We always get an eclectic mix of games shown to us when we get together with Noodlecake Games at a conference like GDC, and one of the more unique ones we say at this most recent GDC this past March was Farm Punks. A collaboration between Noodlecake and a mysterious company called Sleeping Giant, Farm Punks is best described as a third-person ball-roller mixed with a farming sim. Yes, that combo is as weird as it sounds. But it also works magnificently. You’ll launch a variety of fruits (and, uh, other objects) from your hilltop cannon and then work to direct that fruit to avoid obstacles as it barrels down the hill. Because fruit is pretty fragile rolling along the ground depletes your health, though you can mitigate that by picking up health refills or hopping into a variety of different vehicles to help you on your journey. Occasionally you’ll come to a food stand where, if you maneuver your fruit into it, you can end your run and sell your fruit for some sweet cash. However, the further you’re able to roll through the level the more money you can earn, so there’s a risk/reward mechanic involved that is urging you to go just that extra bit further to increase your rewards but with the caveat that you might die before you make it to the next food stand and lose everything like a chump.
The rolling gameplay feels fantastic and is full of plenty of tense moments, but it’s only half of the Farm Punks experience. You can take the money you earn from your runs and invest them into unlocking various types of trees for your orchard and upgrading your different fruit. This has all the makings of an idle game, but with the smart addition of driving the progression by way of the super fun fruit-rolling sections. You can also dump money into unlocking new types of vehicles, upgrading your cannon, and more. It’s just a great combination and Farm Punks was one of the coolest games I saw at GDC this year. Now the game is up for pre-order on the iOS App Store, and up for pre-registration on the Google Play Store with an expected release date of May 30th. Additionally, it is soft-launched on Google Play in Canada, New Zealand, Phillippines and Ireland so if you’re in those territories you can actually download and check out Farm Punks right now. For the rest of us, get ready for some freaky fruit-rolling action in just a couple of weeks.