Say it with us…Farm-ing Sim-u-la-tor. How does that make you feel? Are you intrigued, or does it sound about as fun as, well, an exhausting day of work on the farm? If you’re questioning whether you’d personally find enjoyment in a game like this, then you should probably keep on truckin’. However, if the idea has grabbed your interest, and you’re not intimidated by cyber-yard work, read on, as Farming Simulator 3D may have what it takes to ingrain a place on your 3DS.
Down on the farm, it’s your duty to cultivate, sow, harvest, and distribute valuable commodities throughout a small, mostly rural town. There are three types of crops in total – wheat, corn, and canola – but you’ll be limited to harvesting wheat, initially. As you earn money, you’ll be able to buy new equipment and fields to increase production, eventually dominating the agricultural business in the region. But it’s going to take a ton of work and, most importantly, time.
As soon as you choose a save file, Farming Simulator plants you right into the experience without so much as an introduction. This barrier of entry is something that may – and most likely will – cause some gamers to regret their purchase within minutes. There are a few icons around the farm that will tell you what to do, just not how to do it. Our recommendation is to read the digital manual thoroughly before getting started, because if you have the patience to climb over this hill, there’s a potentially enjoyable game on the other side.
Handling the various vehicles is simple and easy to figure out, even if you must do so without a proper tutorial. Switching between your tractors and harvesters is handled by pressing left or right on the D-pad, and controlling each one of these diligent machines is easy as pie – just the Circle Pad and a couple of face buttons. If you want to attach tools to the tractor, just back up into them and press X. The controls are all very obvious and you don’t have to be a veteran farmhand to figure them out.
Obviously it would be impossible to control multiple machines at the same time, so what you’re able to do is set the vehicles to cruise control. You’ll still need to handle them between tasks (empty the haul, run the harvest across town, etc.) so don’t expect to oversee the operations without getting your hands dirty yourself. Surprisingly, even when things are on automatic, there will be plenty to keep you occupied – it just gets repetitive and offers very little, if any, deviation from the plowed path.
While responsibilities are mostly comprised of tending to crops, there are a few other tasks that break things up a bit. For example, since vehicles require gasoline, you’ll need to make the occasional trip to a fueling station to keep them operational. Also, from time-to-time, you’ll be interrupted from your harvesting rituals to recover a lost shipment from somewhere in town. Don’t expect these to feel like mini-games; you’ll just drive to the spot indicated on the map and pickup the item – that’s it.
It’s this tedious repetition that’s the major downfall of this cyber-farming download. There’s really such a miniscule amount of variation to the gameplay, and the visuals – while competent – are plain and dull, leaving things a tad characterless – literally, there are no people in this game. Yet, even somehow, this repetition can still be highly addictive.
If the idea of simulated farm work still sounds like an entertaining proposition, it would be acceptable to take many of our gameplay criticisms with a grain of salt. While there is certainly much more that could have been done with this title, there’s a solid experience at its core if you’re into this slow-paced style of play. We definitely aren’t saying don’t download Farming Simulator 3D, we’re saying be cautious before purchasing – it’ll only appeal to a very esoteric group of gamers.
Farming Simulator 3D can be plain and generic at times, and there are some hurdles to overcome before harvesting up any enjoyment, but it can also be unexpectedly consuming and assuredly offers up many hours of play for the price. If you’re still interested in a life of farming after being exposed to our concerns in this review, then by all means give the game a shot. But if this all sounds like an utterly boring affair, there probably isn’t anything here that’ll win you over.