Atomicrops is a unique medley that blends the difficulty of a rogue-lite adventure with the fun and addictive nature of a farming simulator, and it does this pretty well. With charming 2D pixel details at every turn, there’s sure to be a little something for everyone in this indie gem. This is our review of Atomicrops for PC.
All the Leaves are Brown
If you immediately skipped the trailer above, please, do yourself a favor and go back to watch it. This little trailer was my first introduction to the game as it started up, and it is absolutely fantastic. The animation style on its own is worth giving it a chance.
As the delightful cinematic stated, you’ve inherited a little farm and a piece of land from your uncle, and nothing bad ever happens here! Until, a nuclear bomb is dropped right smack dab on top of the town, turning your thriving farmland into a wasteland. So now, you have to survive by growing some radical, wriggling crops for yourself and the town and fend them off from strange, nuclear creatures that want to devour them.
Atomicrops doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to its rogue-lite elements. From your first set of crops, you’re bombarded in the night by hungry worms and chaotic bunnies that want to ruin your yield. These enemies usually come in waves, and on the third night of the farming season, you can encounter a hilarious (yet still terrifying) boss that wreaks absolute havoc on your base. You have a set number of “heart beets” that you’ll need to be careful of during your various encounters. If they fall to zero, your game is over, and you’ll have to start fresh all over again. There are no checkpoints in Atomicrops.
Roses for Hearts
So, with enemies constantly bombarding us from every corner and only three nights in the season to make money for upgrades, how do we survive this apocalyptic wasteland? Well, roses are your best friends. Roses seem to kind of come at random, but you can use the roses that you grow to exchange them for “heart beets” at the town or to flirt with other villagers. If you flirt with a stranger enough, sometimes you can get “heart beets” from them, and eventually marry them to have some more help against the onslaught of post-nuclear pests! Think Stardew Valley meets Fallout. I absolutely adore the design choices for our romance options as well- they’re all memorable, creative, and unique in their own way.
Farm. Marry. Kill. Die. Repeat.
While I’m fond of just about everything about Atomicrops, it is hard, and I mean really hard for me. I haven’t made a lot of progress because I just can’t seem to last for very long. I wish that there had been a bit of an easier mode to play on, or a checkpoint or something so that I didn’t have to completely start all over again. Some days are harder than others, with RNG seeming to play a huge role in how that goes. Even so, some days feel just completely wasted as I can’t go out into the world and explore for better upgrades that will help me make it through that final night of the season.
The first parts of Atomicrops seem to be the hardest for me since it takes a little ramping up to get to where you can go out and adventure while your cow takes care of watering the crops. The days just feel much, much too short, and if you can’t pick up any roses to trade for “heart beets” you’re SOL. Have one “heart beet” when the final night of the season begins? Might as well just rollover. Some stray ray beam will hit you and you’ll have just wasted your time. There just doesn’t feel like there’s enough to keep you sustained health-wise. I have way too many beets for fertilizer, and never enough roses to trade by the end of the day to sustain myself through the next day’s work.
If days were longer or enemies dropped hearts more frequently, it might have led to a little more success in my adventures. I did a get a “Daylight Savings” buff a couple of times that made days slightly longer, but that is entirely dependent on RNG and how well you did to earn your rewards at the end of a season. I always felt like I was farming towards the inevitable, and with guns breaking every day (and if you had a bad crop yield and can’t afford a new gun) you had to rely on your default pea-shooter to fend off the hordes.
But, there’s a lot of replayability bundled into how difficult Atomicrops is. Having some RNG keeps the game fresher and as you start to get the hang of it, you’ll get better and better. There’s also some little trophies that you can earn for your main loading screen base depending on the achievements you unlock, as well as other characters you can play that have varying benefits.
I enjoyed starting over most of the time because every game has to be played a little bit different due to the items you end up with. Sometimes you can play more defensively, and others you’ll have to go search aggressively for items to get you through the night. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my time playing despite the difficulty, and would highly suggest that those who are rogue-lite lovers give this nice little indie a try.
If you’d like to give this delightfully frustrating rogue-lite a try, currently, you can find it on the Epic Games store for $14.99. It is also expected to release on Steam sometime later in September 2020. you’re not a PC player and have a Switch, you can also find Atomicrops on the Nintendo Switch for $14.99!