Andy's Apple Farm

Meet the Queer Creator of Andy’s Apple Farm

When I was a little boy, I rented Adventures in the Magic Kingdom for the NES. It was a Disney theme park game in which the goal was to collect a set of silver keys to open Cinderella’s castle. At the beginning of the game, you could walk around the hub area and talk to various characters who would give advice on how to play the various mini-games. After I got my first key, I remember coming back into the now-empty hub and wondering where everyone had gone. It unsettled me, and I stopped playing the game.

There were several old games that made me uneasy as a child, whether it was because of the glitchy sprites in the NES edition of King’s Quest V, or the feeling of helplessness and loneliness in Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom, when I couldn’t figure out how to save Percy the Persimmon in the first few screens. 

As an older kid, those upsetting memories of those games, and the feelings of uneasiness, were replaced with the realization that I was gay. The horror of the unknown was replaced by the anxiety of what I thought might happen if I came out of the closet. Luckily, I was surrounded by supportive family and friends, so I was able to once again channel fear into places it belonged — horror movies and games.

I got a similar feeling while playing Andy’s Apple Farm, a low-res horror game currently in early access on Steam and Itch.io. In Andy’s Apple Farm, you’re tasked with beating four mini games as Andy the Apple in order to get the keys to your house back from your anthropomorphic friends, who are friendly but also strangely and casually cruel. There’s also an added layer to the story in that as the player, you are beta testing the game for a fictional developer, Thomas Eastwood, who seems to be dealing with some kind of unresolved trauma.

As you complete each mini game, the game intentionally glitches out, with flashes of horrific, distorted images and sounds. Sometimes, a cutscene will play out, telling the story of a very human family dealing with a tragic loss and the devastating events that occur as a result.

I was fascinated by Andy’s Apple Farm. It was one of the strangest, most unsettling gaming experiences I’ve had in years, echoing the bizarre horror of Five Nights at Freddy’s but with a unique spin and a much more coherent narrative. When I looked into the developer, I discovered a young member of the LGBTQIA+ community that had, however unwittingly, created an entire community of fans who were united in their fear and fascination of the terrifying game.

Logan West, also known by the handle m36games, is the 20-year old developer behind Andy’s Apple Farm. West grew up playing games like Slender, BioShock and, of course, Five Nights at Freddy’s.

West, who considers themselves a member of the Five Nights at Freddy’s fandom, was directly inspired by the series when creating Andy’s Apple Farm.

“The overworld mechanics were directly inspired by Five Nights at Freddy’s 3,” they said. “That’s originally what I was trying to emulate. I was messing around with a CRT filter and wanted to make it jumpy.”

West didn’t expect the game to be a hit, but it caught on quickly. 

“Five days after I released it, [YouTuber] ManlyBadassHero played the game,” they said. “That’s when I saw a picture someone drew of Andy and thought, oh shit! That’s fanart of my character. Oh my god!”

At first, West tried to save every piece of fanart they saw, but as hundreds, then thousands, of fans started showcasing their work, they resorted to sharing the pieces on social media. The game received even more exposure when YouTubers like MatPat and SuperHorrorBro did deep dives on the lore of Andy’s Apple Farm, with both praising the game for its scary gameplay and interesting story. 

The videos were great — and I immediately went back to the game to look for stuff I missed during my playthrough — but one interesting thing I noticed watching the videos by MatPat and SuperHorrorBro was their respect for West’s pronouns. It simply wasn’t an issue.

Maybe my age — 35, sigh — was showing when I asked West about their experience being a game developer who happens to be queer.

“Not only is representation getting better, but people aren’t as scared to come out,” said West. “It’s not as dangerous.” West didn’t feel putting pronouns on their Twitter was such a big deal. “Even if you’re cis, it’s still a good thing to do, I think.”

But there is a definite bravery in West. “I’ve had a few DMs where people are like, ‘die!’ but for the most part it’s been pretty positive,” they said.

West, who is currently studying game development in college, is juggling school work and working on the next chapter of Andy’s Apple Farm. They know where they want the story to go, and envision four chapters. West also developed an alternate reality game (ARG) that fans have been combing through for more secrets. 

Andy’s Apple Farm has changed West’s life.

“I really wasn’t in a good headspace when I first made Andy’s Apple Farm,” they said. “And I feel like it getting as popular as it did improve my mood a lot and gave me something to look forward to. It was one of the best things that ever happened to me.”