Before we start: My friend Lightning released a new album the other day! It's called Golden Age and it's all 90s rave themed so if that's up your alley definitely give it a listen or two!
I'm really digging my decision to do double reviews sometimes. I'm not going to make it an everytime thing, but I like how when I have very little to say about a comic other than it's wrong, I can have a kinda short review but add a longer review on top of it so that I don't feel like I'm ripping my audience off.
This comic is wrong. You build wells at the top of hills so they don't fill up with runoff from higher ground, plus you carry the heavy bucket full of water downhill instead of uphill every time you get water. Randy is a goddamn city slicker who wouldn't know how to plow a field if his wife was a tractor.
Woo! On to the next one!
So, this is the first XKCD since the comic started to be delayed by three whole days. It had so much buildup that it ended up counting as Friday and Monday's comic, breaking Randy's technically perfect upload streak. Was it worth the wait?
Well, I can definitely appreciate the effort that Randy put into this. This has interactivity and randomness and stuff! ...unfortunately, it really just feels like a slightly more sophisticated version of one of those mid-2000s simulator flash games, or a more artsy version of the Plants Vs Zombies 'zen garden' minigame.
I also really don't see what it has to do with April Fool's Day. In the multiple delay status updates, the comic was referred to as 'the April 1st comic' rather than 'the Friday comic' or 'the latest comic' or just 'the comic'. I understand that the last two April Fool's comics were both interactive, but that's not really a prank or a joke (as in, more of a joke than a comic is already supposed to be, like that time Dinosaur Comics swapped out the dinosaurs with gifs of other webcomic characters that constantly switched with each other).
So, not saying that Randy should have done the work on the comic sooner, since I totally understand missing deadlines and underestimating how long something will take, BUT since the comic isn't actually holiday-themed in any tangible way, couldn't he just have done a quick filler-type comic for Friday and then finished working out the bugs at his leisure?
Now, the comic obviously isn't supposed to be funny, but does it accomplish what it set out to do? Not really. Like, it's neat, but also kinda screensaver-y, you dig? It's not unpleasant to look at, but I'd never seek it out (unless by 'screensaver' you're thinking of the pipe animation thing because that was the fucking bomb).
This last point is likely a more subjective one, but I think relaxation tool things are more relaxing if you have more of an influence on what the screen's displaying. In this comic, you control the lamps, and everything comes from how you place them. You don't plant the seeds or control how fast they grow or how fast the wind is blowing. Compare that to Silk or Neonflames, which, even though you don't completely control the finished result, you're given several controls that give you a good idea of how it'll look. Good on Randy for doing something new, but this really feels like XKCD's Chinese Democracy: a lot of buildup for nothing that impressive.