If you’ve been paying attention to the release schedule this year, it’s hard not to notice the proliferation of a particular genre. So what do you think is the best 2022 farming game? We’re sharing our picks.
Though I’ve enjoyed a farming game or two in my time, I’d be lying if I called myself a fan of the genre. Not to mention that so many were announced or came to market in 2022 that it’s hard for even a dedicated farming game fan to keep up!
With that qualification out of the way? I think the playable demo of Harvestella made a big impression on me. For the same reason I tend to love fictional sports games much more than games about real-life sports, Harvestella has enough of that fantasy abstraction that makes the mundanities of farm living seem comfortable rather than tedious. In other words, it’s less like work when you’re also playing pretend.
I also like the look of Harvestella. Most farming games go for that cutesy cartoon look, and that’s good! But this one goes for that JRPG-esque style, which makes the farming seem more magical and part of the big adventure. — Josh
Josh has already said Harvestella but honestly, that’s also my pick for the best 2022 farming game. This year gave us so many options for farming games — with the Nintendo Direct even being called Farming Direct as a joke — and yet none of them really resonated with me. Looking at them just made me think I could pick up Stardew Valley instead! Which is a sentiment that I never felt when playing Harvestella.
Sure, it has its pros and its cons, judging by the demo. But I really like the more fantastical approach to farming, and it has lots of things other than farming to do if I ever get tired of the daily grind. Not exactly the best sentiment for a farmer to have, perhaps! — Stephanie
It is still early days for Coral Island, a new Early Access farming game from Stairway Games and Humble, but it’s already a pretty great time! It features some questlines to get you invested in your new home, people you can get to know and romance, different locations to explore, and a whole (in-game) year of agricultural adventures. I’m especially excited since it will include some supernatural elements like Merfolk. Also, if someone has a Steam Deck? It’s playable on it. Most importantly, it’s the first farming sim I’ve played that lets you choose how quickly time passes, to help you set your schedule. It’s got potential! — Jenni
Know what hit its full release this year? That’s right, Ooblets! Farming games often work better for a wider audience when they’re not just farming games, using the mechanic to fuel other ideas. Like mining or dating or something! It’s important to break up the monotony. And Ooblets‘ idea? Very cute little card game friends. Building your team of buddies is rewarding, and the world is full of personality. It’s a fun, relaxing title that can help you unwind when you really need it. — Graham