Ever wonder where you farm to table foods come from? Well, Real Farm gives you a good look into the daily life of your average American farmer. You control all aspects of a farmer’s job, from buying and selling land; managing equipment; caring for livestock; plowing the fields; and finally, sowing and harvesting your crops. You then have to take all of your harvested crops to the market to sell and learn whether to sell off your hard-earned stock at once or hang on to it a bit longer. Real Farm does contain a lot of good stuff but also has some really bad parts for a farming simulation style game.
The overall game objective is to plow fields, plant the crops and then harvest them. You also have the option to spread manure or fertilizer as they grow for increased yields. After harvesting, you load the crops into trailers so you can either store it or take to the market. You can check on the prices of crops in the market menu and decide what crops to sell. The market is based on a supply and demand style where if you sell a lot of corn the price of corn will drop, then the price of the other crops will rise. With that money, you can buy new equipment or buy more land to farm. There is also the option to buy livestock such as cows, chickens, sheep, and pigs. Along with your main farming complex, you have all of the icons that allow you to refill sowing machines, fertilizer, water, and fuel. There are also spots to wash off your vehicles (has no benefits other than a clean vehicle). There is also a silo where you can store your crops and bide your time until the prices get higher. Placed on the map are other farms and job boards. On these job boards, there are various postings for small tasks such as plowing another farmer’s field for some extra money: this is great for when you are waiting for your own crops to grow.
The main draw of these style farming games is getting to use all of the different equipment and expanding your farm. The marketplace for buying and selling gives you tons of options of tools to complete the job correctly. They have a vast variety of tractors and harvesters from smaller models appropriate for when you're just starting out, to big huge commercial harvesters for when you have a lot more acres to cover. The same goes for all of the plows, cultivators and sowing machines, from smaller to larger size ones. There are also a variety of trailers and attachments such as tanks, spreaders, balers, or weights. You even have the option of buying a pickup truck. There are no real-life brand name tractors and attachments. An annoying limitation that I ran into is transporting grain to market: it’s done only with tippers and no semi or pickup truck trailers, which are faster at moving around the map. This is something that a lot of other games have and which is actually common practice on farms. Your equipment also depreciates in value the more hours it has on it which is an interesting concept because that happens to farmers in real life.
The overall gameplay for Real Farm is piss-poor. The controls for the equipment feel so blocky and clunky. The steering for the tractors and even the pickup truck feels like 20 degrees it's so hard to spin your tractor around to go for another pass. Not sure if it's my controller but the tractors never run straight so you have to steer straight to keep your passes even. There is a very limited amount of attachments, with no authentic brands of equipment. The pop-up tool menus for your equipment are hard to use and is limited. They do allow you to put on hazard lights or turn signals, which is the first time I've seen this feature in a console farming game. One thing that I really do like is when you look at a field on the map or when you're physically at the field it shows you stats as far as the soil conditions with the amount that has been plowed, moisture, nutrition, and insect infestation. This is helpful for determining what crops or what to plan there. Real farm doesn't have the option to hire works to complete tasks for you while you do other task so basically you have to do everything.
Overall, Real Farm had a lot of potential for being a good simulator style game but the clunky machinery really killed it for me. The lack of specialty equipment hurts it as well. It does contain some good qualities that are not seen in other games which help you make decisions, such as the crop stats, or the small things, like being able to use turn signals and clean your vehicles. No multiplayer makes this game very boring when you have to complete all the tasks on your own.
*Note: A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of the review.
Final Score: 4/10
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