Farming Simulator 20 Review
Reviewed on Nintendo SwitchAlso available on Android, iOS and Nintendo Switch
Developed by GIANTS Software and published by Focus Home Interactive, Farming Simulator 20 for the Nintendo Switch and mobile is the latest entry in the illustrious Farming Simulator line of games. Continuing the numbering trend, GIANTS has again tuned this even-numbered entry to a mobile release, relegating the seemingly more fully fledged releases to odd-numbered console and computer versions. Sadly, I see it as a shame that the Switch continues to not get the odd-numbered console releases like it deserves.
It does not take much playing to realize how clearly this game was geared towards mobile play. And while that is not necessarily a bad thing, if you were hoping for a strong entry to play at home, this just is not it. Graphically speaking, I found Farming Simulator 20 to be a bit all over the place. As is expected from this series, the graphical quality and details of the farming equipment was superb. Unfortunately, that is where the quality ends. The render/draw-distance seemed significantly lower than what it could have potentially been.
Even looking past the render-distance, the close up details of the crops, animals, and shadows all left little to be desired. Again, not an issue on a mobile game necessarily, but I expected more from a Switch release. Most non-mechanical things are mostly non-descript, including the menus, anonymous helpers, scenery, and buildings. I just hope you like looking at farm equipment.
The simplicity does not stop graphically. It was a bit odd that, in a farming simulator, the only things available to do involved being in/on a vehicle (and yes, horses are vehicles in essence). It would have been charming to be able to get out of the machinery and walk among the crops and livestock, which would also add the the realism that is expected in a simulation title. Even the help that can be hired to help automate tasks are only named Worker A, Worker B, and so on.
Sadly, the simplicity also applies to the help system. There is an optional tutorial in the beginning, but after teaching you how to switch vehicles, how to harvest, and where to sell your harvest, I was completely on my own except for the terribly hard to navigate help menu. I felt lost not clearly knowing what to do other than just maintain my initial fields. I eventually figured a few things out without the game's help, but this involved researching online and just a bit of dumb luck.
In all fairness, Farming Simulator 20 was my first foray into the Farming Simulator world. Perhaps game play will be a bit more approachable for veterans of the series. I have, however, played many other simulator and similar-type games to say that the enjoyment just did not seem to be present here. If I had not already heard such positive things about previous entries in the series, I would certainly have a hard time giving the franchise another chance in the future. This is the most disappointing part of Farming Simulator 20 I would say. The potential for it being a great game is there, but the polish is not, likely turning off other newcomers as it has myself.