Difficult farming sims? (and not only)

All other video games not related to the main farming series - Pokemon, Stardew Valley, My Time at Portia, and other indie-developed games.
Velvet
Growing Garden Gnome
Growing Garden Gnome
Posts: 55

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I miss difficulty in these games so much. I think that I've played them long enough to become too proficient in this genre, and on top of that the developers make them to be easier and easier on purpose these days. But I get bored from how simple and uncomplicated every is and, most of all, how fast you can do all there is to do in the game.

E.g. in a farming games you can buy all farming upgrades and everything there is to buy quickly, and then there's no point to making money anymore, and there's no more goal to farming. I'm not the type who sticks around just to marry a bachelor, I'm usually way too bored long before that. To this day I've never actually married a single bachelor in these games because of that. Old HM games did provide some difficulty, but not enough, yet still I miss even those times when I had to manually push cattle into the barn, because it actually took time to farm back then! These days, I'm done with the farms in 1-2 hours, so days feel long and empty.

RF4S is the only modern farming game I know of that kept me interested for long, only because of its Hell mode for combat. Farming was still rather easy, but Hell mode made up for it by ensuring that I absolutely cannot finish the game quickly. Extra Options to raise monster levels by 100 helped out, as well. I'm looking for something like that: a difficult aspect of the game, not necessary combat, that will keep me playing. Maybe one day I'll even stick long enough with a game to marry :oops:

So I thought I'd ask if anyone can point out some farming game that is difficult?

P.S. Not a farming game will also do, I like a challenge in all genres, so if any idea pops into your head, don't keep silent just on the account of the genre. ;)
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mikzuki
New Seedling
New Seedling
Posts: 23

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Harvest Moon wise, Sunshine Islands still is incredibly hard. It takes years to build up enough money to even eat properly, and has plenty of things to do because of the sun stones.

I haven’t played the sequel yet, but I know Slime Rancher 2 has an option to enable more enemies (Tarr and Feral slimes) and exponentially increase the amount of damage they deal to the player. The first one was super fun, and behaves more like a sandbox game with goals to achieve in between.

I can’t really think of any other hard farming sims, but I’d recommend Fire Emblem if you’re looking for a difficult combat based game. They always have the super hard difficulty modes that I struggle with, like Lunatic and Lunatic+ Classic in Awakening + Fates (if you’re REALLY looking for a challenge then play Conquest) and Maddening Classic in Three Houses.
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Code_Name_Geek
Tubular Turnip Farmer
Tubular Turnip Farmer
Posts: 333

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Agreed that Sunshine Islands has some of the most challenging farming in the series due to the weather system (crops will die if they get too much/little sun/water so you can't just go mindlessly watering everything the max amount every day).

The first Story of Seasons game is also quite a challenge to unlock all of the vendors, especially on normal mode (iirc they actually added Seedling mode for that game since players complained it was too hard on normal). The farming itself isn't super challenging, but getting the materials to craft hundreds of certain kinds of items to ship is. I also found myself lacking money for longer in this game than I usually do. I got married far before unlocking the last vendor (which I haven't actually done yet), and I'm usually slow to marry in these games to begin with.

In a similar vein, My Time At Portia can be reasonably challenging, especially if you try to speed through it since you'll end up having to craft so many different things at once. Keeping all your resources and furnaces stocked and remembering what you need for what recipe and how many to make for who is the main challenge here rather than challenging gameplay, but if you like that level of micromanagement it's really fun. I also found that it was hard to make a lot of money right away unless you focus on that, since doing the story objectives keeps you pretty busy. (The combat is not challenging at all though, so don't expect too much from that.)

As for different kinds of games, some others that I've enjoyed are:
  • Diddy Kong Racing - the silver coin challenges in the single player mode are brutal
  • OlliOlli - a series of sidescrolling skateboarding games where you have to complete objectives on each stage (similar to Tony Hawk games) and there's also "Rad mode" where you have to get only "Perfect" landings
  • Hades - starts out pretty challenging to begin with, but you also unlock options to add even more difficulty to keep it challenging as you improve
Maybe you've already tried some of those but hope that helps! Another option might be to check out mods for Stardew Valley or other PC farming sims to see if anyone has made some increased difficulty mods or something along those lines.

Edit: Forgot to mention that the Shin Megami Tensei series is also known for being pretty challenging, if you're in the mood for some RPGs. There's also another Atlus series called Etrian Odyssey that is based on older dungeon crawling RPGs and I've heard those are quite difficult as well.
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Mabbie
UNoT Extreme Mooomber
UNoT Extreme Mooomber
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I thought it was only me who suffered the living hell at the beginning of Sunshine Island hahah... it's really a struggle.
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Terranigma Freak
Ultimate Farming Fanatic
Ultimate Farming Fanatic
Posts: 1393

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I don't remember running into much trouble with Sunshine Islands. I just remember enjoying it even if it's a little slow. I should go back and play it again.
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