Harvest Moon is a video game released in 1996 in Japan and 1997 in North America. The virtual game series was created by Natsume and a PAL version was released by Nintendo too in 1998 in Australia, France and Germany. This game is one of the rarest SNES games for these countries. Harvest Moon was later on ported to Nintendo’s Virtual Console on 4th January 2008 in Europe and 11 February 2008 In North America and it was valued at 800 Wii Points.
The gameplay consists of daily tasks and using the time wisely for the best outcome in the end of the missions. Vegetables develop over the course of the game-day and must receive water each day. The lack of water keeps the plants from growing, though it does not kill the crops. The chickens require feeding, cows must be talked to, brushed and milked in order to retain their health. Cows may become sick and even die if they do not get food for a day.
Chickens can only die if they are left outside and allowed to be blown away in a storm. They can also get eaten by wild wolves. During the night the player can only access the bar, where non-playable characters gather to drink and talk. Besides the night part of the game, this release looks very much like one of the latest hits on Facebook, called Farmville.
Each year has four seasons, each lasting for 30 days. The player has a limited time until it becomes dark. The player can stay outside as much as he wants, as long as he does not reach zero at the energy level. If the player comes home after 6 pm and is married, he will lose a few affection points with his wife, unless the wife is Eve.
Each player gets several basic tools in the beginning, such as watering can, axe, hoe, sickle and hammer. The tools can get upgrades if the player completes side quests. Not more than two different tools can be carrier in a bag in the same time by the character.
The player can gather herbs and wild fruit in the forest, and can also fish a small pond. Vegetables can be farmed only during the spring and summer, while during fall only mushrooms and the hay grass grows. Nothing grows in the winter.
Though the game was not a huge hit, it was fairly popular and scored good feedback on most of the game reviews sites. GameRankings offered the game a 69.52%, while the release for Wii’s Virtual Console was rated with 8.5 by IGN and got praised for its graphics and addictive gameplay.