These Stardew Valley-esque farms while you work

Rusty’s retirement is an idle farming simulator that does the work for you – while you work. The game, released on April 26 by Mister Morris Games, sits at the bottom of your computer screen and basically runs on its own; Just plant some seeds and Rusty and a team of adorable robot friends will get to work turning the crops into biofuel, which can be reinvested in your ever-expanding farm.

You start with a small plot and three crops – radish, wheat and cabbage – and go from there. Rusty will water and harvest the plants while you work elsewhere on your computer. Once you have enough money, you can buy upgrades to speed up the process with automated robots, more crops, beehives and animals. The way I play it is simple: I keep it locked at the bottom of the screen so I can always see it. If a field is empty, I throw down some seeds. Every now and then I find that I have enough resources to buy something new. My most recent purchase was hiring a friend for Rusty to help with farm chores.

Image: Mr. Morris Games

Some might think that having a game always open at the bottom of your screen isn’t good for productivity, but I would say Rusty’s retirement it was the opposite: great for my productivity. It keeps me active on the computer, a little treat that I can play with once I’ve completed a task or two. In fact, I have it open now as I write about it; after every few sentences I spent a few seconds planting seeds in the spaces Rusty had already harvested. It’s subtle enough not to be distracting, while still providing a nice dopamine hit every now and then. Combined with the lo-fi, soothing music, it was a mainstay at the bottom of my screen.

There is no real story, and that is part of the experience. It’s just Rusty on the farm. There is no incentive to do anything other than relax. There are some things about the UI that annoy me a bit, like the small farm area being quite cramped at first, but it works because of the slow pace: the space doesn’t need to be much bigger.

The beauty of Rusty’s retirement Free Time seems to have led to a positive consensus among people who have also played the game so far. On Steam it has an overwhelmingly positive user rating of 97%, and it’s quickly climbing the charts on database tracker SteamDB, where Rusty’s retirement It is said to have peaked at over 20,000 players as it continues to trend upward.

Rusty’s retirement is available on Windows PC via Steam for $6.99.