Farming World is an isometric farm management game. You’ll setup fields, till them, plant crops, wait, pesticide, harvest and market them. Then repeat the process over and over. There are frills like buildings that let you have animals and others that turn your produce into better products like canned goods. Its all a nice system, but its just monotonous. Even though there is a 100x speed up, there is a lot of downtime during the winter if you don’t have 12 month produce.
The game menu is pretty easy. It consists of options, buy menu, land agreement menu, market menu, contracts menu (which I didn’t need once), statistics and the bank. The menus feel click heavy. When you open one menu you need to click close to put it away instead of being able to click something else. The mouse wheel doesn’t scroll the game menus. The main screen has a nice ticker at the bottom that tells you when things have finished. The top of the screen has a nice array of your capacity for equipment, storage, cooled storage and grain storage.
There are three modes to chose from, tutorial, campaign and freeplay. Each one of them starts you off with the same farm. I’ve played the tutorial three times and somehow never finished it due to the game not recognizing that I did exactly what it asked me to. The campaign and free play are identical except the campaign has a ‘rival.’ A computer run farm that up until 5 hours in, I never knew it existed. Its not an emphasis. Its just there. There’s no competition.
Both modes have you select the country, difficulty and color of your machines. Then you just play until you lose. If you fall into debt you can get a loan from the bank and the terms you’ll repay it. If you can’t repay it, that’s a game over. If you have no money, you can’t hire workers to harvest your crops. The bank will only let you get one loan at a time. The campaign
On the surface it looks like a Farmville game, but after almost five hours of playing, I’d say its worse. There are fewer clicks in a Farmville game. Luckily in this game you can increase game speed. You can setup a field and make the size of it. Then you need to buy or rent the land for your field. After that, you need to click the field, click to till the land. The game will ask you if you want to buy or rent the equipment. If you have the money, always buy the equipment. If not, renting is cheaper. There seems to be a flat rate for renting. After that, you’ll need to fertilize the field and rent or buy the equipment. Once that gets done, you’ll need to plant the crop. Luckily you can hire an advisory for a week, but just read the stats on each of the crops. There are dozens of crops to chose from and you’ll see how long each of the four life phases take. From a seedling to maturity. The game shows you how much water, temperature each plant needs. If you don’t have the conditions it has a ! next to it. Meaning your crop isn’t geared toward success.
Once you select the crop, you need to buy or rent the equipment. After that, you need to wait for the crop to grow into a different phase of its life. You can click to auto water crops that drop below 50% water. If you don’t auto water, you’ll be clicking over and over again on each field to water it. Then you can use pesticide on it. The choice is yours, organic, or synthetic. Each has its own success rate. The market wants organic, but there is less protection. Then when the crop has entered its next phase, you can use a second dose of pesticide on it and buy or rent the equipment. Eventually, the crop will mature and you’ll see a percentage grow and grow. That percentage is how much of the crop has matured. If you harvest at 50% you get 50% of your crop instead of 100%. If you planted your crop too late in a season, it might freeze. So that’s the challenge. Finally, you hire workers to harvest the crop. What I mean by hire, just click on an icon and poof it goes right to work harvesting. To harvest a crop, you need the warehouse space. If you don’t have the space, buy a bigger warehouse.
Now that you have harvested a crop, you can click the market tab where you sell your crop by sliding a bar and clicking the sell icon. Everything you sell, whether its crops, milk, meat or produce has a market value, which fluctuates like it does in real life. So its a slight gamble. If you want more money, you will have to construct buildings. Fruits and vegetables can be canned or juiced. Flowers can be put into bouquets at a florist. Grains can be baked into bread. Meats can be butchered. Milks can be processed into dairy. Stuff like that. Each building can turn one thing into another thing. Then you sell those things at market.
You can rotate your crops and have two crops or more per year. Some need to grow from the start spring til the end of summer, so you can fit in a different crop in the fall until the winter freeze. Over the winter is where the waiting comes in. Sure you can grow crops in frigid weather and have most of them die, but you can also wait. When waiting, you can speed things up to 100 times as fast, but at the every month, there is a finances popup that requires you to close it. This seems unnecessary. I should just have the money put into an account. It just makes a long waiting process even longer.
Like crops, you can have livestock too. Horses, cows, chickens, goats and cattle. Construct buildings for them, then highlight the buildings, and select the type of animal to put in there. There’s no extra cost for a milk cow building vs a horse stable. Its all the same building, which seems like a forgotten detail. Thankfully you can autofeed animals like you can autowater fields. When the animals get old enough they begin to produce milk and eggs. You can also sell them at that time as well. Animals will mature and grow old where they won’t produce, nor will they be as valuable when you market them. The only problem with animals is the fact that their fences break. You’ll need to find which building has a broken fence. If you have 10 buildings with animals, you need to click on all them to find which has the broken fence. It happens once a year to each animal building.
Once you get the rhythm down you can run a successful farm pretty easy. However, with it so successful on a small scale, I didn’t feel the need to keep increasing the size of my farm once I was making $100,000 a year off lavender, carrots and milk.
The game offers a nice sort of progression with stars. For every filed you harvest, you get a star. These stars get used to unlock everything. Better equipment, better workers, plants, animals, buildings. Everything needs to get unlocked. The game starts you with a few stars so you unlock what you want to. Its a nice system, but there’s no need to unlock everything when you’re making so much profit per year.
When you run out of storage, silo or garage space, you’ll have to buy more buildings. The game lets you unlock bigger buildings. You can even unlock better machinery and workers. They work faster and have slightly higher percentages, but if the default is 90% efficiency. The cost of stars isn’t worth having 100% efficiency even if they work twice as fast. Everything already takes a day. Perhaps giant farms might need that.
With all that said, the game is just dull. It works well enough, but I don’t feel the need to make my farm bigger and better. It lacks scenarios or any variety to make one playthrough different than the next. The only replay value I can think of is your own choice. If you decide to have goats instead of cows. It is a functional game with no frills. No rivals, no challenges, no diversity from one year to the next. The fences will always break. I will always till, fertilize, plant, spray, spray 2x, wait, harvest, market. Over and over. The more fields just means the more work you have to do.