Game Reviews

Farming Simulator 2012

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Farming Simulator 2012

If you're anything like me, your first reaction to the name Farming Simulator 2012 will be to laugh. "I wouldn't want to be a farmer in real life!" you'll say, "so why would I want to be one in a video game?"

And you're right, of course. All the vehicles move at an excruciatingly slow pace, there's loads of waiting around for crops to grow, and the basic mechanics are tiresome and repetitive.

You get stuck in this loop of tilling the land, planting seeds, watering your saplings, harvesting your crops, and schlepping them across the countryside to a vendor. There are a few extra-curricular activities - basic side missions, hay baling, and slurry production - but that's about all there is to it.

A farmer's life for me

I know, I know. I'm not really selling you on the life of a farmer. Right now, you're thinking about taking up a slightly more interesting career, like envelope-stuffer or the guy who stamps the 'M's onto M&Ms.

But with its simplicity Farming Simulator 2012 manages to create a calming, contemplative feel that's difficult to find among the usual high-octane power fantasies we call video games.

Simply tending to your fields and expanding your humble farm into an empire you can be proud of is like a relaxing hobby. At the same time, a tactical backbone - certain buyers will momentarily raise their price for certain crops - keeps you thinking and on your toes.

Separating the wheat from the chaff

Farming Simulator 2012 is not without its sins, mind. It looks like slurry, and the physics are often faulty. The controls aren't great, the tutorial is hopeless, and it's bursting with in-app purchases (seven vehicles are literally locked away unless you pay an extra £5).

So, no. This isn't the best game in the world. And that Zen-like state of mind is always in danger of passing through the paper-thin barrier into boredom. But it's bold and unique. It's already stole an evening of my life, and I guarantee that it will do the same to you.

Farming Simulator 2012

Farming Simulator 2012 is slow, repetitive, ugly, and dull. But that doesn't mean it's not a relaxing and often addictive little diversion, too
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