Review by rockajs

Reviewed: 03/10/05

Newest, Most Interesting Farm Simulator to Date

This game has many pros and cons. I live on a farm, and have farmed for most of my life, so realism is very important to me. In many aspects the game is realistic, but in others, it is not even close.

Gameplay 7/10 - This game is very addictive and fun. It has several scenarios and you get to choose the difficulty level. There is also free-play, where you can play for years, and still be able to get more profits. The game is relatively easy, if you know what is happening. The different levels of difficulty does not greatly affect the play of the game. It is not much harder for the harder levels than the easy level.

The game is unrealistic in many ways. The market fluctuates very much like it does today, unless you play for over 10 years. The market relatively stays the same and only changes once a month, compared to every 30 seconds in real life. The life span of the animals is off, too. The animals can live for over 6 years without being ready for market, which is not realistic in any sense. Most animals that are raised on a farm are ready to sell after 8 months, and sometimes sooner. The Dairy Cattle are the most realistic. The hogs only grow to 320 lbs, which is not a very high weight for hogs.

If you are unfamiliar with farming, and want to get some idea of how it works, this game is hardly educational material. There is not much you can learn from it, you don't understand everything that is put into it. If you have worked on a farm or understand how they are run, this game is management material. Most of this game is from the standpoint of the old man, who tells the hired men what to do.

This game was made by John Deere, a company that specializes in agriculture machinery sales. This is why the choice of Tractors, Combines, and implements are limited so much. In real farming, you have many other choices of how to plow the land, what kind of fertilizer, seed, and type of machinery. There are only 2 tractor choices, only one combine, and only one of each type of implement that are on the game, with several hundred types of machinery left out. It only has the basic machinery that almost every farm has.

Graphics 8/10:

The graphics are the best of any agricultural game I have played. Not only the best view, but the most views. You can zoom in and out, and change the angle of view. It is very detailed, but it shows only certain stages of the plants. You cannot tell if the plants need fertilizer from the color on the game, and you can't tell the difference between the plants until very late in the growing season.

Sound 3/10:

There is not much sound at all. There a only a few comments that are said when you send the people to work. The music gets very annoying. It is better to turn off the sound and listen to a cd or the radio. You will not miss anything if you turn off the sound.

Play Time 10/10:

It takes only an hour to finish a scenario on this game, but there are many scenarios, so it is very nice. You can get done, and come back with months in between and it won't matter.

Replayability 8/10:

After you finish the game, you can still play for hours. There is free play, where you get to start a farm from scratch and it never ends. Eventually it gets annoying, especially when you can no longer expand your farm.

Final Recommendation - Buy:

Buy this game, only if you have a fascination with farming. Many people would not like the game even if they like farming, because it only has John Deere. This is much like having a automotive game with only Dodge, it leaves out a lot of diversity.

Rating:   3.0 - Fair

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