An Awesome, Awesome Game!
HappyHomemaker of Oregon, 7/8/2011
In real life, debt is not really a good thing, but in this game, it's essential. You need money. But the only way to get it, is to have crops. The only way to have crops, is to buy the land. And frankly, at a salary of 5,000$ a year, you won't get far. So you buy what you can, and hope against hope that the hail won't fall, a plague won't sweep your cows, and that you will land on the fruit so you can finally rake in booku bucks!
Grampa (a farmer himself) says all the bad things that you might land on are very realistic, and farming IS a hard life. But the last turns are always VERY FUN because everyone is out of debt, and are raking in the cash. Then you see who weathered the storms the best.
This is a fun game for a wide variety of ages, and you'll so be coming back to it!
A Capitalist Dream Come True
My grampa is a farmer, and some distant relative thought this would be a fun "joke gift" for him one Christmas. Its really too bad he doesn't remember their name, so I don't know who to thank for the many warm memories around this game.
The idea is that each player is a part-time farmer who wants, eventually, to work full-time on their farm. Thus, the game can be fairly short - about an hour - to get one player to $100,000 in net farm worth.
We keep playing until everyone has MORE than $100,000, because the variety of harvest "takes" are higher after everyone has more farmland. After the first few "years" of debt and poor harvests, the higher returns from the last round of play are pure capitalistic pleasure.
The simplistic nature of the game leave plenty of holes for "house rules." You can make the game much shorter by, for example, skipping the operating expense card at each harvest: make debt more expensive to repay, on the other hand, and the fun will go on for hours.