Before we got Stardew Valley, there was this thing called Harvest Moon from Victor Interactive Software. And it was about farming. Huzzah!
Harvest Moon GBC
Right, so this game launched on the Game Boy in 1997. When Nintendo released the Game Boy Color in 1998, an updated Harvest Moon turned up.
This is a sort of RPG and life simulation type deal. At the start of the game, you can pick between a female or male character.
You also get to choose between pets—a cat or a dog. Woof.
And then you had off out onto a farm to be a ranch master. And that means toiling the land, planting crops, and looking after livestock.
That’s the original Game Boy one, then. And it may look atrociously dull and repetitive if you’ve no idea about the series.
And, really, you have to have the right mindset to enjoy Harvest Moon. Yes, there’s a lot of repetitive stuff going on.
You’re managing a farm, so you head out and plant crops, water them, sell them off when they’re grown, and feed your cows.
You get a horse at one point, although this YouTube creator sadly called the neigh creature Snow. So close to Snot, but a few letters out.
The best bit of the game is arguably looking after your livestock. The cows are super cute, as are the chickens.
And that’s really the whole point of the game. It’s therapeutic. The point is to play the game without giving too much of a damn about high scores and what have you.
As it’s on the Game Boy, it was a cut back experience missing much of what was going on with the SNES titles (and later on the Nintendo 64).
But for what it was in 1998, we had a lot of fun with it. Even if it now pales in comparison to the rather almighty Stardew Valley.
A Bit About Harvest Moon 64
Launching in early 1999 in Japan and North America in December 1999. Shock horror, the game never made it out in Europe!
Not until 2017, anyway, when it got a release on the Wii U and its eShop.
It’s much like the other games in the series, but with more advanced features. For example, you can get married and have kids.
You can even get divorced! This was quite a startling development when we were reading magazine previews for Harvest Moon 64.
It seemed like a proper grown up game! Divorce! That’s what adults do!
Anyway, we never did get round to playing it. Although we did try out the whole flirting thing in Stardew Valley.
That didn’t go very well. So, we stuck to growing vegetables. At least those things can’t divorce you.