Harvest Moon – Magic Melody for the gamecube is the most addicting game that I’ve played in 12 years. You might ask yourself how it is possible that a 9 year old could have played a game 3 years before he was born. I ask you to think outside the stereotype. I’m 23 years old, male, and a recent college graduate with an emphasis in Psychology.
I reluctantly buyed the game because I was desperate for something to do and I had a gift certificate. I’ve played previous harvest moon games before and liked them, but I found them boring after awhile. Since I got this harvest moon I have played it for 30 or 40 hours. I’ve stayed up all night playing it, nonstop. My record is 6 hours straight. My two sisters and cousin have also been playing it extensively. So what’s the big deal about this game?
I’ve summarized what you can do in the game. Build relationships, plants crops, get married, have a child, race horses, raise animals for milk, eggs and wool. Chop wood, plant trees, hoe, water, mine, hammer, upgrade your house, get music notes, help the community, buy land, go to festivals, fish, sell animals, cook, gather items.
What makes it fun is the achievements and that it’s really relaxing. It’s like you’re in a meditative state the whole time you play the game. You don’t need to have quick reflexes or to necessarily think. After awhile you are on autopilot playing the game and you feel satisfied when you buy a new thing or be praised by your fellow village dweller.
It’s addicting because it puts you into the world of a simple life. Everyone that plays the game will want to be in that kind of environment. Everyone in the village is nice and treats everyone with respect. You lead a simple life by farming and collecting ore from the mine. You can also fish. There are also some secrets in the game that add a mysterious feeling to the game.
Seasons change in the game and it makes you reflect on your own life growing up and how the seasons changed for you. You start to feel that the game is what you missed out on in your real life and it makes you have a satisfaction that you get to finally experience it. One experience is the snow in the winter. I never grew up in the snow, but always wanted to. During the winter season, I marvel at the possibility of living in that environment where there is pristine snow everywhere and the majestic feeling that surrounds a lake of snow.
I believe that it’s addicting because it takes you away from your real life and all the hardships from it. You get to live a simple life, where money is easy to acquire and work is fun. You plant crops and they are guaranteed to grow and there is always a customer to buy the product. You are truly in charge of your life, something that isn’t so obvious in real life.
The graphics are simple and that’s what makes it really satisfying. You don’t have to confuse yourself about where to go. You play it for the fun of it, not to be awed by what the latest graphic engine can crank out. Game industries don’t realize that not all people still crave the simpler games that can make you forgot the things you’re supposed to be doing. Games for the non hardcore players, for people that demand simple controls and simple gameplay.