I have always cultivated a passion for video games in which it is necessary to manage a farm: Harvest Moon, then Story of Seasons, are my daily bread. So I decided to broaden my horizons and embark on a wider challenge, dedicating myself to Farming Simulator 20, coming to Nintendo Switch. Beautiful farms, animals to grow, and all available on a console that allows you to play anywhere: what can go wrong? I was firmly convinced that the title was not so much more complex than those I was used to, and that I would dominate it in no time. Ah, how wrong I was!

Farming Simulator 20 opens the dances with an initial tutorial, which aims to make novice players understand the basic mechanics. I find it a great idea: the first impact with such a title can be frankly frightening, and indeed it is perhaps this psychological block that prevents many of us from approaching the series. Such a sophisticated and complex simulator inspires fear, since it necessarily requires hours and hours of commitment to learn its secrets. The tutorial puts us at the helm of three different vehicles, teaching us the basics of the cultivation of fields: first of all gather the crops ready with the mower, a nice little car that is essential for our work. Later he teaches us to plow and sow the fields with the corresponding machines, and lets us understand how to entrust these jobs to some helpers: a real life-saver. Never as in Farming Simulator 2020 have I loved to delegate jobs to others: it is absolutely impossible to be able to devote yourself to all activities, so it is vitally important to get help. And it doesn't even cost that much.

The final part of the tutorial taught us to load the crop on a trailer and sell it at the corresponding warehouse, to collect our deserved profit. And ended up here. But how - I asked myself - is that all I need to learn to play? Obviously not, there is a lot of other information that needs to be acquired to continue, but in this Farming Simulator 20 leaves us free enough, providing us only with a help section that covers the various game sections, dedicating in truth a few lines to any mechanics. I cannot therefore deny that at the beginning I really felt so lost, and this almost made me want to commit myself. Almost: the great freedom available to the player has exercised its charm on me.

What can therefore be done in Farming Simulator 20? Of everything, every element that is necessary to manage a real farm. It is important that the player understands what the great realism of the title means, or the obligation to carry out every little action that is part of the great chain of the farmer's work. If you just want to click on the field to water it or harvest it, you're really off the track. The title, however, also comes a little bit together, making the player start with all the necessities to enjoy life a little: fields, money and basic vehicles. My first decision as a skilled farmer was to get me animals, because let's face it: they are definitely nicer and more fun than an oat field. In addition to the classic sheep and pigs, Farming Simulator 20 introduces horses, which we can also ride around the map, like new Zorro. Beautiful, no doubt, but they have always made me a little afraid. In any case, animals are extremely convenient, since it is enough to feed them and keep them sufficiently clean to be able to obtain materials and reproduce them.

It cannot be said that I am a fan of beautiful cars, but even on me a luxury vehicle exerts a certain charm. But I would never have thought of getting excited about a tractor, but Farming Simulator 20 gets you a bit into the collector's perspective: just beautiful, chrome and colored and I want them all. Driving vehicles is such a significant portion of the title that the choice of the machine actually takes on its relevance. In this game the John Deere machines were introduced, which apparently is the most relevant brand in the world. I had no idea, but being able to buy more 100 different vehicles actually makes your head spin. The guide, however, remains quite cumbersome, and it happened to me again and again to find myself upside down in some ditch. I hope to be assured.

Having to talk about the limits of Farming Simulator 20, I think that the obstacle is the amount of content. Its complexity and extreme longevity can actually be a problem for a novice, especially given how niche the genre is. It is the classic game that you love or hate, but I would like it to be clear that I think it may surprise even those who are convinced that they are immune to its charm: you cannot know in advance whether we will like it or not, in short. This is because the satisfaction of the hard (very hard) work done is really great: the more we struggle the more we are happy with the results. The merits of the title are obvious, as it offers an almost endless amount of activity to keep up, resulting in one of the most long-lived games in existence: if you were to carry only one Nintendo Switch cartridge on a desert island, this would surely be one of the contenders.

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