Occasionally, a game makes us wonder about Xbox’s quality control. Not necessarily because the game is bad, but because the game pushes at the limits of what’s acceptable in some way. We want to read through the Xbox compliance guidelines and see exactly what you can get away with.
Peepaw’s Farm is one of those games. Again, not because it’s bad, but because it’s farcically short. We knew it was short because there was a Speedrunner achievement for completing it entirely, all side quests included, in under five minutes. You don’t need glitches or warp pipes to unlock that achievement: you could do it by accident.
Yep, it may take you longer to read this review than finish Peepaw’s Adventure, and we live in a strange time where that will excite people. The GPH (Gamerscore Per Hour) is through the roof, and we had 1000G after three playthroughs. So, fifteen minutes total and it never approached a challenge. For Gamerscore-oriented people, it’s a steal at £4.19.
For people who want a little more for their money, Peepaw’s Farm is a difficult case to make.
In the case for the defence, it’s better than you’d expect from a game that’s shorter than a toilet-break. There’s a chunky polygonal look to everything that works well, and a bluegrass soundtrack does a nice job of giving you some urgency. We enjoyed exploring old Peepaw’s homestead, and would have happily spent more time there, if we weren’t kicked out after a swift coffee.
In the art style and the things you do, it reminds of Untitled Goose Game. You’re given a small sandbox to play in, in this case Peepaw’s backyard. Then you’re handed a larger objective by your daughter (gather vegetables and put them into a trailer) with lots of hidden interactions inbetween. These hidden interactions have a playful sense of humour to them, as you chat to a greedy pig and create an abominable scarecrow, and they’re rounded out with 100G achievements each. There are five of these, and they’re good fun.
Gathering vegetables is as easy as approaching a carrot, broccoli or pumpkin and holding A next to it. This isn’t Stardew Valley – you’re just sticking edibles into a crate. Then it’s onto one final, raunchy punchline (we should probably leave at least one moment secret) and you’re off to market, with the Game Over layered over the top. We’d love to have reaction-cam footage of everyone at this point. We probably had a big, furrowed brow and a confused look.
Unless you have an achievement guide in front of you, it will take two or three plays to get all the achievements, and you will – more likely than not – be motivated to do so, as the side-quests are fun enough and worth experiencing.
But after fifteen minutes of play, your one-night-stand with Peepaw’s Farm will be over. You might feel a little cheap. A little used. There’s no reason to go back for further dates because Peepaw’s doesn’t want you back. There’s no hidden secrets, harder modes, Battle Royales or Ultimate Teams. This is two boats passing in the night, and it will be £4.19, thank you very much.
We’d hesitate to call Peepaw’s Farm a bad game, because – when seen as a prototype or demo – it’s Untitled Goose Game-lite, and we like a bit of honking. It’s got some fun jokes to share, and we genuinely laughed at a couple of them. But then we remembered that Peepaw took four quid out of our pocket as we were chuckling, and it felt a bit like a grift. Achievement hunters might like them apples, but we’d have liked them to be bigger and a hell of a lot more satisfying.
You can buy Peepaw’s Adventure for £4.19 from the Xbox Store for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S