I really like farm management games, which is odd since I can’t keep a real plant alive, but after playing Harvest Moon, FarmCraft, Farm Frenzy and so many others, I wasn’t sure there was any room left for new farming games. I didn’t know if Funky Farm 2 by SortaSoft could bring anything new that other farm sims hadn’t already done.
The premise begins just like any other time management game. Raise your chickens, sheep, and pigs to maximize profits, unlock new animals and farm tools as you improve. But when I saw the rewards, I quickly realized this is not another rinse-and-repeat farm sim. Players don’t receive the typical bigger watering can or a new seed to cover more ground. As you play Funky Farm, you unlock a mailbox for government farm grants, a pet llama, a pet duck and other funny farmyard surprises.
Your sidekick, Piper the hep cat, wants to help you get the farm going so you can throw a happening party. He guides you through the first levels with beatnik words of wisdom, explains the rules, and encourages you to pick up some new duds for the party. Even the error messages arrive with hep cat style!
Any money you earn above your level goal can be spend on accessories. I was a little apprehensive about this part, because I expected the casual-game cliche of a portrait of your hep cat friend wearing each new accessory. (Much like the annoying rewards screen in Tropical Dream and similar casual games) Oh no. When you buy accessories, your new livestock appears wearing the Chucks and shades you selected.
Each animal type needs a different type of care, sheep (and your pet llama) need to be sheared, pigs need to be slopped and slaughtered, and cows need to be milked. I was a little grossed out by turning the cute piggies into plates of bacon, but then I took a harder attitude and harvested* all my cows, sheep, chickens and pigs at the end of the day to save herding them into the pens at night. Did I mention that your new animals come with names like “Count” and “Basie”?
Like all time management games, this is all about balance. Players need enough farm products to sell and continue to buy new animals. With too many animals — especially those messy pigs! — you’ll spend the whole time reseeding the ground. With too few, you won’t be able to make the cash for your beehive hairstyles and bowties. This is a very well-done farm management game, with the right level of difficulty and reward, but it’s the wild beatnik personality that really makes the funky farm stand out.
*special Meg euphemism for “killed off”