Welcome to another YvoCaro Plays!
As always, these blurbs are mostly about the video games I’m currently playing. Unedited thoughts that spring up in my mind, mostly game-related, sometimes not. Or a random train of thoughts starting with the game and ending somewhere completely different!
If you like these bits of gaming thoughts, you can find the previous ones here
Let me first start by saying: if you work on an actual farm, kudos to you! I can only imagine how hard you have to work while probably not getting paid enough for what you do. So though this article is meant in a funny way, it doesn’t reflect on those of you who actually do the hard labour!
Harsh Farming Life in Games
In my gaming life, I’ve played several farming games. Being a virtual farmer meant having a ton of chores, petting your livestock, watering your crops with a watering can, and foraging for extra cash. And once you had enough money, more production facilities and even more chores. There was never enough time in the day, but I was in cute surroundings and only had my little farmers’ energy levels to worry about.
Thinking about the fact that I have a busy full-time job, have part of the care for my invalid mother and manage the site together with Paula, it’s strange. Why would I want to take on more chores, even if they are virtual ones? But I can’t help myself, ever since I started gaming I’ve jumped on many farming games.
One of the first I played, coming down from my 1,5-year stint with Animal Crossing Wild World, was Harvest Moon DS. This game prepared me for how farming wasn’t always smooth sailing. You had to think of when to take your animals out, and even when you had your chickens in an enclosure, a wild dog could still come around and wreak havoc. Plus the weather was so unpredictable. I toiled on my field to get as much produce aka profit as I could, and one big storm could reduce the field to rubble in one night.
The Addiction of HayDay
My next farming game was a whole different kettle of fish…uhhh, chicken. Bought my first iPad in 2012 and one of the first things I did, of course, was check what kind of games the App Store had. Keeping tabs on all the new ones coming to mobile I was there on day 1 when HayDay was released. June 21, 2012, to be exact.
A different kind of farming, with more emphasis on managing the farm. And of course, it being a freemium game, emphasis on the times it took to finish things and bottlenecks in your production, enticing you to invest real money. I was always really good however at keeping my patience and my money in my pocket.
HayDay brings back all kinds of memories for me, as it is also a game to share with other players. Like a colleague of mine who played too, we helped each other by putting up boards or bolts in our market specifically for each other. Memories of waking up in the dead of night to check on my fields. And when my father died in December 2012, it was the game I turned to for mind-numbing swiping. Just to do my chores, watch the market and fulfil my requests, everything to take my mind off the real world.
It is a highly addictive game. Even now, when writing this and checking for the initial release date I am tempted to open up my game and see what new stuff Supercell has added to it since I last played. But maybe I’d better not, the game is a real-time sink!
A Closer Look at Real Farming
Since then I have played many Harvest Moon and Story of Seasons games, grabbing my attention, particularly when building and crafting tables were added. Rune Factory even combined the fun of farming with battles and magic. They all hold special memories for me. I didn’t get any real insight into farming however until I got to review Farm Tycoon.
While I still don’t exactly get my hands dirty in Farm Tycoon, I am required to try and make money to sustain the farm. I am dependent on the weather, pests intrude on my crops. My animals get sick and in winter I can’t even work in the fields. Most challenging of all is working with machines. And they are the real deal, not some surrogate icon to apply to my field and have it all magically harvested. No, I need to figure out what machines and accessories I have to use to harvest my corn. Or turn my grass into bales and try and get them to the barn.
Driving in Games…..
Thoroughly enjoying Farm Tycoon I wondered if maybe I was ready for Farm Simulator. I knew there was a series of those games and while I was in the mood, I decided to try it. So I bought myself a used copy of Farm Simulator 20 on my Switch. I knew it was a first-person game and had an emphasis on machinery. But I wasn’t prepared for how hands-on it was.
Remember how I once mentioned that I’m awful at driving in games? ( Read my adventures here) This game showed me I wasn’t ready to take my farming a step further. In real life, I can’t drive a car and trailer, but I knew that especially backing it up is a challenge I’m not prepared to take. Something about steering one way and having the trailer go another way? But in Farm Simulator one of the first things I had to do was hook up a trailer and drive it alongside a moving harvester to collect the grain coming out of the shute. All I can say is, that most of the grain landed on the field…
Aside from struggling with the machinery, the first-person view made me nauseous. I know when I’m beaten, so I think I’m going to put the game up for sales again, so maybe someone else can give it a spin!
Agree with you on farm simulator. When I got my switch a few years ago that game was one of my initial purchases. I could not get the hang of it and put it away. It turned me off of farm games until ACNH came out. I gave it a try and loved it. Since then I played stardew valley, littlewood, story of seasons mineral town and olive town. Then thanks to your review I played farm tycoon and love it. Keep up the great work. Your reviews help me find good games.
Oh wow Bob, that’s the best praise you could give us! I’m glad we haven’t steered you wrong! Thank you