07-23-2013 11:00 AM
I just picked up this game on a whim the other day, and am finding it to have been oddly worth the $10 price of admission.
I say oddly, because, while the premise of the game is extremely simple, the actual gameplay is oddly addictive.
It's part driving sim (albeit farm tractors instead of the latest in sports cars found in 'true' driving sims), part Farmville (there are no animals to concern yourself with, but your crops will die if you ignore them too long), and part business sim (there is a rather simple, yet addictive, economy system in place).
Unlike Farmville, your farm is hosted locally on your PS Vita. When you shut off the game, you basically suspend time for your farm (you do not need to worry about your crops dying because you don't check in in time).
You start out with a single, basic tractor, a grain trailer, a combine harvester (for Wheat and Canola crops), a small cultivator and a small seeder. You do start out with a small amount of crop in your farm's silos, but it is basically only enough to get you started. You will still need to cultivate, plant and harvest a number of fields to really be able to get your toes wet with the economic system of the game.
You start with three fields. One is (nearly) ready to harvest, one is ready to be sown and one that needs to be culitvated (and then sown). You also start with 25,000 coins, which is not enough to buy anything with (that you don't already own), but this will soon change.
Your income consists of selling your crops at one of four selling points around the town. You will receive pop-up messages semi-regularly when one of the selling points is offering a 'great price' on one of your crops. This price is usually between 1.5 and 1.8 times the base price of the indicated crop. As already stated, you start with a small amount of each crop (Wheat, Canola and Corn). While you can seed all three crops from the get-go, you can only harvest wheat and canola with the basic equipment you are provided. Do not plant corn until after you have earned enough coins to buy either of the corn-capable Harvesters. The chopper produces Chaff (a fourth type of crop, which can only be sold at one of the selling points), costs 260,000 coins, while the Corn Harvester (which can only harvest Corn) costs 370,000 coins. Needless to say, it will be a while before you can harvest corn.
Early on, your income can be supplemented by random missions that pop up. These missions are comprised of finding lost items for your AI 'neighbors'. Your mini-map will point you in the direction of the lost item, and you 'find' it by simply driving over it with your tractor. Each completed mission awards you with 20,000 coins. As you progress through the game, these 'supplementary missions' become less frequent.
The first thing you will want to purchase will be the larger of the two waterers (watering your crops is optional, but nearly doubles the harvest per field). As your money allows, you can trade in your small seeder and cultivator and purchase the larger ones (when you sell a piece of equipment, you get 75% of the purchase price back). Obviously, the ultimate early goal is to earn enough money for the big Corn harvester, and possibly the larger of the two tractors (I would keep the smaller one, so you can do two jobs at once - you can always 'hire a worker', which is basically just auto-driving your tractor for cultivating, sowing and watering your fields. You can also 'hire a worker' for harvests. Selling your crops, picking up purchases at the store and completing neighbor missions is completely manual.
Early on, it is slow going and can feel like a grind, but eventually, you adopt a pattern and things start to go a little smoother.
Definitely a different way to blow a couple of hours at a time.