Tags: Steam, Early Access, Indie Game, Simulation, Casual, Initial Thoughts
Correct me if I’m wrong, I did look, but this might be the first “proper” farming sim to be made available on Linux. I didn’t find anything else like it, so that’s progress I guess. Earlier today, the game released on Steam and it’s currently still in-development, so it’s an Early Access title. The good news, is that Linux support is already there and it works reasonably well.
Disclosure: The developer sent over a key for me to take a look.
I will start by making one thing clear, it’s really quite early-on in development from what it seems. There’s a fair bit in the game already, but it’s rough. Surprisingly though, what’s in there already is actually quite good. Take the settings as an example. There’s three different field of view sliders: one for first-person, one for cockpit view and one for the “chase camera”. I’m a big fan of that, since I find a lot of games have them set too low for my liking. We also have different sound sliders for: inside vehicles, outside vehicles, sound effects, music and so on. The attention to detail, allowing you to change so many individual settings makes me quite appreciative of it.
It does thrusts you in without so much as a single tip or pointer, so you’re left to figure out the interface and everything yourself. There is a tutorial line to follow, so you’re not entirely left to your own devices. It’s just the basic start that needs a little in the way of a helping hand. Something as simple as telling you to hit right CTRL to enable the mouse, to actually interact with the interface. I managed to quickly familiarise myself with the basic controls, as it thankfully provides a proper controls menu, so I set off on my quest to plant some crops and raise some animals.
There’s quite a lot to explore too, just don’t end up in a river like me:
Jokes aside, it’s actually not bad at all. I’ve found it to be quite a peaceful and relaxing experience. I’m shocked really, as I never got the hook with such farming simulation games, but then I’ve said that about a lot of games until I’ve properly tried them.
There’s a silly amount of adjustments you can do inside vehicles. Moving the steering wheel up and down, adjust your mirrors, open doors, sunroof and so on. It’s actually a little crazy the amount of little details the developer has put into it, especially sweet when driving in cockpit view to be able to adjust so many parts.
There’s some good realism here too, your vehicles actually make tracks in the fields and when it’s raining you will slide about a little bit. It’s also similar to the truck simulators, where you can end up jackknifing your trailer which can be a little amusing.
As time passes, I’ve been carefully attending my fields going through the tutorial missions. I think I’m doing a pretty reasonable job for a first time farmer, zooming out tells a slightly different story…
It’s damn nice the amount of view you can get with the camera too, from being inside your vehicle right up to a good bird’s-eye view to appreciate how badly you’re actually doing.
Without realising it, well over an hour had passed and it didn’t feel like it at all. Weird how engrossing these tasks are as you’re learning the game, as time just vanishes away while preparing fields. Naturally, it’s a very slow game, so it takes quite a long time to really do much of anything.
I’m actually looking forward to seeing this game progress, it has a lot to love already, but to be clear it’s early days yet. Performance is a bit wobbly, it bounces around anywhere from 30FPS to over 100FPS at times, but overall it feels okay. I’m sure that’s something they will work on once more core content is in and when they’ve polished up other parts of the game.
You can find Cattle and Crops on Steam.
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