Farming Simulator 18 review for PS Vita

Platform: PS Vita
Also On: Nintendo 3DS
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Developer: GIANTS Software
Medium: Digital/Vita Card/Cartridge
Players: 1
Online: No

I’ve always had a soft spot for Farming Simulator games. While I can’t speak to the console versions, on Vita I’ve always found them to be delightfully zen. It’s easy to get into a pleasant rhythm of planting-harvesting-selling-repeat, to the point that you can look up at suddenly discover you’ve spent the better part of an afternoon playing pretend farmer.

In a broad sense, Farming Simulator 18 continues this tradition. You’re still balancing a variety of crops, you still have the option of raising animals as well, and you still have to manage a fleet of farm vehicles. There are additions here and there — this time out you can plant sunflowers and raise pigs! — but, as I said, from a 30,000-foot perspective, this is roughly the same game as the previous handheld editions.

That said, Farming Simulator 18 feels a little different to me. Each successive handheld version has gradually made the world just a bit bigger, to the point that, this time out, it almost feels a little overwhelming to just jump in and start farming again. Luckily, you can hire labourers to take on the grunt work of, well, farming, but that almost feels like cheating, and it certainly takes away some of the zen-ness.

At the same time, however, expanding the world means that Farming Simulator is gradually feeling a little more complete. I still remember how empty the map was for the first Farming Simulator Vita game, so to see this one include a full-on town, complete with buildings that have nothing to do with farming or agriculture, is a sign of how far it’s come.

And really, when you get right down to it, the core of Farming Simulator remains intact. Farming Simulator still allows you to get in a nice, zen groove — you just need to look a little harder for it this time.

Grade: B-