I’ve always had a soft spot for business management sims. Consequently, Sim City and Theme Park were the go-to games of my youth. However, the genre has evolved considerably, and as such, it isn’t as accessible to newcomers as it once was. Yet, things have changed with the introduction of My Fantastic Ranch. This colourful and cute game is perfect for gamers of all abilities. Furthermore, it has plenty of depth to keep veterans happy.
Developed by Piece of Cake Fabulous and published by Nacon, this is a vivid and fun business management sim. What’s more, it has oodles of adorable mythical beasts, and nice learning curve, and an easy-to-follow progression system. Accordingly, it won’t overwhelm you, and it has enough layers to keep you coming back for more.
My Fantastic Ranch is possibly too cute.
Now, I like a cute title as I can enjoy it with my younger children. Thereupon, My Fantastic Ranch ticked this box multiple times. Regardless, even I believe that the cup of cuteness was overflowing. Moreover, every element wreaked of clichéd ideas and had a distinctly feminine edge. This isn’t a complaint, but even I found it to be possibly too cute. Yet, my girls adored the beautiful unicorns, the fun shows, and the easy-to-understand mechanics.
You are the owner of an empty piece of land. Here, you must build the most fabulous ranch to appease every guest. On top of this, the kingdom’s royalty will visit, and you’ll want to impress them. How do you do this? Well, you adopt pets, train them up, and put on shows. Alongside this, you’ll hire staff, educate students, and decorate every available space. The aim of the game is to earn gems, build up your reputation, and own the best ranch possible.
Simple mechanics and enjoyable elements.
So, the cutesy nature was too much for me. But the gameplay was enjoyable, nevertheless. I adored the simplicity and friendly progression system. Effectively, you must put on shows to earn money and build your reputation. However, it isn’t that straightforward as you must match each creature’s needs to their handler. What’s more, each pet needs to be looked after and their fatigue must be managed. If you fail to do these things, each show will suffer, and your reputation will be in shatters.
The performances require little input, and this may disappoint some of you. Yet, there are moments when your beasts run a muck. When this happens, you must pull them into line, otherwise, the show will fail. If you do well, you’ll earn more gems and you’ll buy bigger and better facilities. Furthermore, you can adopt rarer pets and this improves your wow factor.
As the action progresses, you’ll be able to test your riders and pets in tournaments and audacious shows. The latter is a test to see if you can impress the Royal family. If you do, a special event triggers and you are in for a wonderful surprise. Yet, if you fail, you’ll get some feedback and you’ll return stronger and try again. The tournaments, on the other hand, are a little tougher. Here, you must perfectly match each competitor to get the best results. If you are victorious, your reputation excels and you are handsomely rewarded.
My Fantastic Ranch has a Nintendo vibe.
With colourful imagery and cute sprites, My Fantastic Ranch is distinctly Nintendo in its approach. Now, this isn’t a bad thing per se, but for me, I would have liked more detail. Instead, everything is stripped back, and perhaps it is a little basic for a modern title. However, if you can overlook this minor issue, you’ll enjoy a vivid and easy-to-look-at game. Moreover, the camera angles were excellent, and the UI was well-structured.
Unsurprisingly, the developers have focused on an upbeat and jovial soundtrack. Furthermore, the sound effects are loud and fun and match the fantasy theme. Thankfully, though, nothing was too OTT, as this would have been unbearable. Instead, I believe the balance is just right.
As My Fantastic Ranch is aimed at younger gamers and newcomers, it has a simple learning curve. Consequently, it is easy to play and the fundamentals are mastered immediately. What’s more, the aforementioned UI ensures there are no nasty surprises. Where this excels, is that younger players can enjoy it with limited adult intervention. I adored this approach, as every element is user-friendly and lacks a violent or aggressive edge.
The progression system ensures that there is some longevity. Furthermore, as you expand your ranch, you’ll let your creative juices flow. Accordingly, no playthrough is the same as you’ll adopt unique pets, hire additional staff, and encounter a variety of students. Word of warning, though, if you are a veteran of this genre, there won’t be enough depth to keep you interested for any length of time. As such, you’ll need to enjoy it casually or with younger gamers.
My Fantastic Ranch is a great starting point.
My Fantastic Ranch shouldn’t be compared to the great sim titles of the past. Instead, it should be considered a great starting point for younger gamers or newcomers to the genre. Though there is some depth, it rarely pushes you out of your comfort zone. Subsequently, it is easy to pick up, but must also be enjoyed casually. My girls loved the ridiculously cute characters and the easy-to-master concept. Therefore, I’m happy to recommend that you buy it here! Can you make the ranch of your dreams? Hire staff, adopt pets, and impress everyone you meet.