No Place Like Home is a post-apocalyptic farming simulator where almost everyone has fled Earth to Mars for a new life. Your mission is to clean up the trash and mess left behind on Earth. I’ve played my fair share of farming games, from Stardew Valley to Hay Day, so I was keen to see how this title separates itself from the rest. Developed by Chicken Launcher and published by Realms Distribution, this farming sim offers a colourful world to explore with interesting people to meet and areas to discover.
I had the opportunity to preview No Place Like Home over the weekend and the setting is super appealing to me. I quite enjoyed what I have played so far, however I am very interested to see if it will invite hardcore investment and satisfying that feeling of accomplishment long-term that farming sim fans like myself crave from this genre.
As strange as it sounds, cleaning up the trash that completely dominates the world is very satisfying. Once you clear the trash, you take the rubbish to a recycling station where you can use the materials to craft other machines and items. Among the rubbish, you’ll find some seeds to plant crops, hidden loot containing items such as crafting materials, small robots to fight, and trapped animals that you will free and befriend to find a home on your farm. Because of how much trash there is to clear at the beginning of the game, you’ll have a decent amount of materials to work with when getting started. I do think No Place Like Home lacks enough guidance for the player given there are so many different aspects to the game introduced to at the beginning. I felt like even after a somewhat mediocre tutorial, I was left to try and figure out things on my own. For anyone new to this genre, they might find this frustrating though I did manage to catch on to it fairly quickly.
As you clear through your starting area, you begin to gain access to new locations and meet some of the locals who provide things like upgrades for your gear and new crafting recipes that will assist in exploration and expansion of your farm. These characters are integral to progressing the game. For example, you will need to upgrade your drill to clear out certain types of trash that might be blocking a pathway to new areas. These areas will start to reveal more animals for you to meet, such as pigs and foxes. It’s hard not to love the animals you bring to your farm, especially once you learn that you can dress them up with little headpieces (my favourite being the banana hat I put on one of my chickens). In addition to recipes and items, you can also craft decorations for your farm if you want to bring out your inner designer.
There’s no doubt this is, in fact, a very cozy game. No Place Like Home has a very relaxing, upbeat score (although feeling somewhat repetitive at times), and paired with no time-sensitive tasks, I do believe any gamers looking to pick this up will appreciate the fact that they can just explore at their leisure. Pop culture fans should definitely keep their eyes peeled for some very random but fun references that have come up over the course of the game, whether it be a name of a quest or even just a character’s line (my favourite being a Star Wars quote – tweet me when you see it!).
While No Place Like Home had me hooked for hours in one sitting, I couldn’t help but feel that when I completed certain quests or discovered something new, it sometimes didn’t feel rewarding but instead more like a grind. I was four hours into the game and I still didn’t have a map, and whenever I unlocked and entered a new area, the game wasn’t inciting that feeling of accomplishment. Regardless, I know that I have already been pulled into this cute, colourful world and will continue to persevere to explore and expand my farm to see what more No Place Like Home has to offer at release next month.
This preview was made possible by a Steam key provided by Renaissance PR. No Place Like Home releases exclusively on Steam on March 10, 2022.