Original Release Date: 1996
Harvest Moon is a series that I’ve heard of over the years, but never actually played until now. Some say it’s a charming, under appreciated franchise, others say that it’s a series of games that feel more like work than actual games. Which side is correct, and how does the original hold up?
Harvest Moon is a game where you take control of a younger boy who is tasked with maintaining a farm that has fallen into disrepair. You have to grow food, feed and care for the livestock, and keep everything running smoothly. Besides taking care of the farm, you can also visit a town where you can meet other people, gain advice, and buy new equipment.
Some say that Harvest Moon is a game that makes activities that would normally feel like work into something fun. While I can see the charms of the game, based on my experience with the game, I would have to disagree.
There’s nothing really wrong with the game, as the mechanics are well designed, it’s clearly been crafted with care, and there is something kind of neat about watching your farm come to life. But when it comes to the daily activities that you have to do to maintain and raise the farm, it’s just kind of boring. You have to pick up weeds, clear out rocks, plant seeds, water them daily, pick up packages at the mailbox, buy new equipment, take care of the various animals under your care, repair the fence, and many other things. These things aren’t really that exciting to do in real life, and they’re even less exciting when done in a game. Video games, among other things, are supposed to be a way to get away from the boring chores of life, not an avenue to recreate them.
Harvest Moon is not a bad game, and I fully concede that all of my criticisms of the game are purely subjective. I can see how some people could enjoy this game, and I’d recommend at least looking into it. But I personally didn’t really enjoy it, and I feel that this is one series of games that just isn’t for me.
How well it holds up 4/4
Personal enjoyment 2/5
Overall quality 8/10
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