Simulation games have been around for years and provide a way for players to jump into either, a life, world or maybe just one job or activity and just have at it. Giants Software have been releasing Farming Simulator games since 2008 and have in total released six games in the PC and Console series thus far. The titles in general have been getting better with each instalment thanks to technical innovations and advancements but also experience.
The Nintendo Switch is perfectly suited for the simulation genre, being able to pick up and play wherever you are and either slowly put in those hours or even put them in, in huge chunks at a time. Gameplay is where these games are reliant on having the drawing factor, if it isn’t fun to play, that’s it. Fortunately, I enjoy playing this and taking on the role of a farmer who is effectively just starting out, trying to grow my business and turn a profit.
Before you get started there is a tutorial section that will provide all you need to know to become at least competent for when you get started with career mode. Beyond that, during career there will be numerous tips and advice prompts that give you some basic information too. At the beginning of the career it can feel as though your hand is being held but it is crucial, because of the depth of gameplay you will encounter.
The difficulty can be set and can greatly change the in-game situation either via the economy or simplification of mechanics. The hard setting is described as the most realistic which is scary and rightfully so, the economy is harsh with prices set low for what you sell and you have a huge debt with the bank to repay. The challenge is there for the more experienced player and the more simplified entry point is available for new people to the genre or series.
There is a freedom to play how you want, the number of features, vehicles and fields available allow for so much choice. If you don’t particularly want to be harvesting a field you can cut down trees or feed your animals instead. Depth isn’t just by variety of tasks to do, but also inside each task and how you go from a plot of land to selling your crops.
Take a plot of land, it first needs to be plowed or cultivated, then you can sow your crops, once that’s done you have the option to fertilize the field to increase the yield and finally once ready, you can harvest the end product. There are different kinds of crops that change what needs to be done, root crops require different sowing machines and harvesters and oilseed radish doesn’t even get harvested at the end. This only just scratches the surface of the number of things to do.
There are two maps to choose from, each with slightly different aesthetics with the one being set in a country farm town called Goldcrest Valley seemingly set in summer, and then the other being a more industrial looking town located somewhere in Europe called Sosnovka. Buildings in Goldcrest are better kept with a clean look compared to the almost run-down ones you will find in Sosnovka.
You have a good-looking game that features a high level of detail, wide colour palette and overall variety in buildings, vehicles and crop aesthetics. There are some jagged lines and roughness that is more prominent when just standing still as opposed to moving around and going about your in-game day. The roughness is minimised in handheld mode for what it’s worth.
An in-depth simulation suite that allows for player choice in how time is spent in-game does this credit. The ease of entry accompanied by the higher difficulty settings make this more accessible and tailored to more players. Fun to play for a quick fix or a long play session, Farming Simulator Nintendo Switch Edition is a competent and convenient entry into the series.
OVERALL: 7.2/10 – GOOD
Reviewed by Rhys Baldwin.
(Disclaimer: CONQUEST received a review copy of Farming Simulator Nintendo Switch Edition, however this does not in any way affect the scoring of a game or our thoughts on the game itself. We believe in total honesty and being transparent with you.)