Have you ever wanted to run your own farm? Here is your chance in the new game Virtual Farm. Till your fields and plant your crops to see if you can turn a run down farm into a prosperous business in this cute simulation game.
You play as an old farmer who has inherited a farm in dire need of your help. The only successful crop growing on the farm is grass. A green thumb, a healthy dose of patience and a keen eye on the market will help you to turn the grass into profits and thereby expand your crops to include new vegetables, fruits and flowers. As you earn money, you can purchase additional plots for more crops, up to a total of 60 beds.
Although you have to start small and be content growing grass and tomatoes to sell, eventually you’ll earn enough dough to really get things moving! New farm equipment will be available for purchase. Get a new tiller to help fertilize the ground, upgrade your harvester to help you get those crops to market faster, build a larger storage center to keep goods on hand until their demand is high and even trade in your watering can for a far-reaching hose. Who could ask for more?
But there is more! Not only can you grow a wide variety of crops but you can also build support structures to turn your produce into other goods. Take all of that boring grass and feed it to your cows. They’ll produce milk which can be sold for a lot more than the grass. You can even purchase a churn and turn the milk into fresh butter.
Other produce can be used with different buildings as well. Cucumbers can be fed to the sheep that will produce wool. Sell the wool as it is or purchase a spinnery and weave the wool into fine textiles. Have a lot of tomatoes on hand? Great! Build another pen and feed the tomatoes to your pigs. You’ll be able to sell meat at the market for a huge profit. More support buildings will become available as you progress through the game, constantly increasing the potential earnings of the farm.
Locals will contact you and ask for specific harvests. Sign contracts with them and deliver the goods on time for the biggest profits. Fail to deliver in a timely manner will result in the loss of your cash deposit on the contract, which could spell certain doom for your farm.
Another aspect of the game that can make or break your farm is the market demand feature. Every few minutes, the demand for various products will change at the market. If you keep an eye on these demand levels, you can charge exorbitant prices for any of your products when the demand is very high. This can give you a much needed cash boost now and then. Just be sure to reset your prices lower when the demand goes down, or you’ll end up with stockpiles of product that just won’t sell.
I found the game remarkably similar to Alice Greenfingers in many ways, though without the high level of customization for your farm. The overall premise is the same – plant stuff, harvest stuff, sell stuff, make money, buy stuff, wash, rinse, repeat. And, as with Alice Greenfingers, toward the end of the game, the tediousness set in. Endless harvesting of plants as quickly as possible over and over and over again, just to keep up.
One other frustrating aspect of Virtual Farm is that although there are a lot of different production buildings you can purchase, there doesn’t seem to be a way to fit all of them into the lot at one time. I could be missing something, but I wasn’t able to have all of them going at once. This became a big problem as the tasks later on call for a wide variety of products and I had to demolish certain buildings to make room for others and then switch them back later on, at great cost.
All in all, this is a very cute game, with no real ending. You can continue to work your farm indefinitely it seems although once you’ve purchased all of the upgrades, there isn’t much else to do aside from sell the produce. If you enjoy farm and growing sims like Alice Greenfingers, then you’ll probably get a kick out of Virtual Farm. It’s at least worth downloading the demo.