Every so often a new game comes along that really catches your attention. When you consider the sheer number of mainstream and indie titles that are continuously being announced and released per year this is no mean feat and in such an environment word of mouth and personal recommendations becomes all the more essential. It is such a recommendation that brought Morningdew Farms, a forthcoming gay dating/farming simulation gay by Y Press Games, to my attention and I and my boyfriend were fortunate enough to play the demo recently.
The game follows the story of Cody, a young man who has just inherited his grandfather's old farm in the American deep south and has moved down there eager to start his dream life as an independent farmer. It seems he has picked the right place to pursue his agricultural passion for not only is his reliable and grounded big sister Sis living nearby but the surrounding area is packed full of eligible bachelors, all of whom are either up for raunchy fun or to settle down for something a bit more serious...exactly what is up to you and what choices you make during the game.
We ended up thoroughly enjoying the demo, finding it straight forward to get into while the mixture of daily tasks, goals and the possibility of random story encounters made the game engaging and left us wanting to see what happened next.
It reminds me in a favourable light of Coming Out on Top, another gay dating sim, as both games focus on a cast of well rounded characters and humour that is handled just right that it makes you smile rather then grimace. Morningdew Farms though thankfully has a great deal to offer that differentiates itself from other gay dating games that have come before it.
I struggle to think of another queer dating sim that has taken place in a purely rural setting (and that is not even taking into considering that is in the American deep south). It is this distinct location that gives the player a range of possible romantic interests that are quite unique and cater for a range of tastes. There is a mysterious muscular carpenter (Rusty); a larger set hardcore prepper (Butch); a fish-out-of-water posh boy (Sanjay); a goofy animal lover who may also be in a cult (Jace); two rough hillbills (Jeb and Obie); and even a wolf boy hunk (Nuzzler). In fact I recall one person in particular in a gay geeks group on Facebook comment that he had been moved to support the kickstarter because of the fact it included a wolf-boy, showing that Y Press understand their intended audience well.
The location-based map system allows the player to quickly get a grasp of the game's world and is particularly useful if you are trying to focus on seducing one particular love interest to be their future spouse. Speaking of locations one place of particular note is the Bathhouse, a free-to-use communal building that is open every Wednesday in the game. It is a feature that allows players to give Cody some DTF fun with a range of his available romantic interests and this sets it apart a bit from the aforementioned Coming Out on Top, granting the player some easy to access sexy fun without having to invest in the relationships paths. This strikes a good balance between those players that like the thrill of the chase and others who want some no strings attached fun or want to see Cody mess around a little.
Although the Bathhouse scenes are hot and enjoyable to see I do hope the full game will allow for some fun to happen in the game's other locations, for there are a number of kinky possibilities in a rural setting. You could get down and dirty at your farm; frolick in the berry picking field or the woods or even enjoy yourself in Butch's survival bunker. In some routes he offers to show us around his bunker and to demonstrate why pain can feel so good as part of sex...giggidy.
On a final note an element of the game that came across as a bit of a pleasant surprise was how well developed the player's avatar character Cody is. In a number of dating games the main character is sometimes kept as a blank slate but Cody is far from this. In one story path he gives some explanation as to why he wanted to take on his grandfather's old farm and is quite forthcoming about his own personal drawbacks while overlooking his personal strengths. This insight into his personality gives him a very engaging quality and I found him becoming quite intrigued with him as a character as much as any of his love interests.
The kickstarter campaign for the game (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ypressgames/mdf) has now finished and it not only achieved it's funding goal but went on to achieve far beyond and several of the stretch goals were unlocked. The game will now include more farm plots for the player to grow crops on; a path to join Jeb and Obie's marriage; after marriage scenes of farm life with your husband or husbands; and all characters will now be reversible, meaning you will now have the option to have any character to top and bottom in bed.
Although the Kickstarter has finished the team have started a fundraiser on Indiegogo to allow those that want to support the game to do so and give them a chance to earn some nice perks and rewards for their patronage, including a steam key to gain access to the game on it's release. There are four days left to support the game before the Indiegogo campaign finishes so do make sure you head over and check out Morningdew Farms if the farming life strikes your fancy: