In Professional Farmer: Nintendo Switch Edition, it’s your mission to create and manage the most profitable farm possible, dabbling in agriculture, animal husbandry, and the trade of livestock and produce with other local businesses.
Before playing, you can complete an excruciatingly detailed tutorial, which takes you through all of the gameplay basics and controls. This includes information about the various stations and features of your farm, how to prepare fields for cultivation, how to raise animals, and how to use the various tools; just bear in mind that there’s no option to resume or to revisit particular sections, so you’re best off completing it all at once.
Upon starting the game on its default difficulty (which can be lessened or ramped up as necessary), you’re blessed with an eye-watering sum of £250,000 to invest into your farm and its produce. You can kick-start your career however you wish – delving into the world of rearing crops, or of raising animals – though if you’re following the tutorial, purchasing your first field is a wise place to start.
The handy menu provides a concise overview of your farm’s daily wants and needs. You can monitor your fields and animals, manage your vehicles and tools, and – most importantly – fast-travel around the map, a constant necessity to properly maintain your farm.
The many issues of Professional Farmer on Switch are soon exposed, however. In addition to poor graphics and monotonous, uninspiring music on repeat – music not suited to a game of this nature whatsoever – you contend with immersion-breaking technical issues, such as slow environment rendering, FPS drops, awkward hitboxes and inexplicably long loading times.
Various limitations exacerbate an already frustrating gameplay experience for players. As one example, the various tractor tools and attachments can be rendered completely unusable if detached in the wrong place, requiring that you reset them back to your farm to be able to use them again. Additionally, the seemingly free-roam map is proven misleading, with various structures – especially tunnels – not functioning as expected after watching NPC pedestrians and cars demonstrating their use without a hitch. To be clear: they’re all fake.
The convolution and pedantry of Professional Farmer is its greatest flaw. Its level of realistic detail unavoidably detracts from players’ enjoyment, forcing them to painstakingly execute various farming processes. One field alone needs ploughing, grubbing, fertilising and seeding; then, you must cultivate, harvest and finally market your produce. With complicated dual-button inputs for most tools, and constant, tiresome treks backwards and forwards from field to farm, the game is not designed with player satisfaction in mind.
If you dream of running your own farm and living off the land, or if you’re just an obsessive micro-manager, this game may have something for you. On the whole, though, Professional Farmer: Nintendo Switch Edition is not worth your investment; too many other titles out there do this sort of thing much better.
Professional Farmer: Nintendo Switch Edition £35.99
Professional Farmer: Nintendo Switch Edition is a painfully realistic farming sim, with a lot on offer for hardcore micro-managers. Exceptionally flawed technically, this is as bland and repetitive as a game can get, and it isn’t recommended.