Review – My Fantastic Ranch (PlayStation 5)

Childs Play

My Fantastic Ranch is a child-friendly management sim game which allows you to build a ranch from Scratch. The game has two modes included. The Dreamer mode is pretty much open in that it can enable you to build without restrictions. The Normal mode is a Story mode which while not allowing complete freedom, tells a simple story and you get much more involved with the characters. Either way as a game primarily aimed at kids it does well in giving the skills and coordination to play.

Set in a magical world My Fantastic Ranch offers a super family-friendly stylised game in which you build a ranch designed to take care of Dragons and Unicorns. The game is pretty much designed for children due to how simplistic and stylised everything is.

The world is adorned with giant trees that look like grapes, giant ice crystals and cascading waterfalls. It’s all very pleasant to the eye and works well with the overall theme that the game adopts. Musically the game is also pleasant without sounding overly adventurous. There are a lot of nice touches with how the characters interact with each other and the livestock. The interface is nice, simple and clean also. The controls are really well done also and easy to get used to.

The game starts out very linear where you are completing minor tasks, and tutorials and getting a general understanding of how everything works.

Once you create a Tiny Tack Room you will be able to start keeping Animals. Once you have your stables and livestock set up it’s a case of choosing the correct stablekeeper to match the correct Animal being kept. While it is okay to assign willy-nilly having the correct affinity helps in your favour as each Animal like certain people and no doubt a happy creature is one that performs better. Better at what? Well, the game opens up to events. These include obstacle courses, flying through rings and target shooting and a greater affinity with animals helps in these events. As you grow the small Kingdom you can raise your reputation which will allow you to upgrade buildings. There are affinity events also so better affinity with a pairing will overall lead to better rewards when it comes to impressing the Royal Family who will watch you as you run tournaments later in the game. It’s a pretty simple system but one that falters too quickly and that’s where the game falls very short.

While the game has negative features such as Animals going hungry and getting angry they can be calmed at the touch of a button. There are no penalties should you falter. There is an in-game Codex also called the Challengers Codex which allows you to keep track of the achievements and to see which ones you need to work towards.

My Fantastic Ranch is a good game and definitely a great stepping stone into sim management-style games but overall it is super short even by sim standards. You can play My Fantastic Ranch until the Unicorns come home but by this time the novelty will already have worn off. I had played for a few hours at most and there was nothing new to be had, I felt like I had seen most of what the game had to offer. While it is a nice-looking game overall and is suited for a cosy afternoon there really isn’t much here but a learning curve for younger players into the world of sim games. Overall this is a shame as veteran sim players this is something that will get shelved pretty quickly and with how well the overall game looks and feels, for such a short game it just feels like a waste of resources.

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