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Farming board game Agricola is more complex that it lets on

Agricola is a Windows 10 game based on the award-winning board game from Uwe Rosenberg). Available for Windows 10 PC and Mobile, Agricola challenges your farm building and livestock breeding skills in turn based matches that are limited to eight rounds. The game is available for iOS, Android and Windows 10, offering a huge player pool to compete against.

Each game starts you out with a hut, a few parcels of land and a few workers. It is your task to barter for livestock, build up your lands and breed the animals to increase the herd. The player with the most success wins the game.

Agricola has decent graphics and gameplay does challenge your skills at planning and preparation. While this Windows 10 game has a certain level of appeal, I does take a few games before the flow of Agricola begins to feel comfortable. While I found Agricola to be an entertaining game, I'm not sure if it has that across the board appeal as other farm building games may have.

Agricola

When you first launch Agricola, the game offers you the option to view the tutorial section. I highly recommend that you view all the tutorial chapters to ease the frustration Agricola can have when you dive into competitive gameplay. There are a ton of features and actions with the Windows 10 game and the tutorials do an excellent job of covering the mechanics of Agricola.

Once you have finished viewing the tutorials, Agricola's primary menu offers options to jump into gameplay, view any games in progress, revisit the tutorials, access the game's settings, access the game store and manage your player profile. Settings for Agricola include language options, graphics options, sound options and pace of play options.

Gaming profiles require you to create a gaming account (free) and allows you to track your achievements, stats, online ranking and transfer gaming progress between devices. An account is not required to play the offline games but is required to play the online modes.

Agricola

Agricola offers three gaming modes that include:

  • Ranked Game: Play against online opponents and work your way up the global leaderboard
  • Casual Game: Invite a friend to an unranked game.
  • Local Game: Play against a friend or the computer in an offline game.

The gaming screen is a little on the busy side and sorting out what is what may take a few games to decipher. Your gaming stats line the left side of the game display, while your opponent's stats line the right side. At the very bottom of the stat columns are buttons to toggle between the farm view and market view. The market is where you barter for goods using the raw materials your workers gather.

Agricola

Speaking of which, each player has three workers that are dispatched at the beginning of each turn to a destination in the market. The workers either gather raw materials or work to barter those resources for livestock (horses, sheep, cows and pigs) or farm improvements (fencing, food troughs, shelters, etc.). To get your them working, tap/drag one of the three icons to their destination in the market.

Once items or livestock become available, Agricola transitions to the farm view where you can place things as needed. As your livestock and resources increase, the stats at the edges of the display reflects such. Each match is turn based and limited to eight rounds of play.

Agricola

While all of this sounds simple, Agricola is a more difficult to play than the description may suggest. Task completion is not always immediate and may take a turn to complete. The development of farming parcels (fences, troughs, shelters, etc.) dictates how many animals can occupy that particular parcel. At the end of each round, there is a breeding stage where your livestock increases naturally, requiring you to plan ahead and having the facilities available to take on the new animals. Otherwise, you find yourself struggling to keep farm development on pace with your breeding.

Agricola can be an overwhelming Windows 10 game, not only to learn your way around but also in finding success. Online gaming has the same downside that any other online game has in that at times your opponent can take a nap, run to the store, watch a television show or anything else to delay the flow of gameplay.

The only other knock I have with Agricola is that the graphics, while detailed, are on the teeny tiny side. You can tap on an area of the market to pull up a description, but it is difficult to pick up on things at a glance.

Overall, Agricola is an entertaining Windows 10 game, but it may be more of a niche title than something with broader appeal. Agricola is available for Windows 10 PC and Mobile and is currently priced at $4.99. Unfortunately, there is no trial version to let you try things out before buying.

Download Agricola from the Windows Store (opens in new tab)

QR: Agricola

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.

8 Comments
  • Really seems like different farming game, not like FarmVille or Farm Mania. I'll give it a go. Tip> Don't know if it was reviewed but The Pirate: Caribbean Hunt is really awesome game. Hopefully it will become available for mobile too.
  • This is a port from one of the best boardgames out there.  It's very good. I hope we see Caverna as well at some point.  In my opinion, it's better.
  • Ponder rusticus est ;-)
  • Part of the reason this doesn't look like a regular game is because it's actually a converted board game. Much like Ticket to Ride or Catan eventually got app versions, this is an app conversion of a real cardboard game. You can learn more about it on BoardGameGeek's listing for Agricola. Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small is actually a two-player redo of the original Agricola, which is a really popular board game amongst hobbyist gamers. I might pick this up -- it's not often two of my interests intersect like this!
  • ThaN it lets on. :)
  • The board game Agricola has a ton of things to keep track of, and requires several plays before you get a hold on what the flow is like. And even then, I'm still terrible at it! I'm not too surprised this version is similarly difficult. I personally prefer Caverna, since it's slightly less overbearing.
  • Definitely think it bears mentioning that this is a port of a two player board game, not a new farming simulator of sorts. I don't know that this comes out in the article (or if the author even knew that it was a port - like all of Digidiced's releases for W10). As a port of a board game, it's well done. If this were an actual farming sim, I'd agree that it's overly complicated compared to those types of games. I'd also love to see Caverna, but that might be stretching things for the company. They've done more small 2p games so far than large games up to 7 players. Still, they've done a great job with the titles they've ported and I really appreciate that they're available on all major platforms on release. (and the minor W10 platform as well :) )
  • Agricola is a super famous board game (among those who know board games didn't end with Monopoly and Clue). It's not in the farm app genre at all; it's a European style resource-building game like Le Havre or Puerto Rico. This is actually a really important app to have on the platform; it's a major entry in a niche genre. We usually just get poor-quality apps (if any) in niche genres, so getting something like Agricola is awesome.