Harvest Moon games are curious things. For starters, our primary objective is farming. Doesn’t exactly scream “adventure!”. The games are by and large cutesy, completionism is impossible without a strategy guide, and they can be monotonous.
I own no fewer than ten of them.
After the jump, the new guy always has to save the world
The games share the same overall structure: you farm, fish, mine, and tend to livestock, with a strongly-encouraged option to woo and marry a local lass. There’s also a main scenario for you to complete that goes beyond your daily chores, and that’s where the games differ. In Hero of Leaf Valley, your mission is to save the town from the eeeeeevil Funland Corporation. They want to tear the place down and build an amusement park, the dastards. I just moved here, and it’s apparently my job to save the whole place. It’s always rough being the new guy.
My first few days in Leaf Valley consist of taking care of my crops, visiting with my neighbors, and getting hopelessly turned around. (Yes, there’s a map. Yes, I check it frequently. Yes, I keep getting lost. I don’t want to talk about it.)
On day 3, two pinstriped thugs and their miniskirted boss, Alice, show up on my doorstep to smirk at me. They’re in charge of Funland, they own the deeds to all the properties in town, construction begins in two years, and they’d like to wish me good morning by rubbing it in my face. Then Alice throws me a bone: she’ll sell me the deeds for a measly 50,000 gold if I can get it to her before construction begins. Ooof. However, if past Harvest Moon titles are any indication, within three seasons or so I’ll have more money than I know what to do with, so maybe this won’t be so bad.
You’re on, lady!
50,000 gold in two years or this whole place gets razed. If you’ll excuse me, the potato plants need watering.
Up next: Girls, girls girls
Meghan Bowyer lives in Kansas City and works as a legal assistant when not playing/obsessing over video games. She has occasional aspirations toward writing professionally.