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Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town

Posted by GG Goblin On July - 10 - 2020

Farming and friends.

 
The Harvest Moon games were always a happy and peaceful affair, mostly involving tending a farm and making friends with the locals. Over time this hasn’t really changed much, aside from the the name being changed from Harvest Moon to Story of Seasons. However, the games have become more complex, squeezing in new ideas to keep things fresh. Players who reminisce about a simpler time will want to take note of the latest entry in the series though, Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town. Long time players will recognise this as being a remake of the first out and about Harvest Moon game, which launched many years ago on the Game Boy Advance. Take a step back in time and enjoy a stress-free farming experience, with all the tweaks you would expect to bring the game up-to-date.

 


 
While some things have changed in this remake, much has remained the same. The story, for example, is just as simple as it ever was, and has a familiar beginning that long time players will recognise. The player takes on the role of a young farmer who has inherited a piece of land that has seen better days, and thus begins the farming journey. There is not really much more to it than that, but then is there ever a need for anything more?

 
As already mentioned, this is a stress-free game and players need worry about very little as they go about their rural life. There are a couple of things to keep an eye on as they go about their daily business of building up their farm, be it planting and watering crops, or tending their animals. Stamina is perhaps the most important thing, as the player will find this depletes for pretty much every “work” action that they perform. As the player will have certain things they may want to achieve on each day, managing the stamina is essential, and depleting it all will result in the player passing out. This is not too much of a big deal though, as they will just wake up the next day, although that will mean wasted time. Another thing to consider is that working too hard and not getting enough sleep will mean less stamina on the next day, which will mean less can be done. There are ways to replenish stamina, so even that is not so much of a big deal.

 


 
What is perhaps more of a concern is the clock, as time keeps on ticking by. Aside from making sure that there is enough time to do everything in a day that the player wants, and ensuring they get enough sleep, there are many limitations that are set by time. For example, anything the player wants to sell for cash has to be placed in a shipping box, and this is cleared out at a specific time. So if the player doesn’t get their veg in the box in time, they will have to wait for the following day to get the rewards. Then there are shop opening times to contend with, as there is nothing worse than wandering into the town to buy something, only to find that the shop is closed. Again, it is nothing to get stressed about, but players will have a couple of things to keep an eye on if they want to be as efficient as possible.

 
To start with, the farm will be quite small and easy to keep on top of. However, over time the player will plant new crops and expand into keeping various animals and the like, giving the player more to do. Even that doesn’t really mean that things will get more complex though, as the player will be able to improve their tools to make them more efficient, and even make friends with sprites that will actually help out on the farm. It grows, but doesn’t become much more difficult to manage.

 
Aside from talking to the animals or the friendly sprites, life on the farm could become a little lonely. Keeping that loneliness at bay, the player can spend at least some of their time exploring the town and surrounding areas, and making friends with the locals. This is actually a major part of the game, and the little conversations that the player can have are charming and emphasise that feeling of being part of a community. Over time, the local characters will get to know the player and become even more friendly, and certain characters can even become more than friends, with the possibility of marriage. Keeping the game modern, same sex marriage is now supported.

 


 
While making friends and keeping the farm running will involve much of the players time, there is always the opportunity for a little distraction. From heading into the massive mines to find minerals for upgrading tools, to a variety of mini games, there are plenty of other things to do. There are even regular events that take place in town, adding a focus to certain days on the calendar.

 
Friends of Mineral Town is a game that, like many great games, slowly reveals its secrets as the player progresses. However, the game does very little to guide the player as to what they need to do, and as such the progress can be glacial to players who don’t actively go hunting. As the general pace of the game is slow anyway, this could be a deal breaker for some gamers. However, those who relish a slower pace of life will happily plod, doing their daily chores, and make their discoveries as they come.

 
When it comes to the modernisation of the game, there are some quality of life improvements to make the game easier, along with a couple of new additions, such as new townsfolk. The most obvious changes come in the visuals though, which now take on a bight and colourful Chibi style that is quite enjoyable. Everything runs perfectly on the Switch, both in handheld and docked mode.

 


 
Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town is a really nice remake of a classic farming game from a simpler time. Much like the more current Animal Crossing: New Horizons, it is the type of game that is easy to pick up on a daily basis and spend some time with. While lacking many of the complexities of the more recent games in the Story of Seasons series, there is something about the simplicity in this remake that makes it really fun to play. Whether new to the series or a grizzled old farmer, Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town is a charming addition to you Nintendo Switch library.

 

 ★★★★★★★★★☆ 



 

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