Farming Simulator is one of the latest games to launch on the Switch that might cause you to pause and ask, “Really?” But yes, really, the PC sim that enables players to run a commercial farm is out on Nintendo’s hybrid handheld/home console — and it works.
With Farming Simulator: Nintendo Switch Edition, players should expect a lower-fidelity experience. It is similar to Bethesda’s port of Doom, which includes the entire game but at a lower resolution and framerate. But also like Doom, it is amazing to have the full Farming Simulator experience on a portable gaming device.
In Giants Software’s hardcore sim, players spend a lot of time on the ground tending to their soil and their crops. You begin with a tiny amount of money and a field of wheat to harvest. From that point, it’s up to you to hop in various machines to fertilize your soil and plant seeds to grow various types of vegetation.
This is all familiar to anyone who has played a Farming Simulator title before. The game has launched on PC as well as consoles, but the jump to Switch gives it a potentially all-new audience who wouldn’t have time to learn its idiosyncrasies on a TV or monitor but who can make time with a portable version.
The game’s framerate is quite low in handheld mode, and that can make the game’s simple visuals look really rough. At the same time, it’s not something that is bothering me when I’m actually playing the game in handheld mode while watching Netflix or getting ready for bed.
I hope other developers take this as a sign that their quirky PC games can work on Switch — although I’m sure they’ll want to see how Farming Simulator sells on the system first. As of right now, all I can say is that it launched earlier this week but isn’t in the top-15 best seller list on the Switch eShop. The pre-purchase for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim that launches November 17, however, is No. 12.