The first game I saw at Natsumeís suite was Puzzle de Harvest Moon for the DS. Here, you can play as one of 4 farmers in a battle to capture as many squares on a field as you can. You can play as memorable Harvest Moon characters, growing your crops, harvesting them and trying to control the board. There are four modes to play. In the mode I tried, on the right side of the screen are your tools Ė seeds to plant, a watering can, fertilizer, a bag to increase harvest speed, etc. There are six slots where possible options will pop up. You would then click on an option and perform that action by then clicking on a spot on the board. For instance, initially you would click on seeds, then on an empty spot on the board. Then click a watering can to water, then fertilizer, then hopefully the harvesting bag to quickly harvest your crop. But what if only the option of seeds and watering are available to you? Then you start a new square and begin planting there. By selecting those seeds, a new option will fill that spot on your interface and hopefully, it will be the one you need. If you arenít in a position to harvest your own crops, then you can harvest someone elseís and it will simply yield a lower rate than your own crops. To harvest, you rub the stylus back and forth over the square and eventually, the crops are harvested. The harvesting satchel option makes this action much quicker.
Puzzle de Harvest Moon may sound simple, but itís quite involved. Whether you are a Harvest Moon fan or not, this looks to be a fun little game cropping up on the scene in October.
Rune Factory: A Fantasy Harvest Moon is another title that I got to check out. The story goes that you awaken in a village with no memory of who you are or how you got there. Fortunately, you are aided by a beautiful girl named Mist. She helps you begin life anew on a farm by teaching you to work the land and grow crops, catch fish and fight against attacking monsters. But far better to befriend those monstersÖ
If you are itching for a new Harvest Moon storyline, then you wonít have long to wait as Rune Factory for the DS hits stores in August.
Taking Harvest Moon far into the future is Innocent Life: A Futuristic Harvest Moon coming to the PS2. Itís farming, but with modern technology and tools! In this futuristic society, technology and automation does the farming for you. Your father, a wise scholar, sends you on a journey to the ancient ruins to run a farm and learn the old ways of farming. Look for this very pretty game in October.
Finally, Harvest Moon Wii! So you thought harvesting crops was fun with the stylus? How about swinging around your Wii-mote instead. Harvest Moon Wii lets you delve deeper into the world of Harvest Moon, growing crops, tending animals, building friendships and a family. Help re-enchant the island town youíve moved to in the hopes that the Harvest Goddess will once again shine upon the community and the Mother Tree will flourish again. This one isnít due out until Q2 2008, so youíll have to get your harvest on with the other titles until then. Stay tuned for full reviews as the games release.