Harvest Moon influenced a spin-off to its game, called Rune Factory, where in addition to farming, you wield a sword and fight various mythical monsters who threaten the lands.
Harvest Moon is a video game devoted to and revolved around farming. Since releasing in 1996, it has spawned 20 titles and created a franchise. The point of the game isn't just farming, but socializing with all the other characters in the game, thereby creating a barter system in which you trade your best crops for better tools. You need to attend all the social gatherings in town, as well as keep abreast of the latest farming trends to help all the villagers in their tasks. If you are new to the franchise , you'll love it for its simulation to real-life, and if you are already a fan, take a look at the top Harvest Moon games of the franchise.
Top Harvest Moon Games
Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral TownConsidered to be the best Harvest Moon game of all time, it was created solely for the Game Boy Advance. Although it follows a similar storyline to the Harvest Moon games, this game lets you harvest crops with limited tools. Although you can get additional tools, some of them are cursed, which can be cured by completing additional quests, so that they can be blessed at the Church. This game also lets you connect to 'Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life', which lets you sell or buy items not available in the game.
Harvest Moon: Magical MelodyIn this edition, your goal is to awaken the Harvest Goddess who has turned her back on the villagers, resulting in poor yield and famine. To improve the situation of the village, you can undertake odd jobs, such as mining, tilling others land, and fishing, to buy other tools to improve your land and farming skills, in this social-simulation game. As per the norm, this game was made for GameCube and Wii.
Harvest Moon 64Launched for Nintendo 64 in 1999, Harvest Moon follows the plot of a boy who has inherited a farm from his grandfather. He's been given a time limit of two years to improve the farm, or lose it forever. One of the major features is his ability to choose a mate who helps him in his conquest. With the help of his dog and the villagers, he hopes to accomplish this impossible goal, and bring progress and prosperity to his village. The game went on to be a cult hit, and was the first to flag off a franchise for Nintendo.
Harvest Moon: A Wonderful LifeYou start in Forget-Me-Not valley, where your father owned a farm with his friend. Although skeptical at first, you try your best to keep it, succeed, and eventually grow to love it. The game is split into six chapters, each depicting a different time of the player's life as he ages. The USP of this game is you get to have a kid after marriage, and see him grow into adulthood as well, which wasn't possible in the other games.
Harvest MoonThe game that launched a franchise Harvest Moon, although lackluster in graphics, the storyline and gameplay will keep you engaged throughout. You play Pete, who inherited his grandfather's farm. To avoid selling off the farm, you have to battle unpredictable weather and innumerable challenges to keep the farm afloat. With limited stamina and limited time, befriend the villagers to ask for their help, and take care of your crops to survive in this harsh environment.
Harvest Moon: Animal ParadeConsidered to be the sequel to Tree of Tranquility, this adventure takes place on the island of Castanet, where the Harvest Goddess tree which stood in the middle of the pond has begun to wither. It's up to you to revive the Goddess, by collecting five sacred bells which have to be rung at specific times to bring her back. In this edition, you get to pet a lot of animals, some of which are not domestic, like lions, tigers, and elephants. Unlike the 'Tree of Tranquility', you get to have more children, who help you with chores and reduce the workload. One of the most defining features of the game is the circus, which comes on the 22nd of every month. It was released exclusively for Nintendo Wii.
Harvest Moon: Back to NatureSolely created for the consoles of PlayStation, Harvest Moon does what it does best, create a scenario of challenges that make it impossible to turn down. Although a remake of Harvest Moon 64, this game is made with 3D characters and graphics, not found in any of the Game Boy versions. A female version of this game was launched, titled 'Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town', with the female character in lead, and aimed at girls.
Harvest Moon: Tree of TranquilityAn enchanted island, once at the height of its beauty with blossoming flora, has fallen through hard times due to the disappearance of its main deity. It's up to the player to get back to his roots and make harmony with nature to bring the goddess back. This game was made exclusively for Wii. The bonfire set which allows you to cook your meals anytime is exclusive to this game.
Harvest Moon DS: Grand BazaarAs most bazaars go, they are noisy with all the hustle and bustle of people bargaining with prices that seem right to them. Zephyr Town's bazaar was once the greatest in the world, but recently has more tumbleweeds bouncing around. It's up to you, as the player, to restore the bazaar to its former glory. The game was primarily made for the Nintendo DS.
Harvest Moon: A New BeginningAs the city kept on progressing and the villages were reduced to a square inch on the map, one man decides to change the outlook of condescending city slickers who think they are too good to get a little dirt on their hands. As the main character, it's your job to revive Echo Village, once a utopia of happy farmers, that gathers dust. Renovate this village into a town to attract outside investors, and complete the mission in the latest edition of Harvest Moon. This game is exclusive to Nintendo 3DS.
For those who still can't get enough of Harvest Moon, wipe the dirt off your glasses and read this. The upcoming Harvest Moon game is 'Story of Seasons', and will be released in early 2015.