Farming Simulator 2012
Over here in Euroland, we have something of a fondness for the more mundane simulations that probably pass most other countries by. Bus-driving, street-sweeping, ski resort management, airport firefighting, the list is endless and caters to even the most unlikely of tastes.
If getting up at the crack of dawn, working for 20 hours, going to sleep, and then getting up in the pitch dark to do it all over again the next day sounds like a reasonable way to exist, then you're probably already a farmer. If you're not, and are wondering what all the fuss is about, the good news is that Farming Simulator 2012 is now available for every iOS gamer to immerse themselves in.
It's a crude game really, although one that has no small amount of hypnotic charm as you slowly (very, very slowly) inch your way around the fields of your farm, perform excruciating three-point turns in tractors and trailers, sell your produce for the best price available, and upgrade your fields and equipment with the profits that you make.
On the right-hand of the screen is a slider that controls your acceleration forwards and back, and each vehicle has a little selection of icons in the bottom left. In the combine harvester, for example, you might need to tap on one of these icons to lower your blades. When dragging a trailer with a buggy, you can separate the two with a screen press.
It all starts with lengthy preparation: the careful plowing of your empty fields, the planting of seeds, and then the eventual reaping of the harvest. From here you can either store produce in your silos for a time when prices have improved, or take it off for sale at various locations on the map, all of which are affected by dynamic price changes as time progresses.
We're assured that all of the big names are represented in Farming Simulator 2012, from Massey Ferguson (who I've definitely heard of) to Deutz-Fahr who could be made up by the developers to make game reviewers look stupid for all I know.
All things considered, this turns out to be exactly the odd game you'd expect from the title alone, but that oddness is also want lends Farming Simulator its charm and peculiar interest. You don't get into a nice warm bath for a head-spinning adrenaline rush after all, and there's something therapeutic about the slow and simple pleasures of building your idyllic, yet deliciously profitable, farm.
This is not a beautiful game, and it's not even a particularly welcoming one either. Despite the simplistic gameplay, there's little in the way of hand-holding on offer: how exactly to sell crops, what the icons on the mini-map represent, how to transfer goods from combine to trailer and so on. Yet it keeps drawing us back, and we think it will draw you back too.
What's Hot: A slow-paced but incredibly soothing game that we think you'll take an unexpected shine to.
What's Not: A poor tutorial, and occasionally frustrating controls.