How Do Marriages Work in 3rd World Farmer?

The ‘Marriage‘-button is visible and clickable every game turn for any family member who has reached the age of 18, if they aren’t already married.

Iniko has turned 18 and has been appointed Head of the Family, and the ‘Marriage’-button is visible and clickable for him. Clicking it will show whether a suitable spouse can be found for him this year.

Whether a spouse can be found or not, depends on several things.

There’s a random element to it, meaning spouses just won’t be available every year, but every 2 or 3 years on average.

Marriages are also limited to a maximum of one per year. This is in order to prevent the player from simply marrying, having the new spouse leave the farm, and then remarrying multiple times during one game turn, which would be an easy way to accumulate endless amounts of money from bride prices or dowries.

Bride Prices and Dowries

If a spouse is found, a bride price or dowry is estimated depending on various factors, such as health, age and educational level of the family member to be wed. These can range from $1 to approximately $500. Proposals can then be accepted or rejected. If the head of the family marries, the new spouse moves to the farm and becomes a member of the family. When anybody else marries, they leave the farm to go and live with the new spouse elsewhere. But the bride price or dowry is always added to the family’s savings.

New spouses who move to the farm, will have an educational level and age similar to their spouse, plus minus a few years. However, females will always be young enough to still be fertile. This is to prevent a dead-end for the farmer family where no-one could marry and have kids due to old age. Of course that would be a realistic dead-end, but the design choice to prevent it somewhat compensates for the lack of realism in another mechanic, which is that family members who leave the farm, practically leave the game and can never return.

A few years later, a spouse is found for Iniko. His young age, good health and 5 years of education have resulted in a proposed bride gift of $34. Since he is Head of the Family, his bride will move to the farm and become part of the family, if he accepts.

Separation and Remarriage

If a married family member leaves the farm or dies, the spouse’s status will simply change to unmarried, and they can remarry. Bride prices when remarrying are generally significantly lower than in first marriages. This has some basis in many cultural traditions, where remarrying is less prestigious or even prohibited. It also prevents the game from being all about marriages, since bride prices from remarrying would otherwise play too large a role in the farmer family’s fragile economy.

External Links

WikiPedia on “Marriage,” “Remarriage,” “Dowry,” and “Bride Price,” 2019: