Available On: PC

Idle games are typically regulated to mobile gaming, with some awkward ports to PC. Rusty’s Retirement is an idle farm game built specifically for PC, with a uniquely restrictive game space that takes up only a third of your monitor.

Overlay gimmick aside, the little farm sim is also super addicting, rewarding, and fun. Read on for our review of Rusty’s Retirement!

Tiny Farm

Like many farm sims, Rusty’s Retirement begins with empty space, a single crop patch, and a few crops. The cute old robot cannot be directly controlled, but will automatically water and harvest crops after seeds have been placed.

Rusty is pretty slow, and can’t get much done. Thankfully we can build drones with single tasks.

The player’s job is to manage their resources of spare parts and biofuel, and expand the farm with more crop patches and automating drones. Water bots water crops, harvest bots harvest them when ready, and biofuel bots drag crops from storage (or patches) into the nearest biofuel converter.

Placement of drones, patches, water sources, biofuel converters, and storage becomes critical. We only have a thin strip of land to work with, and each bot has a limited radius they can affect.

As crops are harvested, better crops are unlocked, with each crop requiring a different amount of different crops.

Once we start earning heaps of spare parts, we can begin expanding in both directions, creating a sprawling, scrollable farm. It’s an easy progression to follow, even without a formal tutorial.

Retirement Party

Rusty’s big bot friends are slightly less intuitive, and require a large investment of money and space to unlock. Haiku is simply a clone of Rusty in functionality, whereas the all-important Echo can upgrade our existing drones, greatly improving their performance — for a fee.

As an idle game, Rusty’s Retirement is as much about automation as farming. It’s a bit odd that the robot that can seed crops (one of the player’s most important duties for much of the game), is often the last one we unlock do its high cost.

Once Splunk joins the farm and does the seeding for us, we can let our various bots handle every part of the process while we grow our wealth and expand our farm strip.

Rusty’s Retirement is designed to leave running in the foreground (or background) while we continue working on other tasks. But things move pretty swiftly once we have a few drones and bots, and the farm demands near-constant attention as we spend our spare parts as quickly as we earn them.

Then, once we’ve fully expanded our farm, we unlock new farms that offer fresh challenges, such as trees or rivers that limit our space even more, or crop-wilting deserts that need extra watering.

There’s a shocking amount of depth and content for such a tiny game. It’s also a refreshing idle game that ironically doesn’t waste our time.

The Rating

Rusty’s Retirement has not been rated by the ESRB. It’s a non-violent farming game without any adventuring or socializing that anyone can play. But it also doesn’t teach you how to play, which could be frustrating for younger or newer gamers.

The Takeaway

I write this review of Rusty’s Retirement after 100 hours of play time, and having earned every single achievement, with multiple farms. Rusty’s Retirement sunk its roots in deep with its chill music, simple art style, smart UI, and perfectly balanced gameplay. I hope it creates an awesome new sub-genre of small-space PC idle games, which I shall dub, Rusty-likes.

This article was written by

Eric has been writing for over nine years with bylines at Dicebreaker, Pixelkin, Polygon, PC Gamer, Tabletop Gaming magazine, and more covering movies, TV shows, video games, tabletop games, and tech. He reviews and live streams D&D adventures every week on his YouTube channel. He also makes a mean tuna quesadilla.