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Sakuna Review: of Rice And Ruin, Hidden Gem in 2020? (part 2)


Life as a Rice Farmer

Rice Farmer

Growing rice in this game is very different from farming simulation games like Stardew Valley or Rune Factory. The process consists of several phases which are quite long and require different treatments and actions. How you grow your rice / grain will affect the quantity and quality of your harvest later. This harvest is important because Sakuna's attribute increases not through combat and defeating enemies, still from the rice harvest he gets. This means that you have to pay close attention to both combat and planting rice. If you ignore one of them, you won't be able to get progress

The process of planting rice lasts for one year which is divided into four seasons. Each season will consist of three in-game days. You start from cultivating the land in late winter, then planting seeds in early spring, monitoring and maintaining the condition of the rice throughout the summer, then harvesting and processing the rice into rice in the fall. Each process will take you to a mini-game, and again, whether or not you go through each process will determine the quality and quantity of your crop.

Dinner Time

Ensuring the quality and quantity of the harvest also goes beyond simply buying seeds or watering them every day. You have to consider everything from the fertilizer you use, water depth, water temperature, to pest problems. Each phase of rice growth also requires different treatments. This means that you really have to be diligent about paying attention to the condition of your rice and making sure you give it the best treatment so you can get a good harvest.

Rice Field Harvest

At first glance, all the farming processes in Sakuna of Rice And Ruin may sound very complicated. Luckily this game introduces its farming mechanism gradually so that you don't immediately get overwhelmed when each one is in the learning process. But once you understand the basic mechanics, this game then rewards you if you succeed in maximizing your schedule every day and taking good care of your paddy. The rewards you get are of course good harvests, which means bigger bonus attributes for Sakuna, which means you can try out more difficult combat areas and defeat stronger enemies. Oh, that new area might also have new items that can improve the quality of your rice later. This cycle is what I think is the main attraction


Successful Farmer 

Sakuna: of Rice And Ruin is a game that combines two very different gameplay. But the two gameplay are not only fun, but also influence and complement each other. Then wrapped in a beautiful visual presentation, touching music, and a good story, Sakuna: of Rice And Ruin is able to provide a unique playing experience that you might never find in other games.

Because it is still quite new, Sakuna: of Rice And Ruin may not or has not been nominated for any game awards. But I have to admit, this game made by two people is one of the hidden gems that you must try this year. Even for some people including me, Sakuna: of Rice And Ruin might be one of the best games this year, especially in the indie game ranks.