Farm Manager 2018
Genre: Strategy / Simulation / Management
Developer: Cleversan Software
There are quite some farm simulator games out there, some are for kids and some are just relaxing fantasy games. A few are trying to be realistic. This one is more of a manager, than a farm experience. The game reminds more on a village builder, you drop farm buildings, hire employees and give them tasks, while you watch everything grow. From time to time tasks can pop up, but they are offers if they don't belong to the campaign missions. There is a campaign, scenarios and a free building mode.
There is some background knowledge needed to understand some mechanics. For example the field of an orchard needs to be at least 30 meters long to use any machine on it. Bees produce speciality honey with certain crops nearby. That one sells for a better price. While the tutorial refers to the menu buttons, the campaign explains how your job works, how plants need to be seeded, fields prepared, vehicles used, that you need to water, fertilize and plough. During the winter your workers can only use the greenhouses. There is plenty of livestock with different animals. Your staff needs to be allocated to the coops and sheds with animals to take care of them.
You need to build a house for your employees before you can hire anyone. They can have one or two attributes, that allow them to be good at certain tasks and they can also level those if you train them. Your harvest can be sold in a market screen that shows you the price tendency and allows a bit of speculation. Obviously the price will drop when you sell, so you should wait till everything is harvested. Because most products will spoil after short time, there is not really much possibility of gambling. You can also set every item to auto-sell.
I don't know where the developers picked up their agriculture knowledge, but some stuff in this game is not too realistic. I never saw a farmer water his fields during rain. Also I never saw corn regrow the following year. If you prepare a field in the autumn all your afford will be useless the next year. In our country the farmers do fertilize and plough in autumn. Also I did get once a task to harvest 9 apples in the winter. One of the rare automated functions is the auto-sell, silly, for the reason that you can loose money by using it, because some food will spoil till they sell it there, so better watch it.
The graphic is nice, the map is a bit boring and the background music with some guitar, banjo and piano is calm and a bit shallow. There is just that spark of nice decorative look missing. Too bad, because it is just a stone throw away from being brilliant. The game has permanent daytime and changing seasons. The gameplay gets pretty tedious after short while, because in the beginning there is really absolutely nothing you could automatize, except to the herdsmen. You can just almost not assign any worker to any permanent task till you upgraded your farmhouse to the 2nd level which coasts 400000 gold, this is going to take a while. Additionally some bugs did never get fixed, for example greenhouses stop sometimes working in the autum or winter. Reloading the game can help to fix it, but it is sloppy to not patch this within more than a year that they know about it. I still like the game because the production chain is very detailed.
We recommend: If you like to manage complex farms, you can buy it, it is meanwhile sometimes for about 5 euro on sale!