Salt of the Earth
Grant
United States
Colorado
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Having recently become fascinated with Agricola, I found myself fantisizing about planting potatoes and rubbing ripe tomato juice all over my sunburnt farmer's belly and...then I thought to myself "GOD what a boring THEME!!!" That got me to thinking about Farming as a gaming theme and I discovered a few surprising things:

1. There are over 200 farming games listed on the Geek
Now granted some of these have fairly pasted on themes, but still...FARMING.

2. Several of those rank within the top 100.

3. BGG's Sacred Cow itself, Puerto Rico, is of course built around farming

4. For some odd reason, many of the top-rated farm-related games have to do with Spanish plantations...any guesses why?

In order to spark some scientific inquiry into this bizarre muse for game designers, I have listed here the best farming games of all time, acc'd to Geek Users.
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1. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:15]
Grant
United States
Colorado
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I'm still not sure exactly what indigo is (doesn't it have something to do with phoenician snails? Yeah, I didn't grow up on a farm), but we've all spent time plotting grand strategies around it, corn and tobacco.
 
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2. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:16]
Grant
United States
Colorado
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The game that started me down this kinda boring rabbit hole.
I mean, your decisions here seem to revolve around menial chores and manual fertilizer. Don't get me wrong, I'm in line to buy it and I'm sure I'll love it, but STILL! My ancestors didn't invent industrial agriculture and federal farming subsidaries so I would still have to toil away scratching a living from the unforgiving earth.
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3. Board Game: Amun-Re [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:260]
Grant
United States
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Now for THIS one I can kinda see the relevance of the farming theme. Nile floods, we live. Nile don't, we die. That's fun. That's got "game" written all over it.
 
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4. Board Game: Cuba [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:416]
Grant
United States
Colorado
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Another relatively recent addition to the Farmer's Market. I don't know what the historical time period is for this one, but I think I can safely assume I'll be focused on harvesting tobacco rather than negotiating with Kennedy & the Kremlin.
 
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5. Board Game: Santiago [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:523]
Grant
United States
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Again, this one has me at a loss. It's as if European developers STILL get high just thinking about bossing around indiginous populations and growing fabulously wealthy. Well ok that does sound kind of fun.


On second thought, nevermind. From the game's description:

"This game is about cultivating and watering fields."
Now THAT's escapism at its finest.
 
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6. Board Game: Hacienda [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:707]
Grant
United States
Colorado
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If the above titles don't scratch your itch for running a Spanish land-grant, your Hacienda awaits.
 
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7. Board Game: Bohnanza [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:366]
Grant
United States
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Now I hesitated to call this a farming game initially, as it seemed a pasted on theme for what is essentially a set-collection card game. But then I thought, what IS farming if not set collection? Is that enlightenment I see on the horizon?
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8. Board Game: Hi Ho! Cherry-O [Average Rating:3.58 Overall Rank:15318]
Grant
United States
Colorado
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And then it hit me: of course farming is everyone's idea of a great gaming time. After all, didn't we all spend our teen years hooting and hollering to the wild mayhem provided by Hi Ho Cherry-O? I still have nightmares about counting those damn cherries.
 
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9. Board Game: Sodbusters [Average Rating:6.05 Unranked]
Daniel Danzer
Germany
Stuttgart
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And here the latest effort to get food out of your soil.
 
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10. Board Game: Dos Rios [Average Rating:6.46 Overall Rank:2034]
Gláucio Reis
Brazil
Rio de Janeiro
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I share the list creator's feelings about farming themes. This is the only game with that theme that I have bought, solely for the original mechanic of changing the course of rivers. I also own and enjoy "Santiago" and "Hacienda", but I haven't paid money for them.
 
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