Reversing a tractor and trailer in real life is pretty difficult the first few times you try it. In fact, if the embattled gateposts near where I grew up are any guide, driving a tractor and trailer forwards is pretty difficult too.

Unsurprisingly, reversing a tractor and trailer is also a pretty tough ask in Farming Simulator 14. It takes your brain a while to figure out why everything seems to be going in the wrong direction, and how you can stop your grain collector repeatedly ramming into your combine harvester.

And because farming takes a long time, there's a lot of waiting around too. For large sections of the game you're literally watching digital crops grow. They might not follow the exact cycle of real-world grains, but that doesn't make waiting for them any less dull.

Cropping yourself

Farming Simulator 14 follows the same book-balancing pattern as its predecessors. Plant stuff, sell it once it's grown, buy more stuff with the profit you make. It's a simple sim idea presented in chunky, likeable - if not cutting-edge - graphics.

Your farm starts off as a couple of fields, but you can expand as you earn, adding different crops and new pastures to your burgeoning agricultural empire. Watching where you'll get the best price for your produce is key, and sometimes little time-locked quests pop up to point you in a new direction.

The controls are simple enough. A series of buttons along the bottom of the screen let you bounce between your different pieces of equipment, and a slider on the right controls how fast they go. A second slider lets you change direction.

You can tap the 'steering wheel' button to let the contraption bimble along on its own, although you'll have to keep an eye on it because vehicles are liable to get stuck on scenery or run out of fuel if you don't.

Weeds

There's an oddly engaging charm about the game, but its central routine of sow, reap, and repeat, isn't really that interesting, and there's only a local multiplayer mode, which lets you farm together with some friends, to set this apart from the previous release.

Still, there are worse sims out there, and the simplicity on offer here means you're rarely too taxed. Except when it comes to turning the tractors around.

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