PURE FARMING Techland Publishing / Ice Flames
1. My First Farm: This is the beginner's game where you have a mission to save the family farm after your grandfather has passed away and left it in considerable debt.
2. Farming Challenges: Takes place in Montana.
You have to compete "Sunny Harvest" you have 26 hours to harvest 60% wheat from 4 fields, placing 33069 lbs of wheat into the silo, before opening "Poatato Campaign", then "A Huge Drought", "Locust Attack", "A Trucker's Life" and the "Milky Way".
3. Free Farming: This is for experienced players where you own your farm and the running of it and everything to do with it is in your capable hands. You have full control.
You have only a few options as far as aesthetic looks are concerned, change the Farmer's clothes, cap, shoes (brown or black) and not much else. You do have a ZETOR FORTERRA 150HD Tractor though.
Seeing as the second and third options for games use the same basic technologies as My First Farm and so I have put all my energy and time into the first option.
MY FIRST FARM
This is like a tutorial in as much as you are told what to do and where to go in simplified manner. "Go to the barn" "Get into the Tractor" "Hook up the trailer" etc These are the type of commands you are given but the actual accomplishing of these actions isn't as easy as it sounds. I had a lot of silly fun riding the tractor around the farm, steering it with one control stick and looking where I was going (sometimes) by the right hand stick. The trigger accelerated the Tractor but it didn't make it go race-car or even compact-car fast, 21mph was the highest I got (assuming it was mph and not kph); with the trailer attached 19mph was the fastest. Attaching the trailer meant backing the tractor up to the trailer's link and then when in position using a combination of keys/buttons. To be fair the controls are easy to quickly understand, but this isn't a game about controls or dexterity, it's about the art of life as a farmer.
The commands arrive via email. You get a message saying you have a new email and then by going to the correct screen you get to read it. This seems at first like a fun way of doing things but it gets very boring very quickly. You have to open the emails and read them before you can do the task even if you can guess what the task is going to be.
To harvest the wheat I had to attach the Header Blades to the front of the larger Combine Harvester machine and steer it up, down and around the wheat field. When your hopper gets full you have to go and get the small tractor and trailer, unload the hopper into the trailer and then drive the wheat to the silo. On the farm and on the main road that runs past there are Garages where you can fuel up which you will need to do if you plan onj a lot of sight-seeing. You only have to park close to the pumps, leave your vehicle, and you fill up and pay automatically.
The farm is like a crazy maze and driving around it requires switching to the main map and then back to the vehicle to see where you are supposed to be going. I like the way that you have to swing the chute over your trailer to allow the wheat to drop in and that there are many other actions that are similarly semi-automatic, you have to activate the machinery via the controller.
Visually this is an amazing program. The farm is realistic in so many ways, the buildings, the animals and the vehicles etc and I suppose (having never worked on a farm) it is very much like the hard work of a working farm. The problem herein lies - it is supposedly a game, at the least a simulation in game format - but it quickly becomes more like a job, a chore, than a game, and that's the funny part - it then becomes addictive. It is slow, deliberate to the point of yawndom, and everything has to be done just right but no one dies, there are no guns (at least I haven't had to shoot any rabbits as yet), and there is no excitement. What you do get is to sample farm life without having to pull on your wellies and romp knee deep in horse, cow or pig manure (and you wouldn't believe how many times I had to type that word before the auto-correct finally gave in from typing s***!)
I have to admit that I keep going back to PURE FARMING even though I don't know why. There is something that says to me each time I turn on the PS4 "Why not do a little farming first?" and before I know it I am being called for Dinner or Supper and I have been lost in the beauty of the game. Yes there are tasks or jobs to complete but they never feel like you are on an imperative deadline, not even the timed missions. Farm life isn't easy but it looks idyllic and lazy and PURE FARMING truly gives the impression that you have all the time in the day, every and each day, to do your chores, you really can put aside today what you can do tomorrow, but of course when tomorrow becomes today you have a double load of laborious actions to complete.
Even though I am semi-hooked on the game I cannot in good faith recommend it unless you are thinking of going into the farming business and are looking at every possible angle. It has a retail price of around £35.00 and although you can see there is far more than that in value in the work that has gone into it I cannot guarantee you will find the same value in entertainment or enjoyment otherwise. My advice is to go to the website (click on the box picture above) and check out the scene there. Then you can make your mind up. I know that farming games are quite popular but I don't think they are flying off the Game store shelves. It's quite possible that if you wait a short while it will probably hit the lower than £10.00 price tag in Bargain Bins or online and then I would say it is worth a punt.