• FrankieW

Game Review #499: Farming Simulator 20 (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewer: FrankieW

Developer: Giants Software

Publisher: Focus Home Interactive

Category: Simulator, Farming

Release Date: 12.3.2019

Price: $44.99



Watch the Trailer


Buy Farming Simulator 20 digitally from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

Buy Farming Simulator 20 physically from Amazon here.

Plowing the Fields

They say everyone has a game out there for them, and the last decade has had a huge resurgence in “simulator” games, some serious, some completely tongue in cheek—hehe… Talking Simulator comes to mine with the tongue joke—and one of the games blazing the trail for roughly a decade is the Farming Simulator franchise, which gets very regular releases.

Surprising no one, in Farming Simulator, the game has plenty of “game” elements, but it is more focused on trying to make things feel real and accurate—more than your average game, at least. You will plant crops, expand your fields, plant crops, tend to, and finally, harvest them. You get money and upgrade your equipment, or diversify and pick up new crops, more fields, or even more options.


There is definitely a line of progression you can follow from after the game plops you down and hits you with a tutorial; and boy, does it plop you down and just kind of let you go figure it out on your own! As someone with zero experience in this series, I felt a little bit at a loss of what to do after the tutorial is like: “HERE'S HOW YOU DRIVE, HERE'S HOW TO SWITCH VEHICLES, AND HERE'S WHAT THEY DO… OK HAVE FUN.” I ended up figuring it out after doing a bunch of reading, which is available in-game, but it didn’t feel very intuitive or natural to find it, and that's always a little frustrating.

Streamlined and Simplified

So, doing some research on this game after playing a little—and feeling like it was a little bit more complex of an experience looking from the outside in—I found out that Farming Simulator 20 is optimized for mobile play. They really simplified a lot of things in the quest to make this a mobile-friendly game, so people who have experience in the series might love what they have done, but it seems a little backwards-moving to me. The game actually does have touch controls if you want to use them, in the form of buttons on the screen you can press in handheld mode.



Audio/Video

The game doesn’t really look any better when docked, and it seems it is optimized for handheld play with the simplified controls, automation, and just generally simplified or streamlined processes. The game looks fine; you aren’t going to be completely wowed by the graphics at any point, but things aren’t butt ugly or anything, and everything is visually distinct. Sounds are going to be a whole lot of engine sounds, mixed with some moderate music that occasionally hits a nice vibe while you are out working the field. Again, nothing special, but it certainly suffices and doesn’t offend, which is more than I can say for some of the games I’ve played! Even with the streamlining, I could see how someone could enjoy this game, especially since everyone is inside as of the time of writing!


Wrapping Up

This is one of those situations where I have to look at a game beyond what I enjoy, and look at it like someone for whom the game is intended. I know I have zero desire to simulate the entire farming process, but people who love deep sims, setting up a good system made up of individual parts all working together to form something cohesive and working, or maybe even just someone who grew up on a farm, and moved away from that life for a little less sweaty nostalgia might find a lot to love in this title! If these are the kinds of things that interest you, and you are looking for a little bit of a more streamlined experience compared to earlier titles (Such as Farming Simulator 17, the first one on the Switch) then Farming Simulator 20 might just be for you! I give this game a 7 out of 10!

Score: 7/10

Buy Farming Simulator 20 digitally from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

Buy Farming Simulator 20 physically from Amazon here.

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*A game code was provided for review purposes

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