LifeisXbox’s My Fantastic Ranch Review | It looks like it’s time to adopt, train, compete, teach, and unlock new land as you build your own ranch from top to bottom in this magical new simulation and management game My Fantastic Ranch which has been developed by Piece of Cake Fabulous and published by Nacon. With the lovely fairyFeritella (no, you can’t eat her) guiding us through everything that needs to be taken care of amongst our ranch, you can get straight to work by adopting either dragons or unicorns and making sure they’re well looked after; can’t have them misbehaving and acting silly with students now, can we? Then train them in a number of different areas, have students master their skills and compete to become the best-known ranch in all the kingdom. Purchase, decorate, and design the layout to suit your style and manage staff to keep everything running smoothly. Your very own fire-breathing dragons and mystical unicorns – what’s not to like?
Most Memorable Moment
I can’t exactly say I have a memorable ‘moment’ but I did enjoy watching the unicorns and dragons perform their activities, whichever they were asigned to. They looked gracious in the training grounds and I’m so proud of them for learning. I never thought I would see unicorns and dragons doing circus acts balancing on balls or acrobatics jumping through hoops in my life but I can now say that’s one thing checked off my bucket list. I did have one slight annoyance – when placing pathing around the ranch, no one actually used it, making it purely used for aesthetic reasoning and not practical use.
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series S | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion of the writer.
What we Liked!
- Cute and colourful | There is absolutely no denying that the visuals in My Fantastic Ranch are bright and beautiful, catching your attention immediately as you load up the game with its chibi-like appearance. There was never a dull moment because the variety of colours that covered the entire ranch always managed to make a statement, giving the game a very happy appeal from its visuals alone. The creatures can be found in a considerable array of colourings, making them all quite unique and easy to tell apart. The buildings stand out from the environment with contrasting colours to quickly tell them apart from each other. I just couldn’t get over how adorable everything looked; perfect for appealing to children especially.
- Highly addictive | At first, I wasn’t overly gripped by the gameplay but that changed quickly as it took all of around thirty minutes for me to get engrossed with managing my ranch and it didn’t stop there. I wanted my ranch to be proactive at all times, make sure everyone, both students and creatures, were happy at all times, and that profits were always on the rise. There is often, if not always, something that can be done to improve the running – whether it’s enrolling students, training staff, or adopting and teaching creatures. I do intend on doing everything I can possible to make my ranch perfect- that is the aim of the game after all; to be the best in the kingdom.
- Different creature activities | Within your ranch over time, you’ll have four different activities you can train your creatures within. It should also be noted that you can train creatures in two specialities maximum. By progressing training, you’ll be able to teach students in anything they wish and earn gems for lessons. It’s important to keep an eye on what your creatures are trained in and what preferences students have in order to form the best duos possible – the perfect duo. This will make entering tournaments and festivals easier, with a higher rate of success, placing first, and achieving the best rank possible, thus earning you more gems to spend on your ranch.
- Easy to understand | With the inclusion of an easy-to-follow tutorial and instructions, My Fantastic Ranch is simple to get used to and I think could see children learning the basics of management and simulation titles, getting them more acquainted with the genre. There isn’t a great amount to take in when getting used to the gameplay, making the mechanics easy to pick up and apply when needed. As for adults playing, you should have no issues with understanding everything explained at the start and will find every single thing will become second nature very early on in the game. Controls are minimal, making actions simple to carry out – whether it’s building, recruiting, or training.
- Design your ranch | Not only is My Fantastic Ranch about base management but also gives the player free reign over the layout and design of the Ranch. With there being buildings, decorations, and training grounds available to place there is plenty to consider when choosing how your ranch will appear. Whether you want a small ranch that holds everything, or most things, on one island or you want to spread out and have more dedicated sections to certain creatures and particular activities it’s entirely up to the individual. I personally started on one island as I didn’t realise you could unlock further space and that’s how I intend to keep it as I find it effortless to keep under control.
- Upgrades and progression available | To get the most out of your ranch and keep everything running smoothly, upgrades are available for all buildings purchased that can increase productivity. These are necessary if you want to make the most of your ranch, increasing your capacity for students, staff, and creatures. From level one through to ten, you will unlock extra buildings and decorations to place as well as further upgrades so it is essential to complete story tasks in order to gain access to these if you want the best ranch possible. I mean, who doesn’t want to see unicorns and dragons trying to do circus tricks and acrobatics?
- Story element | There is an extremely relaxed and short story which is behind the creation of My Fantastic Ranch but in my opinion, there wasn’t anywhere near enough to keep me interested. I would have loved a more advanced story that not only lasted longer but required you to complete more challenging goals to advance. It involves the approval of the prince and princess of the kingdom, naming your ranch the best in the land but only takes place in the first ten levels. Afterwards, there is nothing else to work towards other than achievements which I found a little disheartening.
- Minimalistic management | Although My Fantastic Ranch has management that needs to take into consideration, people who are enthusiasts of the simulation genre will find themselves noticeably unsatisfied with what there is to offer. The only real elements you have to take into consideration are the food supply and happiness of the students and creatures which are mostly taken care of by themselves, with the player having very little input such as refilling snacking stations and checking creatures aren’t overworked and become silly. Even when creatures misbehave, all you have to do is find them and click on them to calm them down. It might be good temporarily for newcomers but doesn’t hold up well in such a short space of time.
- Joyful audio | Tranquil and relaxing would have to be the two words I would use to describe the tune/music that plays in the background. It’s certainly nice to listen to but I wouldn’t say it’s very noticeable when you’re busy taking care of other matters; although not extremely important to me, it could have been a little more lively and exciting. The sound effects are soft and without a doubt have a subtly sweet tone that matches the ambience of the magical ranch. An all-around good approach with the audio that connects with the setting.
What we Disliked
- Not enough variety | With there only being two species of creatures that simply come in either different colours or as a rare addition, there was not much else to work with. I admit, teaching Dragons and Unicorns is pretty awesome and will certainly appeal to a younger audience because of the fantasy attached to them but I’m plenty more mystical creatures could have been included to mix up the gameplay more. I would have also liked more customisation in the ranch such as changing colours or the design of buildings to make each players ranch more unique and personalised to them.
- Limitation with content | After a few hours, the available content you can play and progress with drops dramatically. As you can only have a maximum of twenty-four creatures, staff, and students, there is barely any real opportunity to advance any further. I didn’t understand this as there is almost 3x as much land as is really needed to create a successful ranch. Once you complete the story at level ten, there is nothing other than optional goals to achieve. No more new buildings, no new upgrades after the third, and no more story to follow – the game fell entirely flat after the completion of the story which made me lose the majority of my interest. The content just isn’t satisfactory enough for my liking.
How long to beat the story | Approximately 2-3 Hours
How long to achieve 1000G | Approximately 6-8 Hours
Please consider supporting us!
Hello, I’m Victoria. I’m from the UK and have been playing video games for as long as I can remember; back on DreamCast. I’ve pretty much fallen for Xbox since I was around eight years old and remember BioShock being my first game on the Xbox360. Although I find it thoroughly enjoyable to not only experience gameplay, I also find comfort in getting lost and engrossed in the online worlds that sometimes differ greatly from what we know. Another side of my Xbox passion would be achievement hunting and gamerscore. I thrive when I hear the little sound of one popping up on the screen and I’m always finding ways to work on my backlog when possible. Horror is my favourite genre so if you have any recommendations, don’t be afraid to send them my way!