To this day, I regret letting my curiosity get the best of me and checking out Farming Simulator. Not because the games are bad, but because theyâ€™re weirdly habit-forming. Iâ€™ve spent/wasted so many hours in the various releases over the years and several platforms — practically doing nothing except making money to grow crops to make more money to grow more crops.
Despite the obvious graphical advantages of the console/PC versions, Iâ€™ve found that I still prefer playing on mobile. Farming Simulator 18 is the third official Farming Simulator to make itâ€™s way to mobile and, well, itâ€™s more Farming Simulator. For better or worse.
Thereâ€™s no overarching story to worry about, so if Farming Simulator 18 is your first experience with mobile farming, thatâ€™s totally fine. If youâ€™re already familiar with the series, especially on mobile, then you likely know what youâ€™re in for. Which is to say youâ€™re in for losing a staggering amount of hours to a game thatâ€™s basically just a cycle of making money to spend on more stuff to make more money to spend on more stuff. Itâ€™s that old familiar formula that I still enjoy quite a bit, despite the logical part of my brain telling me it makes no sense.
As for whatâ€™s new, you now can breed pigs and grow sunflowers. The farm is also in a new location from the previous mobile games (more on that later), and you can now buy tractors with pre-installed front loaders — great for moving hay bales or lumber. You even start the game with a front-loader tractor, which is pretty handy.
Although I have to admit, Iâ€™m disappointed that chemical sprayers are no longer in the game. I used to enjoy that added step to the crop growing process (plus watching the machinery unfold), and while itâ€™s still possible to fertilize with manure, it just isnâ€™t that same. That, and getting to the point where you can start dumping cow dung all over everything takes longer than saving up for a basic chemical sprayer did.
Back to my thoughts on the new map: Iâ€™m not a fan. I can absolutely appreciate the desire or need to change things up from game to game and offer new locations, but I kind of hate the spot weâ€™re given in Farming Simulator 18. Itâ€™s a nice picturesque canyon area at first glance, but actually trying to navigate around it is a pain. I donâ€™t like having to go out of my way in order to get to a given destination, and I find myself doing that way more often on this map than I did on the map in â€™16. Heck, even the beginning area for the farm is bottlenecked thanks to a creek running through the middle of it.
The map is by far my biggest gripe, but Farming Simulator 18 also suffers a bit from being too similar to previous titles in the series. I get that these things come out every year (or every two years for the mobile versions), but itâ€™s such a small step from the last one. It doesnâ€™t really look much different, graphically. All the familiar stuff is there, which is good, but they’ve even removed a couple things (sprayers, for example). Iâ€™m not convinced itâ€™d be worth moving to Farming Simulator 18 if youâ€™ve already got a bunch of hours sunk into the earlier games.
Farming Simulator 18 is a good game when looked at as a standalone release. Itâ€™s very mellow, but also oddly addicting. Itâ€™s satisfying to earn enough money to start upgrading to better equipment, then start earning more money faster. If youâ€™ve never played a Farming Simulator before, itâ€™s a perfectly good place to jump in. However, if youâ€™ve already spent hours upon hours growing and selling crops in earlier iterations, you might not find this to be much of an improvement.