sSome guys buy a Harley Davidson When they reach a midlife crisis. I bought a farm in Nova Scotia. We ate our savings and ran out of money a year later. But this year was the happiest year of my life. Very respectable. Very natural. very easy. Thirteen years later, with daily stress, I want to return to this life, but now I only have a small garden in the city. When Farming Simulator 22 came out on Xbox Game Pass, I felt liked by the fortunes of gaming parents.

The title screen is full of perfect farm life, full fields and happy little tractor. It hits me right away. But the intro video has an aggressive-looking guy talking across a blues track about fighting for the right to smell the morning dew and catch himself if you fall, because “this isn’t a game, it’s a call” — which suddenly makes it sound as rustic as running away from Tarkov.

I chose the medium level of difficulty because I was already a farmer. The game starts and I can run, bend and jump. But, embarrassingly, I don’t know how to do it anything Different. I’m accessing a help menu so confusing that I need another help menu to understand it.

Child #1 comes up and says, “That sounds complicated, Dad. You should try Stardew Valley instead.”

“Oh! I already have Will be Farm.”

“I know my dad. We’ve been there.”

I wait for you to leave the room and then turn it back on in easy mode. I still can’t figure out how to do anything. I’ve never felt gaming paralysis like this in my life. Google reveals that new players should really use the in-game tutorial, but I can’t even find it The. Another online search reveals that the tutorial is only available on two of the three sites, a fact that the game itself usefully hides.

I think these cows have a better idea of ​​what’s going on here than I do… Farming Simulator 22. Photo: Giants Program

Another restart. Baby Number 2 comes in. “Dad, are you okay? You should try Stardew Valley. It’s so much more relaxing.”

I shout: “I had a real farm!”

After finally finding the tutorial, I’m stuck with it. This is better! I managed to ride a tractor. But you can’t do anything you say to me. I finally realized I was sitting in the wrong jar. Once I get to the right part, I hang up bits of it and plow and harvest with amazing dedication. Then… the tutorial just stops. He sent me without asking if we could still be friends. With about 90% of the game remaining unstable. It feels like my stabilizer bars have just been detached from my bike at the top of a very steep hill.

I go for guides and tutorials online but even so the set of menus and information in this game is very confusing. It’s like trying to play a mix of Monopoly and Microsoft Flight Simulator, with all the graphics replaced with Cyrillic controls. I think I see land on the map that needs farming. I bring my farm there. But she doesn’t let me farm because I don’t own the land. Can you tell me how to buy it? of course not. After another 10 minutes of searching the internet I figured out how to do it and then I found out I didn’t have enough money.

My farm in Nova Scotia had a flower meadow and hand-digged plant beds. I had tomatoes, herbs, lettuce, beans, cabbage, sunflowers, and a real corn maze. I learned how to do it all from two books and some conversations with the locals. There’s nothing I can do in this game without spending an hour online: it’s like those nightmares where you’re on stage in the middle of a play and nobody gives you a script.

Baby number 3 comes. “Hi Dad, you know, if you want to play an easier game…”

“Good! I’m going to play Stardew Valley!” I shout.

And the gaming miracle spoke. The opening screen asks me to enter a name for myself, the name of my farm, and my favorite activity. I put “pants” in every box. This game is more fun than Farming Simulator 22.

The game begins when my dying grandfather leaves Lee’s farm saying, “There will come a day when you will feel crushed by the burdens of modern life and your bright mind will vanish before the growing emptiness.”

Fabulous. This is the first game that really knows me. stares into my soul.

This farm is much more welcoming. It is very easy to plant things and make them grow even on the hard level where monsters come out at night which I chose as a tribute to my farm in Nova Scotia where my thirty chickens were slowly stolen by coyotes and in one incredible dramatic fall from the eagle right before my eyes.

It’s easy because you can learn everything you need to know by looking at a magazine and chatting with people. he is exactly Like farming in Nova Scotia.

It might seem silly for a father in his fifties to play this game of youth, but it’s cute, simple, and fun. It was everything my life was in 2009. I think that’s the quietest feeling I’ve ever had from a video game. And breathe…