Farming Simulator Switch Edition has led me to wonder what the hell Kevin Costner was thinking when he ditched his farm for a baseball field in Field of Dreams. Seriously, if farming is this rewarding and addicting, screw Shoeless Joe Jackson. (Note: I know farming is not a game, and that it’s both incredibly hard work and not very lucrative for most). Seriously, Farming Simulator for Switch surprised me a great deal. When you think simulation games, you usually think “boring”, or at least I do. But developer Giants has gone above and beyond to make the game of farming both entertaining, and rewarding. This is our Farming Simulator Nintendo Switch Edition review.
It’s still not a genre that’s for everyone. If you’re not keen on real-world sims or management games at the very least, you might want to steer clear. But if you have a soft spot for management titles, but always wanted to be closer to the action, Farming Simulator will likely win you over. Its incredible attention to detail, the sheer breadth of content available, and the always aching itch to keep working so you can afford the next upgrade is the kind of stuff Civ’s “Just One More Turn” addiction was borne from.
Farming Simulator has been out on a few systems now, but this is my first foray with the title, and I’m glad it’s on the Switch. The added portability and the fact that I can easily help my 4-year-old with his own farm comes in super handy. It’s an ideal game for picking up and putting down, though the chores can take some time to do unless you hire help on the farm. If there’s one feature I’d love to see in future Switch editions, it’s for the game to “continue” time when in sleep mode. Not sure if it’s possible, but I’d love to let my workers do their jobs while I step away for a moment, and not have to leave the Switch on. I know it sounds silly, but being a management game, there’s a good deal of passivity here. And that’s not a bad thing.
You won’t always be driving a tractor, cutting down trees, or taking a delivery. There’s a lot of data management and tracking of prices that needs to be done too. But sometimes, when you’re just starting out especially, there are long swaths of time where you don’t have much to do. You can explore, look for the many hidden nuggets of gold in the game world, but really in the early days of your farm, there just isn’t enough to do while you wait for crops to grow or be harvested. I’d also like for future versions to let me hire a driver to deliver/sell my goods to local markets. I love the gameplay of the actual farming, but sometimes I’d like to hire someone else to do the delivery and sale of my goods.
There are over 200 different unique machines to work towards and use in Farming Simulator, and while some just do things better than what you’ve got at the start, it’s the whole point of the game. Like a good sandbox, the idea is to just keep trying to build up and make your empire stretch across the entire game map. There are tons of fields to buy, a train system that you can control which spans the map, and so forth. New this year too, is the Forestry trade, which is actually probably the most fun. I wish it could be started earlier, but feller bunchers and the like cost a lot, so it’s more of a later game activity when you want to get serious about it. But there’s something satisfying about cutting down trees, piling them high, and hauling them off to the mill.
With mostly gorgeous visuals, solid lighting, and excellent on-screen tutorials for all the tools, Farming Simulator hooked me in right away. I’d love it if future versions had a “free play” mode, where you don’t have to worry about money and the like – and my son would too, so I can stop helping him make money to buy new tools. I also think the world needs a bit more interactivity. Traffic can often get in the way and doesn’t react when you hit it with your vehicle. Signs, fences, and other objects have no clipping, so I’d like to see them be destructible one day as well, just to further the immersion.
Overall though, I can’t imagine anyone beating Giants’ offering when it comes to Farming Simulator. If you’re looking to relax and feel the digital earth between your digital hands, this one’s a keeper. Recommended.
Compare To: Euro Truck Simulator, Truck Simulator, Cities XL
Note: Our copy was provided for Switch by PR.