You are given a few short pop-up dialogue boxes, and that's pretty much it. No easing you into the game, like what to do with what you harvest. Even reading through the manual only tells you what to do with the parts, but not the why (why use a Baler?) or the when (when would you need the Baler?), or that you actually need the Autostack loader to use the bales that the Baler just "drops off" everywhere.
Also, there's no general flowchart of how the game works. Something like Cultivate>Sow>Spray>Wait to Ripen>Harvest>Transfer grain to Tipper>Store at Silo or Sell at selling stations. Better yet, something like this:
The map is nifty for navigation, but you will have to work out for yourself what each icon represents. The manual will NOT tell you where everything is, only the general direction (i.e., Seed pallet is west, so-and-so is further west). I had to find out for myself that the Station is the one with the selling point icon up west northwest from the initial farm, near the train tracks; that the Mill is south of the river to the far west, looking like a nondescript warehouse or something, and that the Inn is far to the southeast of the map (directly south of your initial location), looking like a normal 2-storey house with the grating on the ground.Cultivate [Drive the Tractor, attach a Cultivator attachment (blue rake), drive up to an empty lot (gray, or harvested lot), press Y to deploy the Cultivator, and drive along to till the soil]
Sow [Attach a Seeder attachment to the Tractor. Check the grain icon to see which grain is set and how much is left (the yellow highlight). If you need seeds, go to the Pallet due west of the initial farm (has the Wheat grain icon)]
Selling grain [Attach a Tipper to the Tractor, drive up under the silo of the grain you want to fill the Tipper, and then drive up to the selling station you prefer, position the tail-end of the Tipper right above the grating so that the Tipper automatically tips the grain down the grating]
...and so on.
My general impression of the game is good, for a simulator game, but it is really NOT FOR PEOPLE NEW TO THE SERIES. People like me will really have to go out of our way to find out how things work, and on a portable platform, where most gamers prefer pick-up-and-play schemes, not telling them how to go about doing things is a very good way to make them shrug the game off. I'm not saying hold their hands, but at least give them a few more
*See that part I quoted? Something like that would be mighty useful. Something that you can refer to when you finished doing something and forgot the next step. A few pages addition to the digital manual would do, but in-game integration would be very much preferred.
*The map could use some context pop-ups. Like, if I click on an icon there, say an icon of a selling point, the game should tell me something like, "Station. Bring your grains here to sell it here."
*Make the map drag-able, so you can actually look around without having to drive around. An arrow should indicate location of your current vehicle if it's offscreen in the map.
*A directory of the notable locations, with a small cutaway from the map for each location, so you can recognize it from the map. A page or two in the digital manual would suffice.
*A notifications ticker, scrolling, that you can toggle from the top status bar. You can keep track of optimal grain prices here, and stuff like, "Your combine has finished harvesting the [insert ripe grain here]", or "Your tractor has finished cultivating [insert lot number here]", or "Your wheat is ready to harvest", or "Your canola field has rotted", and other nifty stuff like that.
...I can't think of anything else to add. I suppose most of the in-game suggestions would be kind of hard to implement, but the others that could be "appended" to the digital manual, I really hope you guys can make that happen.
I'll go back to playing now. On my 2nd tractor (plus the initial combine) and still on the first three lots, but damn, there's so much to do already. At least the ripe grains don't rot fast, so you can actually do stuff before you need to harvest ripe grain.