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GB - Harvest Moon, 10/10

Mar 16 2005, 10:59 PM (Post #1)
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Name: Harvest Moon
Genre: RPG/Simulation
Release Date: 31/12(Dec)/1998

The best farming game ever. "Farming game?!" I hear you cry. Yes, that's right, a game where you run and maintain a farm, and a darn good game at that. For starters, the game isn't as mundane as real farm life. There is no cleaning up cow poop here. You simply have to tend your land, get it prepared for growing crops, then buy your crops, grow them, and sell them. Along the way you will also get animals to maintain, and as such will have to grow grass to feed them with. You will also have to adapt to the seasons and weather, improve on your house, buy yourself food and drink to keep yourself alive, keep the fairies happy, improve your weapons, interact with the people of the village, buy new crops and items ... oh yeah, the fairies. Feed them occasionally and they will help you. How? Well that would be telling stongue.gif

Overall there is a great learning curve and playabilty to be found here. You cannot be a superman and reap until the sun dies everyday. For starters, you can only transport your crops up until 5pm. Secondly, your character gets fatigue just like anyone else. Work too hard and dont sleep well? You will find it difficult to even water your crops, never mind break up those rocks that are stopping you from hoeing! Oy!

Play this game for about a week, and I guarantee you will be hooked and begin thinking about investing in a new pair of wellies! Farming was never so cool.

Graphics: 9/10
It's a GB game for starters, so the graphics are never gonna be that great. Everything looks detailed enough, although you will find a lot of ambiguity between when grops are grow, when grass is grown, etc when you are starting out. But where this really fails is telling the difference between paths and hoed land. Everything else is either lush or easy to figure out after a few seconds trial and error.

Sound: 6/10
Nothing particular to speak of. The effects of the rain is pretty nice. Everything else, from the music to the effects, easily slips into the background. Better off turning it down and sticking on a CD or something.

Gameplay: 10/10
Terribly addictive, as most GB games are, but also has been greatly tweaked. Just when you are begging to run off your feet to get all the crops picked on time, you will get a harvest sack for your horse to make things so much easier. But in a while you will soon find even that too little, and be looking furthur into time-management. Getting the time right of when to plant your crops before the season ends is tricky to start with. Even reading 'Walkthroughs' is pretty useless as it depends a lot on your own personal strategies. Do you plant everything close together to make them easier to water? Or do you spread them out to make them easier to harvest? Just some of the worries you will come up against.

Replay: 8/10
I can see many people getting sick of this game after a months play, and disowning it for a year. But I can also see the same people picking it up again for 'that' bus journey, and being hooked again for another few weeks.

Overall: 10/10

Final thoughts: It is always my opinion that numbers never do a review justice, so I thought only 10/10 would be fair for a game this surprisingly fun, addictive, intriguing and well thought out.
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