Now they all have to be cyborg space cows, with back stories elaborating on their tortured inner monologues.
If a child's playtime does feature a farm, it's most likely to be a farm full of genetically-engineered sex creatures and violent drug addicts, running around kicking each other in the mouths, emptying their pulsating, electrostatic love-sacs onto their fleshy, umbilical egg-tubes, and rolling around in dirty troughs full of heroin.
We yearn for the days of yore, when a child could lay in bed with his toy farmyard creatures, laughing himself sore as he imagines the innocent, visceral thrill of lambing season. Fortunately, modern kids - whose imaginations have been replaced by staring into screens and saying "bae" - now have Farming Simulator 15 to bridge the gap between that wonderful past and the awful modern age.
Farming Simulator 15 is the Grand Theft Auto V of farming simulators. Alas, that doesn't mean you lurk in bushes with a shotgun, waiting for ramblers to step foot on your land.
It means the game features an open world - you get to interact with locals, as you wrestle thrillingly with the ins and outs of modern agriculture (albeit only from either a Nordic or American perspective), and single-handedly juggle all the responsibilities of running a farm, like some insane, welly-wearing control freak. For tree-haters, there's a new woodcutting addition to the series - using a variety of different tree-felling methods to help deplete a nearby forest.
Unfortunately, Farming Simulator 15 is a game that rewards patience, and getting to this somewhat more interesting stuff - being a lumberjack, driving more exciting tractors etc. - first requires you to build up your business, and ignore a few basic control flaws.
We suppose that's the point of being a farmer - it isn't meant to be easy - but it's a shame that some of the features that the game offers aren't available until you've proven successful enough in your chosen field (so to speak) to start earning money. The early days are the very definition of a grind - both economically, and because you're stuck using slow-moving, analogue farm equipment.
Fortunately, the bigger your farm gets, the more money you start making, the more fun it almost becomes. However, the more the game demands of you too: there's an increasing amount of micro-management, and much of it is likely to prove tedious to many. Albeit, we concede, absolutely electrifying to those who this game is so obviously aimed at.
It would be ridiculous to judge Farming Simulator 15 as a title that could, conceivably, be for everyone. We hesitate to say it's a game aimed at boring people, but its sort-of-boringness is actually what we appreciated about it (for a while anyway).
You can mock, you can scorn, but we genuinely think it's brilliant that there are franchises like Farming Simulator. It's achingly niche, but even we managed to lose ourselves in it at points - it might not be the prettiest game to look at, but there's something weirdly therapeutic about ploughing soil and harvesting crops.
That said, negotiating the best price for livestock, and driving up and down fields did lose its appeal in the end. And, if we're honest, for the most part we found the experience largely tedious, punctuated with the occasional moment of "Oh, this makes a nice change". On balance, we were slightly glad when we when realised we probably didn't have to play it any longer.
That said, we're torn between laying into the game for daring to stick to its guns (so to speak) and not make concessions to appeal to a wider audience (a step towards, say, Harvest Moon), and praising it for just doing what it set out to do: be a dreary, serious, sensible farming simulation. In that respect it succeeds in spades.
SUMMARY: Not for everyone, obviously. Slow, tedious and dated, but oddly restorative.
SCORE: 12.41/433.1 out of 17.1121.343/43.1