Farming Simulator 2013 for Mac is an accurate but rather boring game where you have to run a profitable farm. Farming Simulator 2013 was first released on Windows but its taken several months to be released on Mac. It's surprisingly popular amongst budding farmers although for those without an interest in farming, its hard to see the appeal.
The setting is a German farm set in the beautiful Bavarian countryside. Your overall goal is to make money from your farm and pay back your bank loan. When you start the game, its almost essential to do the the tutorials because otherwise you won't have a clue what to do. There are 11 to choose from, the first being ploughing which is hard enough.
The hardest thing to begin with is working out the controls (W = accelerate, SHIFT = start engine, E = Jump out/in, S = reverse, A = left, D = right). You also need to press "Q" to attach the tractor the plough and "V" to lower it although once connected, the keyboard instructions for the plough are displayed at the top of the screen. It's very hard to plough up and down in straight lines but you basically have to cover the entire field until the Tutorial reaches 100% complete. The problem is if you go over a certain speed, the plough detaches and reattaching is about as thrilling as watching paint dry.
It's generally very boring stuff and doesn't really make you feel like trying the other tutorials. To brighten things up, I ended up driving out of the farm and taking the tractor on a suicide mission along the main road and crashing into what looked like an old Skoda. The tractor was beached on top of the Skoda and the game was over but for a few minutes at least, I felt alive.
If you start in Career mode then good luck to you because you're basically on your own and it's impossible to know what to do if you haven't completed the tutorials. There's also a multiplayer mode where you can team-up with wannabe farmers from other countries. However, we found that connecting to any of these servers wasn't easy.
The graphics in Farming Simulator 2013 are more functional than realistic - vehicles only leave a mark on the ground when you are ploughing etc and the farming equipment, from real manufacturers like Case IH, Deutz-Fahr, Lamborghini, Same, Horsch and Amazone, are as slow as you would expect but still don't feel realistic. You can crash your tractor into a barn without damaging it for example and the environment in general still feels stale. For a realistic simulator about farming, a more dynamic environment would be much more suitable. The sound effects and ambient noise are fairly realistic however.
As it stands, work in Farming Simulator 2013 is pretty dull although educational for kids or just those interested in the realities of running a farm.
Farming Simulator 2013 isn't a massive improvement for the series. The graphics still look out dated, and the overall experience is lacking character. If you enjoyed previous entries, you'll like this, but it doesn't offer much for anyone else.
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