trying to cut as much of it down as possible.  Real quick thought, guys: if the concept of your game sounds like something that you would rather hire out illegals to do while you sip piña coladas and watch Judge Judy, chances are it won’t make for the most exciting video game.

Something tells me that Sunflower Farm doesn’t fall into the “developer always dreamed of making a game about this subject matter” category.

In single player, you have an absurdly short time limit to accomplish this.  You need to unlock higher difficulties and play those in order to unlock more stages.  I’m adverse to forcing myself to be bored for longer than I have to be and thus I decided to skip effort and go with the “give it two tries and if I fail, fuck it” approach.  Items do rain down from the sky that could help, but they come down at random and not all of them are helpful.  One of them is an airhorn, and I’ll be damned if I can figure out what it is used for.  In the sheep herding game, it has a function.  In this one?  It seems to scare crows off, but I don’t think the crows actually do anything.  The useful stuff, like something that stops the clock or a thing that makes you run fast, don’t seem to spawn as much as that stupid airhorn.

The second game is Sheep Herding.  There’s a field of sheep, and you have to run up behind them and coral them into the center of the screen.  Getting them to move is a slow, plodding, boring experience, probably not unlike real herding is.  The third game is Tractor Racing, which is a fancy way of saying kart racing.  This one is mired by terrible handling controls.  Steering is too loose, and thus driving ends up looking like a series of quick left and right swerves, like you’re watching a teenage girl test her learner’s permit out for the first time.  And she’s slightly intoxicated.  And texting while driving.  And the car is a Dodge.

For what it’s worth, if you can get used to the steering, the courses are only barely terrible.

Whether you play these single-player or with friends, Sunflower Farm is one of the worst Xbox Live Indie Games of the year.  Harvest Time and Sheep Herding sound more like things you would punish a disobedient child with.  As for Tractor Racing, I might not have realized just how bad it was if I hadn’t already played Avatar Grand Prix 2, which was a pretty dang good game.  The tractor stuff is by far the best part of Sunflower Farm, which is like saying free body piercings is the best part of being executed by firing squad.  So I can’t recommend Sunflower Farm.  You would be way better off having your car break down in front of an old farmer’s house and having sex with his virginal daughter.  And you KNOW how those things end.

Sunflower Farm was developed by Tomlin Games

80 Microsoft Points wonder why so many cars break down in front of farms in the making of this review.  Then again, I wonder why so many strange people walk into bars as well.  Or why we’re so concerned with the amount of people required to screw in light bulbs. 

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About Indie Gamer Chick
The most read Xbox Live Indie Game critic in the world.

3 Responses to Sunflower Farm

  1. CJ says:

    Kairi, I’m surprised no one’s told the XBLIG developer community this…

    Everyone’s trying to discover the formula for INSTA-CA$HES down at App Hub. People are thinking it’s avatars. Some say it’s girls. Many say it’s having online play in your games. Others say you just have to make a good game. THEY’RE ALL WRONG!

    If your game is in 3D, you get paid REGARDLESS IF THE SUBJECT MATTER! Even if your game is a barebones FPS without the FPS… polygon whores WILL BUY IT! In droves. WIth no logical explanation. The absolutely worst 3D games on XBLIG, nay the worst 3D games OF ALL TIME have made an average of $5000 within 3 months, and that’s on the low end.

    You can make a 3D game about animals having diarrhea(which is allowable content on XBLIG, humans bodily functions aren’t), and it will make enough money to pay rent for 3 months, while you make a sequel to it which will pay rent for another 3 months AND get you a new car from the auction place.

    And they say XBLIG isn’t a lucrative platform….>_>

    • I like that logic of you going “everything thinks they got the scoop on what does well on XBLIG, but really, *I* have the scoop on what does well on XBLIG!”

      • CJ says:

        You like that angle? Well, I may not be the only one, but take a look at the developers’ sales results on App Hub! Anyone who is, well… not completely blind, will notice the sales trends VERY quickly! ALL 3D games of ANY degree have great financial potential if they’re released on XBLIG, even more than the developers like to admit…

        I think that in reality, the more established developers like those at Ubisoft might envy this platform. As a novice, nay, NON game developer, as long as they know how to develop(or buy!) a 3D game framework SOMEHOW, can reap much more money more quickly in 3 months on XBLIG than most can on other platforms with the same parameters, PERIOD! This is because XBOX 360 gamers have gotten SO used to 3D tech, that they’ve come to EXPECT it, and they WILL reward you for it!

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