It’s difficult playing other farming games after you’ve played Sakuna: of Rice and Ruin. For all the satisfaction I’ve found in the likes of Stardew Valley, My Time at Portia, Spiritfarer, and Ooblets, I’ve never been as pleased with any virtual crop I’ve ever grown as I have in Edelweiss’ demon-slaying action game. A side-scrolling brawler crossed with a farming simulator might seem like a weird hybrid, but Sakuna: of Rice and Ruin makes the two work in harmony. It’s safe to say that this is the most excited about rice paddies I’ve ever been in my life.
Sakuna isn’t your normal farming game. Sure, Stardew Valley has rice crops, but that’s nothing compared to the hardcore rice farming here. It’s next level. It’s not a case of chucking some seeds in the ground and watering them every day. Growing rice is a delicate process, and even slight adjustments to water and weather could mess with your harvest. Growing those little white grains is serious business.
After being banished to a demon-infested island, Sakuna and her new human family need to grow rice as their main food resource, and it’s her job to plant, nurture, and harvest the crops. A day for Sakuna goes along the lines of checking on the paddy, scavenging for resources, then spending the evening with the family, sharing stories over a meal.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
FALLING IN LOVE
LEMMINGS still haunts my nightmares almost three decades later.
The blueprint for 3D shooters has lots to teach in 2021.
LORD OF CHAOS
How XCOM’s JULIAN GOLLOP improved on the board games he loved
Two years on, EPIC GAMES STORE is still a golden ticket for developers and irresistible bait for gamers.
LEADING A PEASANT REVOLT IN BATTLE BROTHERS PART II
We return to the Darklands for a grim conclusion.
THE GREATEST INFLUENCER
PC gaming would look very different without CIVILIZATION.
RICE FARMING IN SAKUNA: OF RICE AND RUIN
I planted 100 individual seedlings and loved every second.
RAISING THE BAR
The subtle, hands-off storytelling of HALF-LIFE 2 is still hard to beat.
What if advances in PC cooling change the PC beyond recognition?
BUILD ME UP
The joys of creation and destruction in SIMCITY 2000