Farming Simulator

Who knew being a farmer was so hard?

I suppose the clues were there from the start, in the long hours they work and the relatively high probability that they'll have to cut their left arm off with a penknife after getting it caught in a threshing machine. It's a dangerous, exhausting, seven days a week, 365 days a year job.

But still - you'll be surprised by how difficult Farming Simulator makes it look.

I've got a combine harvester

Farming Simulator is really what it says on the tin. It lets you see what farming is like without getting your hands dirty or your left arm amputated.

Your daily duties revolve around cultivating crops of corn, canola, or wheat to be sold at the market so you can invest the proceeds into new equipment and farm hands to help build your agricultural empire.

You'll help grow your assets by ploughing, fertilising, and planting your fields before waiting for time to pass so that you can jump in your harvester and reap nature's bounty.

You don't have to work alone, which would be near impossible as your farm begins to expand - you can hire AI hands to come and deal with some of the more tedious tasks while you tend to the more important things.

You'll also be sent on various errands for local villagers and townsfolk who need some help. It's all relatively easy to do, too, thanks to the open nature of the landscape.

Wheat from the chaff

Farming Simulator is rather gruelling in it's unforgiving nature - it is a simulation, after all - but it's also surprisingly good fun. Sure, you'll get bored at first just harvesting and ploughing a field as you get started. But pushing through that will reward you with a bustling business.

It's not the best-looking title in the world, but it's arguable that there are no ways of making a patch of earth and a tractor look utterly jaw-dropping.

There's also a day and night cycle, but it doesn't seem to affect your working patterns as you can keep ploughing on through the night. In this respect, it would have been better to see some form of system akin to Harvest Moon, where working through the night renders you too tired to work during the day.

It's also nice to see that prices for crops change over time, so you can keep your crops and make the most out of them when you really need the money later on.

I do have some gripes, though, mostly related to the awkward camera angle that has you wrestling for a proper view. And there's a steep learning curve in place, but tutorials dotted around help ease you in at the start.

Quite honestly, I was surprised to have enjoyed Farming Simulator as much as I did. It's not perfect, and it definitely has its quirks, but it's worth a look if you're itching for some farming fun, or just curious about why these games are still so popular.

Farming Simulator

Takes a relatively dull pursuit and lets you have some crop-based fun regardless of the visual drawbacks and tough difficulty
Vaughn Highfield
Vaughn Highfield
Quite possibly the tallest man in games, Vaughn has been enamoured with video games from a young age. However, it wasn't until he spent some time writing for the student newspaper that he realised he had a knack for talking people's ears off about his favourite pastime. Since then, he's been forging a path to the career he loves... even if it doesn't love him back.