Posted: December 15, 2013
This is NOT an FS2013 clone so if you want a farm tycoon, farm management sim DO NOT BUY. If you want auto everything DO NOT BUY.
This game is about BEING a farmer. It's hard graft and can get quite tedious. You do have AI of sorts but it's click-done AI, not a pixel farmer you can follow around.
My review gets a + only if you understand that it's about BEING a farmer. If that's what you like, get it. You'll enjoy it.
Now to flesh this out.
- The graphics are pretty good and on on i7/670gtx, it hums along maxed out at 60 (with vsync). Some of the detail is very well done, albeit with a very Euro flavour.
- The tute is on rails and must be followed but once you learn the locations and the techniques it's better to go freeplay.
- Tractor driving is very manual and takes some getting used to. NOTE: *Look* at the lower left for how to change the gearbox ratios. (And reversing is REAL reversing, not just pressing a down key).
- Some machines are missing cruise control at time of writing. Missing as in, devs probably assumed it wasn't needed. They were wrong and as far as I know, will change it.
- Limited but enough to keep interest. (and in reality, not all farms can grow all crops anyway)
- Seasonal variations (a big feature) in yield work fairly accurately and devs are working on making it better.
- Seed prices. Enough to make BEING a farmer worthwhile.
- As good as non existent. Worth having for the extra income (3k or so per qtr) but there is no management or husbandry. (and it's incorrect for many to believe all farms have animals anyway - a common complaint. Most "real" farms are fairly dedicated enterprises. Such diversity is usually reserved for smaller hobby farms, certainly in Australia anyway)
- A bit short in this department (again devs are on it) but there is certainly enough to crop and harvest every field with ease.
- The equipment shop is badly designed and laid out (imho) but equipment purchases are close to a one-off in RL anyway.
- Some nice looking layering is used for the various states and the PDA provides field status etc. as you work.
- Crop yields etc. are RT as you harvest (F2 PDA)
- Big. Generous number of paddocks. No real monsters but you'll be working really hard if you own even a quarter of them.
- Shop to shop transactions. Poorly done. You gotta drive to the bank, the seed shop, the tractor shop manually - everytime. Will devs change this? Unknown but can be very, very tedious. (see gearbox ratios above - take stock of it).
- A good game for players who like the down and dirty of farming. I reiterate though, if you want an "auto" farm managment game, DO NOT BUY.
- Scenery is nice, gameplay is consistent. Some glaring anomalies but very easy to forgive.
- Sound is pretty ordinary and equipment sounds are pretty lame. No engine load being the biggest let down. It won't take long to despise the music but a few well placed Oggs can fix that.
There are some issues, some by poor design, some by poor release. Devs seem to be willing to listen and ready to take on constructive critique.
I'd say a price of $20 is reasonable but it's relative. If you're tight for cash but love to farm, wait for the specials.