Review Rogue-Like

Atomicrops – Review | Farming with a Side of Hell


While enjoying a peaceful romp in Stardew Valley, a thought cropped up. One thing that would round this experience out would be if I could shoot things. I would love to be able to kill while planting and harvesting. Not just typical foliage either. My mind was specific in what it came up with. What about – bare with me – if it was corn, potatoes and such, but they mutated by some nuclear fallout. Alas, that wasn’t exactly possible for a few years, and so my specific need went unintended. Then it happened. Atomicrops looks to meet all that and even more. I’m elated and jumping in joy. A farming simulator that’s fornicated with Enter the Gungeon. It tested my prowess, and these are my thoughts.

Atomicrops - Bullet Hell


In Atomicrops, you’ll be shooting up various types of enemies. It’s fast-paced action and you had best be prepared. This title throws no punches. 

Like Enter the Gungeon, you’ll be weaving through the projectiles of your foes. That’s right, bullet hell is part of the buffet, and it’s going to kick your ass. I couldn’t tell you how many times I perished, but I kept coming back. The adrenaline rush it induced was so invigorating. It helped that the gameplay loop of Atomicrops was addictive. I never found the rogue element of repeating to be tedious or redundant. I was too focused on dodging, and this was where a gripe was born. Because the screen was routinely flooded, it suffered momentary freezes. What’s especially aggravating is it’ll all still play out in the background. A bit odd considering the visuals. It’s all pixelated, so nothing demanding. After the screen thaws out, I found I took a hit. This snowballs into the biggest problem.

Before I say anything, it’s important to note something. I’m a Kamikaze Gamer; I just get in there. My exes can attest to this. Even without the performance hiccup, I expect to be hit. Sometimes by a bullet, or a bee charging in from off-screen. So, it’s frustrating that healing items are rare. While yes, these can be bought, it‘ll quickly become expensive. They’ll cost a single rose initially, but with each purchase, it increases by one. Anything after costs two, then three, and so on. With how limited rose seeds can be, this isn’t a viable avenue. Roses are better used elsewhere too. They’ll be required to flirt and get married. And those bonuses often took priority over buying health. Even if I was in desperate need.

Atomicrops - Farm

It’s important to clarify that health will drop in the world. It’s hit or miss though. While a particular run will see sufficient amounts, the next may see one drop, if any. I felt like I was at the mercy of luck. Atomicrops would decide which run would have me go the distance and which would barely last twenty minutes. It didn’t always feel dependent on my skill, but also a sense of RNG. I feel like a slight tweak to the frequency of these drops would solve so much.

Now, as well as being shot at, you’ll be tasked with planting and watering crops. To gather seeds, you’ll need to explore and murder foes. These include bunnies, bats, bees, and sentient helicopters. Once you’ve collected what you need, it’s off to the farm. Here you’ll be sowing seeds and fending off threats. It was easy to balance at first. As seasons progressed however it got a bit dicey. I was overwhelmed. There were times I had to abandon what I was doing. This left foliage open to being consumed. Thankfully, you can recruit animals that’ll help you in maintain crops. Cows and Bees will help with plant growth, while pigs will aid in digging up dirt. You can also find turrets while scavenging. These will help defend, but they still required player assistance. I lost a lot of good plants while playing. Rest In Peace Rose.

Atomicrops - Water


For those not familiar with the rogue formula, upon death, you’ll lose everything. It’s a truth that would deter most. Putting in that time to come out with nothing isn’t exactly appealing. However, you’ll also have chances to unlock permanent power-ups. These range from certain power-ups that grant more fertilizer to those that give rain clouds a 20% boost to the time they’ll remain active. 

To get these permanent power-ups, you’ll find that after a day of planting, you’ll earn cashews – the in-game currency. How many will be based on what you’ve harvested. After completing three rounds in a given season, you’ll speak to the mayor. She’ll review your earnings and give you perks based on the number. Stat boosts, magical scrolls, and Cornucopias. This is the way you’ll purchase them. Before any of that though, you must unlock the store. To do this, explore the area. Eventually, you‘ll stumble on an anthill. Once you defeat the enemies surrounding it, you’ll unlock their services. Now, before beginning a “run”, you’ll find that same anthill in the “lobby”. Buying upgrades will benefit your game, but also do something more.

Atomicrops - Anthill

If you disliked Breath of the Wild’s durability system, I’ve bad news. With the cashews you’ve earned, you can purchase guns with varying advantages. An SMG can spray and hit those in a group from afar, or the fast action shotgun is a burst of devastation but ideal at close range. When I bought my first one, it excited me. Thought maybe it was an equip system, and it is, but isn’t. After each day, it’ll fall apart, leaving you with the default pea shooter. I personally didn’t mind this. It gave me a reason to take risks when planting and kept the game exciting. I wanted to earn the cashews needed. Since the mayor raises your attack power, your strength isn’t dependent on the gun. Sure, you get a slight boost, but you’ll always be progressing as long as you harvest.


I really liked Atomicrops. The pixel style felt reminiscent. The roughness of it made me feel like a kid again, but it was still so cute. You’ll periodically find a worm being held captive. It’s sweating and terrified. Rescue it and it’ll regurgitate seeds. Plant and harvest those crops to earn cashews. The total earned in a given season will go towards granting you bonuses. A stronger attack, a better green thumb, and even the currency needed for permanent upgrades. The gameplay loop is addicting, and I enjoyed the bullet-hell factor. However, the scarcity of healing items made hits hurt, and hurt badly. With how nonchalant the game is with filling the screen to the brim, it’s difficult to avoid. I had several times when I barely made it out alive, only to die immediately on the next season. I lost a lot of progress due to this. 

Expect Atomicrops to freeze periodically, but the action to continue. It’s hard to figure out when it’ll happen, so try to limit the activity onscreen. It happened to me on Switch and there have been reports of it happening on other platforms too. It’s odd, and it cost me on several occasions. Health needs to be more common here because of this. I’d imagine diehard bullet hell savants will still flourish, but casuals such as myself will be frustrated. The music is fun and has that country twang to emulate rural life. After prolonged sessions though, I did find myself listening to podcasts. It’s just one of those games, and for me, that’s actually a plus.

After much consideration, and taking the flaws into account, you’ll find fun here. However, those same low points will cause a lot of frustration. With all that in mind, I have to say to;


The game can be purchased digitally for PC via Humble Bundle or Epic Games. It can be purchased digitally for the PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch or XBox One via the console store.

If you would like to see more Rogue-likes you might be interested in our review of Dungeon of the Endless.

Many thanks go to the publisher Raw Fury for a review code for this title. 

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