James Ireland On March - 1 - 2010

No battery hens required

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to star in your very own episode of Countryfile? Well, I know I have. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to live away from the hustle and bustle of big city life in exchange for a more rewarding organic experience. I’d trade the petrol fumes for the smell of cow shit any day of the week. It’s with that then that we found a copy of The Farm in our post box. Unfortunately the game didn’t ship with a cowpat and that’s a shame because it could have been one of the best marketing stunts since the rotten fish PR stunt with the game Godfather. No, instead we had a pristine plastic boxed copy which has arguably the most infantile looking box cover in history, more infantile than Peppa Pig.

These chickens will later feature in a bucket of KFC

The Farm is a strategy based management game which involves you performing the chores of day to day farming life with a cute and endearing local farm whereby a very family orientated work life come together to strap up the cash to repair their farming equipment in hope of a new level with pastures new on a bigger and better farm. Your tasks will include feeding the animals, cultivating new crops, weeding, milking cows, counting eggs and getting your sheep shaved. Each patch and animal all have statistics attached whereby it’s your job to keep them happy and healthy to obtain maximum profitability. Any produce you make can be sold inside a town area where you can walk around and trade items between shop keepers and also buy much needed items such as hay bails and pig fattening sludge. Once you start to accumulate money you can buy new farm animals and sell certain profiteering animals to raise your income. The Farm offers a deep layer of strategy of which you can either get a guided hand upon which tasks are needed to be performed, or work them out by guiding your characters manually.

The most rewarding process is to do everything manually and workout what actions are needed to take place by reading into the statistical data for each interactive subject in the game. By going into an automated task manager it completely voids the games strategy elements though we imagine that this feature has been added to perform maintenance tasks when you start recruiting more staff. With the rinse and repeat process memorised you’ll eventually start to build up enough income to repair your machinery and get into the fields to cultivate bigger crops and in turn re-invest this into expanding the farm into a much grander and more economical money printing machine. Whilst the game does all of this pretty well, most of the actions are automated by the computer, some interactive games would have been a nice touch, like milking the cows for instance but whether this would become more of a chore as the game wore on, really remains a mystery and to some extent I can understand why Astragon decided to avoid this measure all together. By not including some nice novelty features into the game (other than playing Othello, wtf!) it does render the game a tad boring and unfortunately once you’ve learnt the ropes (thanks to the great tutorial system) you’ll find that the game is easy, albeit requires Zen like patience for the pay off to prosper.

Anyone for Cravendale?

In terms of realism the game falls short of Farming Simulator 2009 and that is because the actions are more focused around the people on the farm, rather than the machines and whilst the graphics are adequate I can’t help but feel the whole experience would have become more immersive if the graphics were high end and weather seasons were taken into effect. The Farm doesn’t come without the odd glitch either, sometimes your players can get stuck on objects and fences, fortunately by relinquishing control of these characters, the error corrects itself. Some may find this game easy to laugh at, but as we know from experience there are true niche interests in these types of games and for those interested in the genre it maybe worth a punt. For us, we felt the game despite its wealth of options did become a little too generic and without the lack of environmental factors (such as disease, natural disaster etc.) the game fails to inspire the general gamer to ever consider taking a look past the hideously childish box art. All in all, The Farm is a budget title and it feels budget but it’s not by any means a crap game, just distinctly average.

Categories: Feature, PC Reviews

3 Responses

  1. Armend says:

    are there any cheats or trainers for this game? i have been TRYING to find something to get more coins so i can expand my farm but it is sooo hard,like in real life.lol

    i tried the “cheat engine” and the only thing im passing right now is TIME. the seeds grow faster but THATS IT and its so hard to manage beacause i have to slow the time,go to the city,sell my harvest,go back to the fields and speed up…sometimes it crashes and i lose EVERYTHING I HAVE DONE.so please if there is anyhow a way to cheat this money (coins) thing let me know. thank you in advanced.armend

  2. We’re unaware of any, as far as i’m aware Astragon haven’t done any cheats for any of the games they have made.

  3. Oland says:

    Where to play this game? are this online? Thank you.

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