Posted: December 30, 2013
My steam account only shows 22 hours on this game as I purchased this digital copy only recently so I could play coop with my six-year-old son. I’ve played this, the 2011, and the 2009 versions for many countless hours.
As background, I have a graduate degree in agriculture economics and have spent a good portion of my life farming. By all accounts, I should dislike this game:
* the controls are clunky
* the physics are often aggravating
* the particle flow/dust and other graphical elements are a throwback to 1990’s 3D engines
* the ‘farming’ elements are incredibly simplistic and the economics are silly.
And yet there is something oddly cathartic and relaxing about this game that keeps me coming back for more day after day.
I derive the most enjoyment from utilizing some of the many modifications to stretch this game to its limits. The most important is Courseplay, which allows me to automate most of the tasks and play a managerial role, even though the game it technically a driving simulator. I also enjoy user-submitted maps, such as Paradise 2013, which are set up for larger operations and automated farming.
Even though I wish the developers would license a better game engine so that the physics, rendering, and particle flow are more realistic, as well as include an 'advanced' mode that actually adjusts growth conditions and incorporates specific pests/weeds that I have to control, I can’t help but think that I’ll keep playing this game for a long time to come.