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Gritty Stardew-like Ranch Simulator is out in early access

It's got guns though, which is very un-Stardew

Are you tired of running a pleasant farm in the quaint fields of Stardew Valley? Then why not don your best plaid shirt, whip out a hunting rifle and get to building your very own homestead in Ranch Simulator. It's an open-world simulation game that launched in early access today, and it seems a whole lot like a gritty, realistic (ish) 3D version of Stardew.

The family ranch isn't doing so well these days, so your grandad has summoned you to come and work the farm (sound familiar?) and fix her up. You'll need to rebuild the ranch, improve on the main house and tend to some livestock to create a bustling homestead and live the dream.

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Earn enough money and you can head to town to buy new trucks and supplies. The game has singleplayer as well as four-player co-op, so you can invite your pals along to help you.

It's not all about the ranch though, because you can take some time out to go hunting. This is where the similarities to Stardew start to die down, I suppose. If you fancy hunting as a hobby, you can stalk deer and other wildlife. However, you won't be the only one doing the stalking. You'll need to be prepared to protect your livestock from hungry wolves, and protect yourself from hungry bears.

There are bears in Stardew Valley, I guess, but they aren't dangerous. One of them just wants some tasty maple syrup. I wonder if Ranch Sim has maple syrup.

Ranch Sim is out in early access on Steam right now, and it'll cost you £20/$25/€21. Developers Toxic dog expect the game to stay in early access for 8-12 months.

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