Farming Simulator 16 as far as the tractors go...

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So I had an urge to try one of the 'faming simulators'... at least in the virtual world, things can grow all year round, eh? Turns out that a) the latest version of the much acclaimed Farming Simulator series from GIANTS that will run on Windows 10 Mobile is '16', with '17' through '19' PC/Xbox exclusives in the Microsoft world; b) the last time we reviewed a game in this series was five and a half years ago, with the '14' version; c) not that much had changed from 14 to 16! Still, having played through a little of it, with higher resolution graphics and more real world modelling, I wanted to at least present some findings.

From the Store description:

Manage your own farm and drive massive machines in an open world!

Farming Simulator 16 allows you to manage your own realistic farm in extraordinary detail. Plant, grow, harvest, and sell five different crops, raise cows and sheep, and sell timber at your own pace. Buy new fields to expand your farm land. Take direct control of harvesters and tractors, or hire AI helps and manage your growing farm from the full screen management map.

As the newest in the series of Farming Simulator games, this game has the best of agriculture simulation. The game features massive tractors and other machines from over 20 brands of agricultural manufacturers, including New Holland, Case IH, Ponsse, Lamborghini, Horsch, Krone, Amazone, MAN and more.

It's all pretty comprehensive, which brings me to a bit of a rant below. Still, in the meantime here are some screenshots from my limited progress in Farming Simulator 16:


Beautiful cut-scenes, shared across the other platform versions of the title, no doubt...


Harvesting my first crop. I'm steering by tilting the phone and the throttle is on the right, etc. The highlighted spanner control indicates that my 'tool' is attached.


Back at the farmyard, with a tractor and trailer. You can cycle through which vehicle is being driven using the buttons bottom left...


Purchases inside the game let you trade up to the very latest modelled machinery...


But ultimately Farming Simulator 16 comes down to watching prices, growing and reaping the right things at the right times, and that's a bit... number heavy.


There are plenty of help screens to guide you through the interface and what to do next, thankfully.


This one help screen alone should give you an idea of the core gameplay AND the core workload. Casual gaming this ain't!


Back in the field, this time with a hired 'worker' to do my driving for me while I sit back with a cup of tea...!

The problem with Farming Simulator 16  is that the meat of the game isn't in the fun stuff, like driving machinery, hooking up power tools, although this is present to some degree, at least in an external none-too-detailed view. The core here is the business of farming, the logistics and pricing, the trading and selling. And the sheer drudgery of making sure that everything happens in the right order. Now, while hard core farming nuts might appreciate all this, the amount of work needed is akin to being a real farmer, except here you don't get the fresh air or to have a collie keeping you company all day.

There's a free trial and then it's £2.50 or so to buy. Which seems reasonable, though note that there are in-app-purchases as well.

I'd welcome suggestions for Windows phone games which simulate the driving and operations aspects of the vehicles without worrying too much about money, crops, and markets!

Source / Credit: Buy in Store