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New physics-based farming sim launches fresh beta, playable now

Turning Minecraft and Stardew Valley into a mess of unpredictable vegetables, you can try Southfield in a new closed beta before launch.

Southfield closed beta Steam: a blue blob character with big eyes looks directly into the camera

Southfield is what happens when the crops of Stardew Valley have a chance of exploding. While the farming and management genre is so often underpinned by peaceful organizing and relaxing automation, Southfield injects a healthy dose of chaos into the mix. Your next batch could change shape, bounce all over the farm, or even play a song. So while you’re building a homestead, crafting structures on your land, and automating where you can, Southfield mainlines physics-based disorder into your hard work. If that sounds like your thing, there’s a new closed beta happening very soon.

On the surface, Southfield is like the biggest farming games you already know: you plant and harvest crops to complete quests, build structures, and eventually automate as much work as possible to mechanize your expanding empire. The difference here is that everything is physics-based, and you don’t know what a crop will do until you pull it out of the ground.

That carrot might float, the onions could glow, and who knows what’s going to happen to the potatoes. You can even combine crops to get new effects, which will help you with the long-term goals of completing quests and checking off combos in your almanac. The early access release will come with over 40 crops, machines, and materials, too, so you’ll have plenty to do before the eventual 1.0 launch.

The unpredictable crops and physics-based gameplay of Southfield aren’t all you’ll need to contend with, though, as when night falls the Ruffians come out to play. All these spectral mischief makers want is to cause chaos for you and your crops, so when you’re done building up your farm during the day, make sure you’re also ready to defend it at night.

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Southfield 1.0 will also introduce new biomes, more crops, extra quests, and a load of quality-of-life improvements. The closed beta will be followed by a period in Steam Early Access, which developer Radical Forge expects will run until the summer of 2024. You can also expect multiplayer functionality at the 1.0 launch, but not during the closed beta or early access period.

With Minecraft, Terraria, and Stardew Valley dominating the farming and sandbox genres, Southfield feels like the perfect remedy if you’re looking for something new. Videogames thrive on a healthy dose of chaos, with Southfield showing that even the serene act of farming can be improved by the occasional exploding root vegetable.

The Southfield closed beta will run from Tuesday May 21 to Friday May 31, with the Steam Early Access launch “coming soon.” You can sign up on the Southfield Steam page.

If you’re looking for even more like Southfield, we’ve also got all the best building games and management games you’ll want to try out alongside the new closed beta.

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