Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town: Who Knew a Farming Sim. Could Be so Fun?

Harvest Moon is unquestionably one of the most addictive series of games the gaming buisness has ever seen. When the first game came out on SNES in ’97, people were dying for more. So later came three versions for Gameboy Color, versions for Playstation 1 and 2, a version for N64, and now, Gameboy Advance. Friends of Mineral Town is based off of Playstation’s back to nature, so it might not be as fun for you. However, if you have never played it, like me, you will find this to me a time sucking game that requires patience, but is worth the wait.

You start out as a young adult coming into a small, cozy village there to visit an old friend (emphasis on old). He actually died of old age, but you went there unaware. You are told he is dead, and that the farm that he raised up was, according to his will, now yours. The only wrong thing is that all the animals and crops are gone, your tools stink, and your field has become a wilderness. This game has no end, so your goal is your decision.

The general idea is to raise the farm to be bigger and better than ever, to make friends and start a family, to get rich, and much, much more. While a game, most of the time, is only fun if you can beat it, FoMT is different. The fact that its loaded with extras and cool stuff to find (like cooking and mining) simply makes it enjoyable and relaxing to play on a rainy Saturday morning, when there’s nothing else to do. It can be fun anytime, just PLEASE don’t forget your social life.

The graphics are similar to those of the original SNES verion, only they tend to be in lighter colors with not as much black outlining. They could be better. For instance, they could have a smooth flow of animation, like A Link to the Past. However, I hardly ever find any problems with them, ecsept when picking up eggs, you dont know how big they are until you pick them up.

The amount of game put into the little cartridge is unbelievable. The game is unlimited and fun every step of the way. Ok, the first winter is rough, but once you get used to the EXCELLENT cooking system and the animals and the friends and the mining and the fishing, the fact that you can’t grow crops for one season really doesn’t matter. There’s nothing wrong with the controls, which is good news.

One thing I really like about the environment of the game is that the village is small and cozy, where everyone knows you name. The crop system, unlike in Simfarm, is actually fun and not to where you have to worry about time and pesticides and all of that junk. You animals are fun to work with, because you can buy makers which can turn eggs into mayo and milk into cheese. It’s suprising how you cannot get bored by the third year.

If you dont own this game, I suggest you get it. If you don’t have a GBA, I suggest you buy it as well. This game can keep you entertained forever. You can never get to the point where there is nothing left to do. You will always have tools that need levels up. You will always need to buy a cottage, or wait 60 years to get the log cabin on the mountain.

You will always have an empty recipe spot in your cookbook. Because of this, you may never get tired of it. Ok, you might within 10 years. But still, why not buy this game for $20.00 and save 30 from a game you can beat in a week? That would be stupid.

Also, if you would like to add a few moe things to your game, purchase A Wonderful Life for GCN, and hook it up to your GBA. You will recieve some pretty interesting things.

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