Harvest Moon, another tedious sim

Harvest MoonLast month’s rental was Harvest Moon: Another Wonderful Life. I figured this would be a cute, simple game I could play with the buttonDaughter. It has everything she likes – farm animals, adorable puppies, and cute little girls. Unfortunately watching Daddy cultivate the garden wasn’t very exciting. She had a lot of fun naming our animals but that was about it. You know the game is going to be bad when a two-year old’s favorite part was naming the animals. She got bored after a couple minutes. Daddy got bored about fifteen minutes later.

I don’t like games like The Sims. If my digital counterpart can’t manage to feed himself then he deserves to go hungry. I don’t like babysitter sims. I lost interest in The Sims after about a half hour. I got tired of waking my sim up at 5 in the morning just to make sure he was ready to catch his ride to work at 8. If he overslept, he didn’t get breakfast. Then he’d be hungry and complain all day. I also got tired of making him do his business on the porcelain throne. I don’t know why it took my stupid sim 45 minutes to take a crap and a bath. If I sent him to work without making a bathroom run he’d either crap his pants or stink from not bathing. Half the time I’d mismanage the time and he’d be in the tub when his ride to work arrived. There was no “jump out of the bath and run out to tell your ride to wait a minute” button. So he’d miss work. Then he’d mope around the house all day because he didn’t have anything to do. I told him if he’d stop taking 40 minute baths he’d actually make it to work on time. He didn’t listen. He’d just drop half his lunch on the floor and let it sit until it gathered maggots. He angered me so I quit playing. I did the humane thing and just deleted the save file. I didn’t build walls around him and watch him die. Sometimes I wish I had. That would have been a lot more fun. So yeah, I don’t really like Sims-type games.

Back to Harvest Moon. After naming my pets and getting through the intro tutorial, I set about the business of farm work. I went and bought some seeds and proceeded to plant them in the wrong type of soil. They wilted and died in the period of three days. Then, my little character started making this wierd “gurr” sound. It took me two days to realize she was hungry. I couldn’t buy her food because I wasted all my money on seeds and fertilizer. I couldn’t drink the milk I got from my cow because I needed to sell it for money to buy more seeds because the ones I planted earlier had already died. The seeds that did take root grew too slow to rely on them. I wanted to eat my little puppy but I couldn’t find the button to do that. My chicken coop was empty and no one around town seemed to care that I was wandering aimlessly as my stomach growled. Not my idea of fun. I shut the game off and never looked back. There was never a moment when I thought, “this isn’t a bad game.” It was boring. I didn’t have time to cultivate each and every little square in my garden, then plant a seed in each and every square in my garden, and then water each and every frickin’ square in my garden. That’s just not my idea of fun. So I quit. I didn’t want to play a babysitter sim.

I already have a real one. And this one comes complete with trips to the potty and stinky diapers.


  1. Like you, I just don’t get the popularity of the Harvest Moon “sims”

    I rented the first one thinking that it would be engaging (mistake one) and that it would appeal to the non-gaming members of my family (mistake two). We didn’t even wait for the rental due date. We took it back that night while grocery shopping.

    I have to concur, it was boring, boring. boring. The controls were also non-intuitive. Besides, the 2 1/2-year-old is loving Burnout. Just give him Road Rage and he’s all set.

  2. (Wish I could edit my own comments…)

    Anyway, is it just me or did the characters in the SIms have to piss all the time.

  3. Yeah, my sim had the bladder of a 3-year old girl. Goodness that got annoying. And I forgot to mention the controls! Talk about backwards. Not fun at all.

    On a side note, I imagine there’s a WordPress plugin for editing comments. I’ll have to look into that…

  4. I actually liked Harvest Moon a lot at first … but then I sat it down for a while and when I finally picked up the GBA again I had virtually no idea what the heck was going on. So I looked up a few guides and realized the game is insanely complicated, so I was trapped between not knowing where I started and being overwhelmed on where it was going.

    A game I might go back to once I’m done with a few others.

  5. Hmmm… I rented harvest moon for a week, and the day after we returned it me and my wife were out to buy it. She is addicted to the game, the only game she will pop into the Gamecube and play when I am not around. I think it’s ok, but it is really slow.

  6. See, that’s what’s so great about gaming today – there are so many titles and genres that everything doesn’t have to be targeted at one generic audience. There is definitely a certain type of personality that absolutely *loves* these sorts of games, and probably would find many of your favorite titles rather boring. Some people are a lot less interested in entering and traveling *through* a world as they are in managing and maintaining all the little details of that world from the outside, and for them Harvest Moon really is a great game. The mark of a great work of art (or media, or whatever) is not in being a good experience for all, but in being a truly great experience for some, and in that regard Harvest Moon is a success; it’s just not your thing. That’s ok; there’s nothing wrong with you if you don’t appreciate it, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad game or that those who love it are somehow wrong or lacking in taste.

  7. Zaphod – what Kaocrat said! It is great that there are enough titles to satisfy a lot of different tastes. Only I see this broad sweep of tastes being distilled into a few manufactured “genres” that may not necessarily appeal to a lot of people.

    And that’s a shame.

    And Kaocrat, I’m not saying Harvest Moon is a bad game – it just didn’t appeal to me.

  8. Ok its fun until u die but then u have to delete ur file and start all over (boring).
    So when i restarted it and sold all my animals, and just slepped throut the whole game then it was so much fun. So i sugjest u sell ur animals. then stick the another controlar in the 3rd slot and alternate start and z on the controlar in the 3rd slot and when u get to ur 3rd year email me at buggy3604@sbcglobal.net and tell me what happened.
    So don’t forget to email me at buggy3604@sbcglobal.net


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