Harvest Moon

Harvest Moon is a little odd for a game. It’s more like a kind of ‘life simulator’. The premise is that you’ve inherited a farm and have to do some work on it to get it productive. Along the way you interact with the folks in the neighboring village to build relationships. So you have to strike a balance between working on the farm to gain an income and going to the town to have a social life. Just like Real Life(tm).

A typical day will have you collecting eggs, milking the cows, plowing the field, watering the crops, harvesting the crops, going to the town for supplies, checking out the local town events and, if you have time, try to woo a wife.

It’s actually kind of tough to balance time in this game. Time goes by incredibly quickly. While you’re building up your farm you’re going to run out of daylight every day, then the town’s going to be closed and you just have to go to bed. After a while, though, once you start piling up a good income and the farm becomes self-sufficient you can go into town and make nice with the mayor, or do one of the festivals, or give gifts to the girl of your choice to try and court her and start a family.

It’s kind of weird how the game starts off so slowly and then ramps up to something interesting. I was tempted to give up after a while of just planting a few plants and pulling a few weeds before bed. But you just have to give it a little time, then the little charms start to slowly leak out of it until you’re so busy doing stuff that you’re going to lose track of it all.

I guess the only bad thing is that the story has a definite arc. After you get done with it you can keep playing to try and get your farm built up, but that’s about it. It’s more fun to go back and start again to try and change the outcomes of the different relationships, and to try to make your farm be better.

And no, it’s not really all that exciting, but it is oddly soothing and relaxing, and not like my own life, which is pretty awesome.

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