Big Farm: Story is an Early Access game from GoodGameStudios that is reminiscent of games like Stardew Valley and Harvest Moon while trying to bring its own spin on things. While I enjoyed my time playing, it at times felt like a game built for PC but with a mobile game feel to it.
Big Farm: Story gave me a chance to upgrade a farm left in disarray after a recent storm had torn it apart and left its previous owner (my Grandfather) missing. The story part of Big Farm was a decent little tale that had a lot of quests to try to rebuild everything and eventually learn the whereabouts of my missing Grandfather. The main questline could at times feel very grindy and heavy in fetch quests. This was offset by plenty of other side quests that could pop up or be found when talking to some villagers who had things for me to do. The story itself was fairly general and at times was more there to help me learn the various things I could do at my farm and to help rebuild it. For a game like this, I was hoping for some more memorable characters to interact with, but for the most part, the people of the town and neighboring farms were fairly bland.
The farming aspect in Big Farm: Story felt overly grindy to me as upgrading things tended to have to be unlocked via leveling before you could even go about using materials and money to upgrade things. Everything I did produce some amount of experience points, whether that was harvesting plants, getting eggs, picking up random flowers or rocks from the ground, and of course quests. Every time I leveled, I got to pick from three different cards that would unlock something for me. For example one level I could choose between learning how to plant potatoes, unlocking a second farming plot, or learning how to fish in the river. The reality is that even when I picked unlocking the second farm plot, I still had to spend money and materials to truly unlock it so that I could plant things in it. This is true for several things in the game and just adds to the time consumption and grind for Big Farm. I really felt that this pulled away from what should have been the focus of leveling (new skills, learning how to plant new things) and instead made so you had to sacrifice something you wanted to learn because you needed that upgrade. In the beginning, this wasn’t so bad, but as I leveled up; the experience bar kept getting bigger and taking longer to fill up.
If that aspect of having to unlock some things like that via leveling wasn’t there, it would have made the farming aspect of the game less grindy and more fun. I did enjoy planting things and selling them to either a normal market or a specialized market that gave you rewards for giving it exactly what it asked for. And the animal component of Big Farm: Story felt good and made me want to do more of it.
There was a decent size area of places to explore in what I had available to me in Early Access as of this writing. There seemed to be that would eventually unlock and that would make for a nice amount of content. I liked being able to customize the look inside my house, but being able to do more outside of my farm to make it truly mine would have been nice as well.