Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2
Graphics / Sound Rating:
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[Need some help getting your farm running? Check out our Farming Simulator 2016 beginner’s guide.]
It wasn’t until recently that I managed to dip a toe into the Farming Simulator waters - the Playstation 4 version of Farming Simulator 2015, specifically - but pretty much as soon as I did I could tell why it was such a beloved (and obviously niche) series. The bug bit me pretty hard, to the point where I was pretty excited to check out Farming Simulator 2016 for iOS.
You begin the game with a couple of fields (one ready to harvest and another ready to sow), a harvester, a tractor, a few important tools to attach to that tractor, and a little bit of money. It’s up to you to turn all of that into a sprawling farm with over a dozen fields, multiple vehicles, and a somewhat ridiculous profit margin. It basically boils down to collecting crops, planting new crops, and selling crops to buy better stuff.
The thing about Farming Simulator 2016 is, it’s not exciting. It’s not thrilling. But it is interesting and habit-forming. Like most simulators for anything mundane it’s basically virtual busywork - but it’s rewarding all the same once you’re able to save up for a new piece of equipment or finally upgrading to a better harvester.
I also have to admit I actually really like some of the ways they’ve streamlined the game for mobile. Much of what was present in the console and PC versions is here, but a lot of small additions (or subtractions) made it even more enjoyable. Things like simplified touch controls (which work very well, might I add), the ability to have hired hands haul goods and refuel vehicles in addition to their regular routine of working the fields, a smaller map that makes for a lot less time spent mindlessly (and agonizingly slowly) driving to specific locations, and the ability to issue simple orders to assistant-controlled vehicles directly from the map screen. It might sound blasphemous but I honestly think I prefer this version over what we have on the PS4. I mean it’s definitely not as pretty, but it’s not bad looking, either.
Farming Simulator 2016 won’t win over anybody who never enjoyed the other games, but I think fans will really enjoy having such a well-rounded version in a more portable form. And anybody who hasn’t tried it can give it a shot for a very reasonable price - and then deal with the withdrawal symptoms.