Farm Manager 2018 Review

Farm Manager 2018 rewards patience. If you lack patience, you will want to take a hard pass. I loved Farm Manager 2018 at first, but by the time I reached 350 hours played, I was tired of it.

Game modes: There is the campaign, 14 other scenarios, and free mode. Supposedly free mode has an easy, medium, and hard mode. However, I could not figure out the difference; though it might be because you receive more grants on easy mode and fewer as you get to hard mode.

When I went back to double-check whether the initial campaign was for an uncle or a father, I found that I had unlocked three new crops: watermelon, soya, and onion (apparently by completing the main campaign the first time). I was not alerted to the new content, so I had no idea to look for it when I finished up the first time.

The campaign calls for rebuilding your father’s farm after a devastating hurricane. It is not to be confused with the first scenario called “Not All Is Lost,” which aims to save the farm from bankruptcy. The scenario requires much less game time to complete, with fewer training courses necessary.

The main campaign and almost every scenario involve training classes. You must take training classes to advance your farm. In order to qualify for loans, you need to take a course called “Practical training in negotiation skills.” Then there is “Training in Banking I” before you can open even a small loan. Unlocking the larger pens for animals and some of the other content requires a one-year training course.

The graphics are incredibly detailed. The game even has deer wandering the farm. You can see employees holding tools, manure sacks, or containers to deliver to storage. You will want to make certain your resolution is set for your screen, otherwise you can have a difficult time telling the skill level of employees.

Speaking of employees, there are two types: permanent and seasonal. Employees have different skills: plants, orchards, manufacturing, machinery, care of animals, beekeeping, and strength. You can train permanent workers to have a max skill level of five. The seasonal workers cannot be trained.

The creators tried to have diversity with the employees, but they could have done better. Names sound as if they came from all over the world, but the characters do not look it. Farm Manager 2018 has four physical employee models: female with pale skin, female with olive-toned skin, male with pale skin, and male with olive-toned skin. None of the employees have red hair. A few of the employees have gray hair.

I enjoyed the music and sound. The music had instrumental themes or sections: a jangly banjo, a haunting guitar (much like the intro to Twin Peaks), and a piano section. There were layers of sound with different effects such as the buzzing of bees and twittering of birds.

One of the nicer inclusions is if you drag your mouse to the edge of your screen, your view of the farm moves in that direction. Once I got used to it, I found myself trying to do so in other games. Otherwise, the game controls seem standard.

The main difficulty lies in being patient with growing your farm. You can outgrow your revenue stream and not be able to catch back up without major shedding of buildings, employees, and machinery. I had to restart the initial campaign five times in order to have that balance of income versus debt.

Farm Manager 2018 is incredibly realistic. I have not researched growing times, but nearly everything seems to line up with reality. The main exception being what can be grown in hardiness zones and temperate areas. I find it unlikely that you would be growing potatoes, pumpkins, red peppers, cabbage, watermelon, and tomatoes alongside each other. Tomatoes and potatoes do best in hardiness zone one. Pumpkins grow in zone four. Red peppers do best in zone seven. Watermelon do well in zone eight. Cabbage grows in zones nine and 11. A few plants can be grown in the greenhouse: pumpkin, watermelon, potato, tomato, red pepper, cabbage, cucumber, and strawberry. The game even includes market fluctuations for buying and selling of produce.

There are a few problems or glitchy areas. If you try to relocate an employee but all of your employee housing is full, then you will lose the employee. Occasionally you will be so busy that the messages will not be able to keep up. You get alerts if your field has fungus, insects, or weeds. You also receive alerts if your field is ready to harvest and if your animals are sick, low on food, or ready to breed. I was unable to clear icon reminders by the season wheel in the upper right corner, and it would have been nice to have control of that feature. You can have a ton of breeding hearts, insects, and other messages that lead you to miss when fields need harvested.

I was allowed to purchase irrigation, when a task required building a well and making your employees water that specific crop in that specific field by hand. I had to restart the task from scratch in order to fulfil the requirement. It would have been better if the game had not permitted me to purchase field irrigation until this particular task was complete.

One of the tasks is to plant apple trees on the field, but you are not told what size the field must be. The 0.07 hectare field was not large enough to fulfil the requirement, but the 0.101 hectare field (which was large enough) could be plowed by machinery. Field dimensions can be tricky if you want a small field but one big enough to use machinery on. A 20X20 field will be too small for machinery, but a 40X10 field will be fine. Neither the Lili plow or the Rodon plow were for sale yet, and a field of 0.101 hectares requires a lot of employee labor and time that could be more easily done with machinery.

If you build too many greenhouses at once – the last one can glitch and never finish being built. You then have to save your game, exit, and continue in order for the greenhouse to finish building.

The game occasionally has weird grammar. “By the way, remember to repair of [sic] the cowshed, because your cows will escape through these holes in the fence.”

There is a lot to like about this game, but the training classes begin to be onerously repetitive by the time you have finished the first campaign and a few scenarios that require the year-long course. While I did enjoy it at first, I cannot imagine wanting to replay this game ever again. I had plenty of play time completing all the scenarios and getting the achievements unlocked.

REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to editor@bonusstage.co.uk.

Subscribe to our mailing list

Get the latest game reviews, news, features, and more straight to your inbox

Thank you for subscribing to Bonus Stage.

Something went wrong.

Farm Manager 2018 Review
  • Gameplay - 5/10
    5/10
  • Graphics - 5/10
    5/10
  • Sound - 5/10
    5/10
  • Replay Value - 5/10
    5/10
Overall
5/10

Summary

Farm Manager 2018 rewards patience. If you lack patience, you will want to take a hard pass. I loved Farm Manager 2018 at first, but by the time I reached 350 hours played, I was tired of it.