STAFF REVIEW of Atomicrops (Xbox One)

Sunday, July 5, 2020.
by Kirsten Naughton

Atomicrops Box art In recent years, I have gotten into farm simulator games like Farm Together and Stardew Valley and highly enjoy them. The idea of creating your own farm, growing your own crops and collecting money in return makes me very happy. When I saw the Atomicrops trailer, I saw the farming of crops mixed with the roguelike genre and I was in. I have played Enter the Gungeon on PC for hours and absolutely love it. When I saw Atomicrops, I imagine if Stardew Valley and Enter the Gungeon had a baby, Atomicrops would be born. Knowing that in the back of my mind, my expectations were set very high, as I expected Enter the Gungeon levels of gameplay for Atomicrops. Unfortunately, I may have set my expectations too high and that concerned me through my playthroughs.

Atomicrops is a little difficult to explain to be honest. You've been plopped onto this post apocalyptic world where you've received a plot of land to farm, grow and sell crops... oh and fight off enemies with your gun? From what I can gather, you are on a year system similar to Stardew Valley. You start off in the day and end at nightfall after your “raid” is over with the enemies. During the day you're planting and watering your crops, exploring nearby areas and collecting items you'll need for your plot. These items can be helpful, such as roses used as currency in the main menu area to new crops for you to plant. There's quite a bit about Atomicrops that I'm not a fan of and unfortunately there's quite a bit I have to say regarding what make this game not so pleasant from a gamer perspective.

Where to begin? One of my biggest problems with Atomicrops is its lacks focus. Is it a roguelike farm simulator or is it a roguelike shoot em up? The concept is fantastic and the idea is solid, it just seems to know how what it exactly wants to be. As I've stated above, I'm a huge fan of Enter the Gungeon and Stardew Valley, however, both of those video games have a focus. Whereas with Atomicrops, I feel like tries to do too much with very little explanation on how, where and why. Atomicrops would have been more successful if it focused on one or the other.

The overall gameplay is a little confusing as you are required to obtain roses, but it's not stated in the introduction or tutorials as to where the roses are. You'd think that it would be important to clarify early on as it is a key currency in the game to get your bridges built, more hearts, different weapons etc. For an average 'just slightly over amateur' roguelike gamer, I feel like for some gamers with a similar player skill as mine it may be difficult to make it past the first few days of gameplay. This made things difficult for me to want to play Atomicrops over and over again. I feel satisfaction in proceeding to the next stage, getting new items and discovering new areas, but I didn't feel a lot of satisfaction in my time with Atomicrops overall. I didn't make it past the third day, and I even barely made it to the third day. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get past the third day.

The one thing I did love about Atomicrops is the overall music and graphics while playing. I'm a sucker for a great looking game and awesome audio and appreciate when developers take time to make their games sound and look good. While playing, it's nice to have an upbeat soundtrack in the back keeping you alert and energized. The story is also pretty cute in the beginning which was a nice touch.

Atomicrops could have been an amazing roguelike, and I say that wholeheartedly. I usually really like roguelikes for their fast pace and cutthroat nature of them even if I'm not overly skilled at them, but I do quite enjoy them. The lack of focus with gameplay really made this experience difficult unfortunately. Sadly, I'll have to get in my UFO and get transported somewhere else. Until next time, earthlings.

Overall: 6.0 / 10
Gameplay: 5.0 / 10
Visuals: 8.0 / 10
Sound: 8.0 / 10


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