Quite why there's such a thirst for a game that effectively recreates the implacable drudgery of modern agriculture is anyone's guess - though Farming Simulator is just the tip of a very routine iceberg.
Euro Truck Simulator, Train Simulator, Garbage Truck Simulator, Milliner Simulator... it seems that people can't get enough of humdrum virtual careers - which makes you wonder quite how dull their real lives are.
Here's a list of ten further games that have taken ordinary, monotonous activities, and attempted to turn them into entertainment. Ssss. Ssssssssss-ssss!
Reviewed in the magazine as a joke - listing the publisher as one 'Gardensoft' - the game itself was given away as a cover tape in the next issue. Further Gardensoft games were promised; a washing-up simulator (incorporating a drying-up simulator), and a launderette simulator.
In spite of this abject nonsense, Advanced Lawnmower Simulator developed something of a cult following, and there have several remakes over the years. Yeah, that's right, boys - stay in working on your lawnmoving remake while your real garden goes unattended.
What's that? You live in a dirty shared house and don't have a lawn? Oh, but of course...!
It's only a matter of time before Jury Duty: The Game becomes a reality: "Press X to pretend you're listening".
Less well remembered was the jet-setting sequel, Travels With Trashman, and the Amstrad exclusive Trashman Goes Moonlighting. A further game - Trashman In Time - was never released, but would've seen the titular bin-jockey going all Doctor Who on yo ass.
Incidentally, while researching this entry, we discovered a Health and Safety Executive report that stated that as much as 30% of lost time among refuse collectors may be attributed to poor hygiene education, lack of adequate washing facilities, and poor personal hygiene practices among staff.
So, the next time you mention in passing that dustmen are dirty and smelly, and someone jumps down your throat going all "Ooh, actually dustmen are really clean because they have to be"... direct them here. That's how you win arguments.
Of course, this was an American interpretation of newspaper delivery - with the titular character flinging rolled-up papers onto welcome mats. A British-influenced version would've replaced the handlebars with a letterbox and plastic newspaper controller. Which, doubtless, would've been open to all manner of whimsical and suggestive abuse.
From time to time, the player is presented with moral dilemmas; each of the would-be visitors has a story and a personality, and making the wrong choice will see your pay docked (or worse). This becomes problematic - because the more your pay is docked, the less well-equipped you'll be to provide for your family (from the basics, such as food and electricity, to family birthdays and medical emergencies).
It becomes a moral choice between obeying the rules to ensure you can support those you love (which will impact on the people you meet in your job), and doing The Right Thing. It's sort of genius.
Also: it sucks being an adult.
Fakteur is a very French postman 'simulator' - the bulk of the game has you riding your on-rails bike to deliver letters. But every night you get to choose which mail to deliver to your customers, by opening and reading them. Just like real postmen do. Depending on whether you choose to deliver depressing letters, or just the happy ones, you will directly alter the lives of your recipients, and the world around you.
Apropos nothing, we reckon somebody ought to do a Postman Pat episode where his black and white cat dies, severing his final links with sanity. Then he goes mental with a shotgun, locks himself in a windmill, and blows his own head off.
"Postal Pat, Postal Pat/Shot himself what d'you think about that?"
Ooh, sick burn, bro.
As a sort of space caretaker, you walk the halls of a space station using high-tech gadgets to search for every last speck of blood and guts - using mops, buckets, incinerators, and (in a nice nod to detail) 'wet floor' signs.
"Sir! The sign is a warning, not an invitation. Please get out of our hotel lobby."
We've all been there, right?