When we started subscribing to PhiloTV, we indulged in a lot of reality TV we didn’t have access to previously. That included way too many seasons of American Pickers – sure, it was mostly background, but it was also really fascinating to see what kind of junk people hold onto, and how valuable it can actually be.
I am not going to tell you that Barn Finder is “American Pickers: The Video Game”, but it comes pretty darn close. You get leads, explore abandoned properties, bid on storage unit auctions, and then do your best to scavenge every bit of value out of the trash other people left behind.
Each location shows you a progress bar of how many collectibles you still have left to find in a given location, which is immensely satisfying to the completionist in me – no questioning if you’ve moused over absolutely everything in a given location. While you’re out looking for treasure, you might as well recycle the valuable trash you come upon – it’s not a lot of money, but at least in the early game, three dollars is three dollars more than you had. In fact, I wasn’t able to even go to the first scavenging site until I managed to sell more than $50 worth of valuable trash on my home lot – which mostly consisted of the beer bottles hanging around in my room.
Although you won’t be haggling with the owners of the items you’re scavenging, you do get to bid on auctions, and haggle with customers in your shop. You’ll also need money for tools (which can be upgraded), additional display space for your shop, and building cleaning, repair and assembly stations. Overall, Barn Finders feels like living the picker life, even if it’s a little heavy on the caricature.
… and then the aliens show up.
The demo includes a couple of days worth of play, but if you like it, it is available for purchase now. Barn Finders currently has a 30% price cut through July 9, but even the $20 base price isn’t outrageous for an expected 12-15 hours worth of content. This is the second game I’ve played during the Steam Games Festival I’m planning on picking up in the very near future.