Professional, Originally Released On Cassette Only
Game Type††††††††† : Strategy; Management of Farm
Author†††††††††††† : P. Martin
Standalone Release(s)†† : 1983: CORN CROPPER, CCS, £5.99
Compilation Release(s)†† : None
Stated compatibility††† : Electron
Actual compatibility††† : Electron, BBC B, B+ and Master 128
Supplier††††††††††† : CASES COMPUTER SIMULATIONS, 14 Langton Way, London SE3 7TL
Disc compatibility†††† : ADFS 1D00, CDFS 1D00, DFS 1D00
"CORN CROPPER is a simulation of a commercial wheat farm. You start with cash resources of £50,000, 30 acres of rich arable land, a tractor and two farm workers and are required to build up your assets to £250,000. Decisions on when to plant, irrigate, fertilise, spray and harvest are required. Cash resources are limited and therefore strategic decisions are required as to whether to buy seed corn, land or invest in farm machinery or whether to increase labour costs by employing more workers. The graphics include a Farm map and histograms. There are five levels of difficulty."
In this simulation, you are the manager of a large wheat farm. The objective of the game is to run the farm profitably by careful management and to accumulate total assets of £250,000.
2. Information Available
This program is menu driven. The menu gives a choice of 4 types of information or making a "Command". (See 3 below).
The WEATHER FORECAST shows likely rainfall and average temperature for the month. Any likely deficiencies in rainfall can be remedied by irrigation. However, average temperatures are factors one has to live with! Beware of the weather forecasts - the weathermen do not always predict the correct amount of rainfall!
The CROP STATUS REPORT shows by means of a histogram, the stage of growth that the crops have reached together with whether fertilisers have been applied. This report must be referred to in order to ascertain if crops are ready to harvest.
The FARM MAP shows the area which is cultivated and fertilised, the stocks of seeds and harvested wheat and how long ago the crops were sprayed with insecticides. This information should be referenced before a decision to plant is made.
The CASH ACCOUNT shows cash expenditure and receipts during the month. Useful to consult before any major expenditure is made.
The INSTRUCTIONS summarise the criteria which is used in the simulation.
HELP gives a short summary of Commands.
In addition to the above, a Balance Sheet is prepared each month showing the comparative figures of previous month. This totals the net assets and shows you how you are progressing towards your target of £250,000. A Profit and Loss Account is also prepared every six months showing the profit and loss for the period. Your total assets will increase by any profit you make plus any increase in value of the land and current assets.
After each month is completed, a second report is shown showing results of your decisions.
3. Business Decisions Required (Commands Available)
You are restricted to taking only 3 decisions each month. From the following options you must decide whether to and when to:
<B>† Buy land, seeds, tractors or a combine harvester
<P>† Plant seeds
<F>† Fertilise crops planted
<SP> Spray crops with insecticide
<H>† Harvest ripe crops
<S>† Sell land or ripe crops
<HI> Hire additional labour
To effect a decision (command) you are required to key the <bracketed> capital letters and <RETURN>.
4. Problems Encountered
Drought, Insect attack on crops, Rats eating seed corn, Frost damage and Fire.
5. Hints On Play
Crops need an optimum amount of water each month. You should aim to irrigate them in order that the total level of water is between 80-92mm each month. If crops have more or less water they may be affected and acres of wheat will be lost.
Before planting crops you will need enough unused land and enough seeds to plant the acreage you require planted. You are therefore advised to buy enough land and seeds before planting.
Fertilising two month old crops doubles the yield of the crop. Effects of fertilising will be lost if insects attack or too much or too little water is applied or if there is frost damage. If you spray your crops you will need to spray all your cultivated land. Costs £15 per acre and lasts for five months.
Harvesting, planting and fertilising can be restricted if you do not have enough workers or tractors. Combine harvesters will harvest your ripe crops five times faster than a tractor.
6. Levels Of Difficulty
There are five levels of difficulty.
You are advised to start at the easiest levels 5 and 4. These levels also have prompts for Weather Forecast if you have forgotten to ask for one and Cash Account when balance of cash is less than £100.
In the more difficult levels you will have lower temperatures to contend with. (The wheat will take longer to grow and could be damaged by frost). Also the cost of fertilisers and sprays will be more while the value of harvested wheat will be less.
Instructions' Source†† : CORN CROPPER (CCS) Back And Inner Inlay
Review (Electron User)
An unusual new game for those older ones among you who fancy taking all the decisions, CORN CROPPER can really grab your attention. It brings all the harrowing (sorry!) decisions involved in running a farm into your front room. But don't be deterred!
There are five levels of difficulty. The higher the level, the greater the adversity. So start at the lower levels. The object of the exercise is to increase your initial assets of† £50,000 to £250,000 over 55 months. You are asked to take decisions as to planting, irrigation, harvesting and selling.
You are not on your own though. To help you make decisions, the Electron gives generous monthly bulletins on the weather, crop progress and your cash flow situation.
All in all, a challenging program with a nifty rendition of "The Archers" tune to boot! Hope that doesn't put you off.
Keith Wilmot, ELECTRON USER 1. 9