Today on our review plate is Farmageddon. In Farmageddon, players are trying to not only grow and harvest their own crops but also trying to sabotage other players' crops. The cards in Farmageddon are separated into three decks-- crops, open fields and action cards. Players begin the game with two crop cards and three action cards in hand. A turn starts by the player drawing two additional crop cards (in a two player game, draw three). Then any number of actions--plant crop(s), play fertilizer, play action card and/or harvest crops for points-can be played. Planting crops can only be played on an "open field". This is one of the three field cards that is not already occupied by someone else's crop. Once a player "plants" a crop on a field, they place that field in front of them. Now comes fertilization! Each turn players can fertilize as many crops as they want, but you must always fertilize at least 2 crops in the two player game or one in the 3+ player game. At any point during your own turn you may play an action card to help you fertilize, give yourself an extra field, ruin opponents fields or to cause numerous other beneficial effects for you or disasters for another player. Turns will go back and forth with each player harvesting their fields, planting and fertilizing their crops and doing the best to play action cards to benefit themselves and screw over their neighbors. When the crop deck runs out the game ends after each player gets one final turn of play. Easy squeezy lemon peezy! So, is Farmageddon a field of dreams or does it just smell like foul manure?
The artwork - The artwork for this game is incredibly colorful, stylish and just in general pretty cool.
Very easy rules - The rulebook was finished in five to ten minutes and we were able to explain it to others in a matter of a minute or two.
Sharing fields is an interesting concept - Most games that have you planting crops give each player their own field to play with. In Farmageddon, there are three fields at the center of the table and if they are all being used then you are just out of luck. It is an interesting game play mechanic that makes things much more cutthroat.
Cheap - The Kickstarter will set you back $12 for a full copy of the game. I imagine if the game ever sees major release it would run in the same $10-$15 price range. A very reasonable price for what this game is.
Family game - This seems to be a great game to play as a family. It’s not super complicated; it is incredibly adorable and the only skill that is required is some basic reading comprehension.
Lots of power up cards - There are seriously like a dozen different power up cards to play around with. Ruin peoples land, protect your own, rent an extra land space, and steal people’s crops or cards from their hand are some examples. Lots and lots of options which is always a positive!
It’s reactionary - Amanda may like this part of the game but I loathe it. I feel like there is good reactionary and bad reactionary. An example of good would be 7 Wonders or Food Fight where I am forced to work with what I have and even if I cannot always plan ten turns ahead, I can at least TRY. In Farmageddon, there is no point in even trying to formulate a plan because someone will certainly ruin it by your next turn...let alone several turns down the road.
Luck luck luck LUCK LUCK LUCK! - I hate luck in games. I really, really, REAAAALLY hate luck in games. I understand that the best games often have an element of luck to them, but the thing is the best games are maybe 80/20 on the skill to luck ratio, where as Farmageddon feels 80/20 with luck being the 80! This is just FAR more luck then I like in a game.
The numbers used for scoring are not even - Ok this is a minor complaint but still something I find annoying. Most people I know when scoring their games divide things up in to piles of 10, count those piles then add the remainder. Farmageddon seems like with its odd numbers rarely to add up in to 10s, so you instead have to just count every card. Again, this is not a huge deal, but when scoring for children (and again we see this as a family game) I can see it being a headache.
It is reactionary - I like the way you cannot plan ten turns ahead and instead must constantly work with what you are given on any turn. Most games we play, Ryan can run circles around me because he is good at planning out several actions ahead of the one he is playing, but in Farmageddon he cannot do that!
Lots of examples in the rule book - Far too many games just toss the rules at you and hope they stick. Farmageddon, despite being so simple to understand, does a great job of giving you many examples in case you are confused on how a card/rule plays out.
Cut throat - I love how cut throat Farmageddon is! I love competing for the plots of land and I love ruining other people’s moves every turn!
Very little set up and hardly any shuffling - Two decks of cards, a basic shuffle and put out the three starting fields. That is all there is to it! When the crop deck runs out, the game is over. I love having so little set up and I love not having to stop mid-game to shuffle again and again!
Cute theme - Ryan mentioned in his positive about art how cute the cards were, but I feel like over all this game just has a very cute and fun theme going for it!
Plays incredibly fast - We can finish a game in around 10-15 minutes. This is great since again it seems like an ideal family game. Sometimes kids can lose interest when things go on for too long or get frustrated if they are losing a game and have to see it through to the end. The quick play time of Farmageddon keeps it again in line with what makes a great family game.
Even if I enjoy Farmageddon, I will not play it often - This is not the type of game I see being broke out every night at our household or any others. Farmageddon really is one of those games that you break out randomly every now and then as a filler or to play on family game night, it is not the nightly main course.
I really do not care for Farmageddon at all. It is not a bad game; it is just not my kind of game at all. I like being able to try and come up with a game winning strategy and plan things out several turns ahead. Yes, things may not go perfectly in a game, but then you adjust your strategy! In Farmageddon, it is impossible to even plan out the turn you are on because someone is bound to destroy your field, steal your fertilizer or buy your crop out from underneath you. Even in the two player game, it is incredibly hard to plan even a single turn ahead! Like I said, I do not feel that this makes Farmageddon a bad game, it just makes it way outside the realm of what I want to play. If we had kids I would want to keep this game around to play with them. The colorful art, the basic level of skill required, the cute theme and the basic level of reading comprehension needed, it’s a perfect fit for a family game! But for two adults experienced at gaming, I’ll pass.
Finally, a game that I enjoy and Ryan does not! This game is light but is so much fun. As I stated earlier, I thoroughly enjoy a true reactionary game. I am not good with planning ahead on my turns nor am I very good at planning a long term strategy. This game has almost none of that. I also greatly enjoy sabotaging other fields even more than I enjoy collecting points for my OWN field. Since I am a kid at heart and love the sabotaging aspect, I think that most kids will love it as well. Farmageddon is a very family friendly game. With the rules being so simple to understand (and so many great examples!), almost all ages of people can play. There is nothing more fun than a child being able to destroy (or steal!) from their parents in games! I absolutely recommend this game as a very light filler or those looking to include the whole family in a quick game!
*As a note: I feel that this game would most likely be more fun with three to four players but alas, Ryan and I did not have enough time to play this with any groups of people—two player only games this time around.