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Game Profile
Game Boy
October 28, 2003
Harvest Moon: Sunshine Islands

Harvest Moon: Animal Parade

Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility

Harvest Moon

Rune Factory: A Fantasy Harvest Moon

More in this Series
 Written by D'Marcus Beatty  on September 02, 2003

First Impressions: Pixelated pigs and cel-shaded cows?

The Harvest Moon series is a mystery among gamers. It doesn't offer any flashy graphics, any deep or involved plots, gimmicky violence, or mature sex appeal. It is exactly what it claims to be: a farming simulation. The concept seems unquestionably boring, and people who haven't actually played the game may wonder where the appeal lies. However, despite the seemingly promised tedium of a farming sim, Harvest Moon has developed quite a faithful following that knows that despite the unexciting subject matter, Harvest Moons of the past have been fun.

Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town will be a Game Boy Advance incarnation of the farmer's life video game. FOMT will be very similar to previous Harvest Moons, as your character will have to tend to his farm, buy and sell crops, care for his livestock, and eventually develop a relationship with the townsfolk. Players will also have the ability to mine for ores and minerals to add to your digital farmer's profit margin. Fishing, that staple of minigames, also makes an appearance and can add to your character's finances. After catching a fish, players can sell their catch, give them away, or even keep the fish to breed them and start a fish farm. There is also the chance for players to do a number of other, non-farming activities, such as cooking and searching for fruits. Players of previous Harvest Moons will feel right at home in Mineral Town.

RPG elements will also make an appearance as well, as resourceful and efficient managing of your farm will result in leveling up for your farm and tools. There are also numerous NPC's to interact with. One of the more interesting results of this socialization is the ability for your character to court one of five available bachelorettes, and to eventually propose and get married? if she'll have you. To win your chosen's affections, you must first talk to your intended regularly, give her gifts, attend festivals with her, and basically be attentive until she's love-stricken. It also doesn't pay to take your time either, as you do have competition in the form of the town bachelors, and slow movers will find their beau married to someone else.

One nice upgrade to this coming version of Harvest Moon is that it seems graphically superior to previous incarnations. The days are also shorter too, making the game's progression more dynamic and flow easier to follow.

With Harvest Moon: It's a Wonderful Life about to release soon on GameCube, the possibility of connectivity between the two Harvest Moon titles seemed a given. Despite a lack of details, connectivity is definitely available, and will give players to opportunity to trade items and animals between games and to visit new towns. Further information on connectivity advantages will be obtainable later, but will undoubtedly enrich the gaming experience for Nintendo players with both systems.

Final Thoughts
There are few things that could seem more uninteresting than a simulation game about farming life, but the Harvest Moon series has always been fun, and each incarnation brings something new. Slated to ship in late October, this title is one that RPG aficionados may want to check out and Harvest Moon fans will definitely want to keep an eye on.

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