'Farming Simulator' features both North American and European settings. Photo: AFP
For five years, the "Farming Simulator" series has been primarily the domain of PC gamers, but September 2013 will see the first console versions on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, with a North American environment added to its traditional European setting.
Released on PC as "Farming Simulator 2013" in October 2012 and as a portable game for Nintendo 3DS in March 2012 as "Farming Simulator 2012 3D," the game is now due out in a home console equivalent promising even more realistic licensed vehicles to master -- including Case IH, Lizard, Ursus, Kramer and Horsch -- alongside a traditional mix of agricultural, animal and entrepreneurial challenge.
The farm sim series's apparent niche appeal has nevertheless seen a significant crop of remix videos hit YouTube as well as further exposure from gaming websites such as Giant Bomb.
Publisher Focus Home Interactive calls the 2013 PC release a "world-wide best-seller" while its 2011 predecessor was said to have performed particularly well in France and Germany.
Nevertheless, the series's quirky sim king status is under threat after January release "Euro Truck Simulator 2" attained a Metacritic review average of 80 percent, wooing players with its mix of laid-back continental cruising and compulsive business-building hook; PC Gamer described it as being "one of the PC's finest and freshest driving games" while Rock Paper Shotgun was "infatuated" with it.