|System: PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Maxizz||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Electronic Parts||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Pending||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
April 1, 2008 - Sask Farming Sim is the latest in the simulation/empire building games due out this Fall. It purports to deal with the day-to-day farming activity of Saskatchewan farmers in a gritty, realistic simulation.
The game is not without its controversy and has some farmers up in arms, claiming the game besmirches their reputation and makes them out to look foolish. Spokesman for the Saskatchewan company that created the game, Peter Yaninitsky says that since all of the developers are from Saskatchewan they feel that they are entitled to some good-natured ribbing.
"Almost all of the developers working on this project come from agricultural backgrounds. We don't hold it against them. Hey, these kids know how to read and how to fix their VCRs and digital alarm clocks from flashing 12:00 after a power failure," says Yaninitsky. "But we really don't expect a lot of complaints from Saskatchewan farmers since most of them don't know how to read or write anyway," he adds.
At the start of the game, the player will receive his standard grade-six education, a pack of smokes, and a plot of land. From there he will continue to receive his education about the agriculture industry at the local coffee shop. Here he will learn the best places to purchase equipment, in addition to a variety of life skills, observations, and other bits of information culled from guys who will threaten violence when contradicted. In an introductory "How to" tutorial he will be taught the following: How to hate strangers; how to develop an authentic "old country" accent; how to curl; how to complain about everything all the time; how to talk at length about plywood and the weather; how to get away with owning just one suit for all occasions; and how to make homebrew so potent you could run your tractor with it.
For recreation, your Sask Farmer character will head into town for an evening of drinking, and hopefully, womanizing. You can increase the quality of the women he will meet by cleaning the animal feces from his shoes and having him change his dirty plaid work shirt to a less dirty plaid work shirt. Extra points will be awarded if you brush the garlic residue off his teeth, and change his CAT baseball cap to the AC/DC one. Baseball caps are a precious time saver, cutting down on hair maintenance. For a night on the town, make sure he's wearing his multi-colored snowmobile jacket, the one with the checkered racing pattern, because every girls' crazy 'bout a sharp dressed man - that owns a snowmobile.
Don't worry about money; every year the government will subsidize your venture because they can't stand to listen to you complain about everything from the fast-talking salesman who uses big words to the mites that infest your oats. They understand that it's not like you're running a real business. That would require things like education and accountability. Hey, you're just throwing seeds into the ground and hoping they grow in a row. Growing stuff is so easy that it's been happening naturally for millions of years, so don't worry about it. The government knows that it's best to keep you occupied with something to do, and to keep you away from the general public at large. So stay the hell away from the city where you don't belong and just enjoy the free money.
It's best to put it toward things that you'll really need like a big screen plasma TV with surround sound and a snowmobile. If you don't produce anything, who cares? You'll still get money to try to do better next year. It's not like anyone eats your stuff. The government buys all of its produce from Russia and China. It's cheaper and better. When was the last time you heard of a mad cow coming out of Asia?
Sask Farm Sim also includes two playable characters: Jackie Gleason and Darth Vader. These characters have been included for no apparent reason. Both characters wander around the wheat fields, and like most tourists, wonder what they hell they are doing in Saskatchewan. Darth Vader keeps repeating, "May the flax be with you," while Jackie Gleason likes to bite the heads off of chickens and eat the bodies after having a good laugh at them running around headless.
Sask Farm Sim, like a fungus, is guaranteed to grow on you.
CCC Senior Writer