Available now on PC, Mac and Xbox One
Given how popular first person shooters are – and how lucrative the big budget, triple-A FPS games are – it’s perhaps surprising that we don’t see more of them in the indie space. Then again, those AAA titles really do consume the playing time of millions of players to the exclusion of all other games and genres, so it shouldn’t be such a shock that many indies tend to plough more unique ground for their titles.
Shotgun Farmers is an indie FPS that bucks the trend, however. Online only – ie, no couch co-op here folks – there’s a variety of game modes, including team deathmatches, capture the flag style battles and a horde mode among others; basically, all of the usual suspects you’d expect to see in a competitive FPS, albeit with farm-based puns for mode names (Capture the Pig, King of the Crow etc).
What really sets Shotgun Farmers apart is its ammo mechanic: shoot one of your ‘bullets’ (actually vegetables) from your punworthy weapon into the ground and it’ll plant a seed. That seed will grow and ammo (as well as the weapon that spawned it) can be collected from the resultant plant – leave it long enough and there’ll be a lot of ammo to collect, but leave it too long and the plant will die, wasting the ammo entirely.
There’s a nice sense of colourful, cartoony fun and a gently amusing sense of humour in the game, but it’s often devoid of actual players and consequently, you’ll spend most of your time in-game battling not especially intelligent bots. It’s a shame, because – with actual humans involved – Shotgun Farmers is a lot of zombie killing, farm defending fun with a neat ammo-based twist.
It’s often on sale for a few quid and you could do a lot worse, particularly if you have friends who also pick it up. It’s a noob- and family-friendly experience that can be picked up and played in any mode pretty much instantly, with the added bonus that you generally won’t encounter any properly hardcore players who will absolutely destroy you the minute you join a game. Beyond the ammo gimmick, there’s little to distinguish it from other shooters, but it’s colourful, cheap, cheerful and charming, especially if you have a friend or two to join you.
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