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Farming Manager (PC DVD)
- Invest in new equipment and property to expand your farm
- Keep a constant eye on your revenues and expenditure
- Expand your farm with a variety of different buildings
- Renovate and expand your own house
- Adapt to the seasons and manage your fields optimally considering soil quality, meteorological effects and pest and mold infestations
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In Farming Manager your recently deceased grandfather leaves you his ramshackle old farm and it's up to you to whip it back into shape. Take on the challenge and follow in your grandpa's footsteps.
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When I was able to play it I found it the narrative entertaining enough (3/5) although playablity is a little repetitive and clunky. IMO it would greatly benefit from having a combined sales/stock section and less tedious machine maintenence (a list of repairs like the cow-shed) and less tedious cow-shed maintenence (a multiple breeding season rather than individually having to monitor 32 cows + young and embryos shouldn't take up as much room as calves).
I suggest looking at different farming titles if you're into this kind of thing.
Installation went well. The graphics looked pretty impressive and definitely captured an air of rustic charm - you can almost smell the manure! The menus were well laid-out and intuitive and I even quite warmed to the jovial old Welsh boyo, who fills in the back story and takes you through the initial stages.
When though he started nagging at me to build some worker accommodation, when I'd already built it, I got the first tiny inkling that this game hadn't been properly system tested before release. No matter though. I persevered with employing my workers, buying a tractor, plough and some livestock. I even managed to do some milking and the first few Euros started trickling in when ... "Exception... NullReference" error message popped up and the game terminated.
As an experienced software tester myself, I think it's a crying shame that a product that clearly a lot of development time has gone into is released without proper system testing and debugging. I'll give it another go and save my progress frequently to see if I can access the later levels of this game, but I'm not that optimistic, given the bugs I've already found.
If Excalibur would like the services of an expert-level system tester, please get in touch!
**** Update ****
Just had a look on the Excalibur web site and looks like a patch is available for Farming Manager. Will install it later, restart my game and see it it makes any difference. Watch this space.
**** Update ****
Even with the patch installed, the game still crashes, albeit not as frequently. Shame, as there are some nice touches here - like the satisfaction you get from watching your crops grow and a few chuckles at the expense of the excesses of EU bureaucracy, but I'm not sure how much time it's worth spending on this clearly unfinished/untested product.
The game is very pretty to look at. The graphics are crisp (when zoomed in you can become immersed in the tranquil countryside setting). A stream bubbles, there is a church nearby and a caravan. And the weather (and seasons) are authentic feeling.
The gameplay is simple enough to get to grips with (20 mins in tutorial/quirky Welsh uncle mode), yet complex enough to mean you'll enjoy playing it. It's far more fun to play at a slow pace, building everything cautiously and keeping an eye on the bank balance than it is to wade in with lots of money in the bank (which is an option in the free form game). There isn't that much really to buy (a basic and advanced version of each machine), so if you just go ahead and purchase the best stuff your enjoyment will be very short-lived!
Personally, I enjoyed "running" (rather than expanding) the farm (though if you run it well you will be able to expand slowly also). Playing the game in high-speed mode isn't a very rewarding experience. You simply end up constantly assigning people (usually the field worker) to jobs, and it can become frustrating after a while. I far preferred playing it slowly and appreciated the time to keep track of everything (the condition of equipment and cows, crop planning, checking on the workers etc and thinking of possible expansions and budgeting).
It isn't, like I say, a high speed experience, but it is something you'll enjoy quite a lot from time to time. A very peaceful experience :)
If you click on an item within the garage where your tractor etc. is kept - the game closes down. If you save a game and re-open it, you suddenly get the introductory tutorial playing albeit you are far advanced in the game.
I really think the game is of little value and playability when the overall finish is tarnished with these basic development errors. I have tried playing it for the last three evenings and I really feel I have been robbed of my money.
I think it is also worth mentioning the overall game is very one dimensional. Just cows and some limited crops are all on offer. Maybe I am doing it a dis-service, maybe there is more to it the further you go through - but I want a bit more variety.........chickens, pigs, sheep grazing in the fields, organic crops, maybe some strange crops that need workers to go in and pick them by hand. All you do is point a tractor at a field and job done.
I really just think the developers have done a very average job, probably rushed it and left lots of bugs in the game to make it unplayable and tried to make a quick buck.
Not only would I not buy this game again, I would not buy anything from this software house - very poor, very disappointing, very limiting. You can get for in-depth games free online...........
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It is very reminiscent of a free mobile/tablet game.Read more
Excalibur's Farming Manager is a farming simulation game for the PC in which you inherit a ramshackled farm.Read more