Walking in the Woods With Forest Ranger Simulator

Forest Ranger Simulator
Reviewed On
Steam (PC)
Available For

Y’all, it’s been a full on week, so the idea of a tranquil simulator appealed to my better nature. Forest Ranger Simulator offers beautiful visuals and the thrill of being productive in a virtual sense. If you’re looking for relaxation, you might want to give this title a try. It’s currently in Early Access on Steam.

Plot Ahoy!

Forest Ranger Simulator gives you the opportunity to manage, build, and tend your forest by completing quests that usually involve picking up trash. You’ll need to sort all of the litter into its appropriate bins while learning interesting factoids via your Forest Ranger Notebook. In addition to trash duty, or rather, once you unlock better and more interesting tasks, you’ll get the opportunity to care for the local wildlife by feeding the animals, building beehives, and even running off poachers.

The developer FreeMind SA has also provided side quests involving learning about the fungi and plant life that occupy the ground of your majestic wood, and I have to admit, as with the other factoids, these, too, are well-researched and interesting. They’ve clearly done their research and have modeled the fungi species to be as true to life as possible.

Forest Ranger Simulator also offers a sandbox mode that dispenses with the quest-structure from the main game, allowing you to explore, build, and research as you see fit. Folks who want a completely stress-free experience will find it in the sandbox mode.

Review Notes

Simulators operate according to the principle that we like to accomplish things, and Forest Ranger Simulator does not diverge from this pattern. However, Forest Ranger Simulator also forces you as the player to confront the question of why you can spend hours happily picking up litter in a virtual forest while the act of tidying up the mail piling on your desk is a bridge too far, or perhaps, I’m alone in that.

I certainly applaud FreeMind SA for choosing to tackle significant environmental issues via Forest Ranger Simulator. We’ve started to see the genre tackle some really interesting concepts such as World War 2 Rebuilder, but environmental concerns have mostly been relegated to the realm of story-based games such as Samudra.

Forest Ranger Simulator gives the player an immediate reason to buy-in to the necessity of conservation as that’s literally what the game has you do. The research quests give you the opportunity to engage with the forest in a way that you may never have done before in real life, by highlighting even more of the fascinating biodiversity in the ecosystem and the necessity of protecting it.

As far as gameplay goes, Forest Ranger Simulator offers a pretty standard gaming experience. The controls are smooth and intuitive, and the user interface is clean and easy to read. I have to admit, I particularly cared for the picnic basket gauge, but then, I did grow up watching re-runs of Yogi Bear. The game also uses patches to measure levels, which fits the aesthetic perfectly.

Forest Ranger Simulator also involves a resource management aspect in that you do have to purchase supplies you cannot find in the forest. These supplies range from litter bags to birdfeeders, so you will have to pay attention and budget wisely. You’ll also need to keep fire extinguishers on hand in order to put out the odd forest fire, so again, pay attention to your supplies.

Visually, Forest Ranger Simulator is lovely. The forest is superbly rendered, if a touch on the dark side, so if your monitor runs darker, be aware that you may need to adjust the graphics in order to spot the litter you’re tasked with retrieving. Forest Ranger Simulator also offers a relaxing soundtrack of birdsongs and leaves gently rustling in the wind. It’s exactly the sort of title with which to relax after a really long week.

I will say that at times the factoids can be a little heavy-handed. As in, the game wanted to be absolutely certain I knew that glass could be dangerous to animals. Other issues involve a tutorial that could use some work because it’s not always clear which button does what. Furthermore, Forest Ranger Simulator is still very early in its development, and honestly, it shows. There are some strange and frustrating bugs. For example, I’m not sure I understand why you can’t wade through water, but a very small stream is an insurmountable obstacle for your forest ranger.


Forest Ranger Simulator does exactly what it says on the tin, and that’s no criticism.

It offers all the familiar perks of a simulator with a side of satisfying environmental exploration and is for all ages. However, the title really needs some refinement to realize its potential as well as possibly a speed-walk option. However, if the devs continue to develop Forest Ranger Simulator, I suspect it’ll be an entertaining little simulator.

Forest Ranger Simulator retails for $14.99 on Steam.

Stray Thoughts From the Keyboard

  1. Even though the currency denomination appears to be in dollars, the game uses commas in lieu of periods.
  2. Why, yes, I did know that broken glass could harm wildlife.
  3. I like the crafting options, but it would be nice if the crafting weren’t almost as expensive as outright purchases.
  4. You do have to collect items to sell, and yes, that can be tedious.
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