So I haven’t finished Story of Seasons yet but I’ve put over 100 hours in so I figure that’s enough to review it! Story of Seasons is the latest Harvest Moon game (though it isn’t called Harvest Moon) for the Nintendo 3DS. It has all the features you’d except: crops, animals, fishing, mining, marriage. It’s mainly distinguished from its predecessors by the trading depot, where other countries will come to trade with you. You’ll unlock more countries as you ship more items. The game is fun and addictive and there’s heaps to do – as I said, I haven’t completed it yet.

Farming and looking after animals works much the same as in previous games: you have to till the field, water your crops, fertilize and harvest them. Animals need to be fed, brushed, milked/clipped, and given treats. Early on in the game you need to plan a bit more than in previous games. Traders only come on certain days, and early in the game when you have only one country trading with you there’ll be a couple of days in a row when you can’t ship anything. Shops also have limited stock, so you need to think about things like buying seeds several days beforehand to make sure you’ll have enough when you’re ready to plant.The first four traders are unlocked based on the amount of money you earn, but the remaining two have specific item requirements, so you’ll need to prepare extensively to unlock them (I only just unlocked the last country – probably because I spent the first year not worrying about it!).

Planning is also required for acquiring public fields. You start out with only a small amount of land, however you can increase your farm substantially by renting public fields. There are several fields available, and you can grow a different type of crop in each one. Some crops you can’t grow on your farm and need the public field for, and crops planted in the public fields will grow faster than the ones planted on your farm. To get access to a field you have to complete a conquest. This can be either shipping the most quantity, earning the most money or winning a festival. You’ll have to plan your conquests carefully to make sure you have enough to items to sell. Once you’ve won a field you can renew your lease once it runs out without having to complete a conquest, though if you leave it too long the other farmers will try and take the fields.

I liked this extra planning element, as it made the game a little more challenging in the beginning.

As well as taking care of crops and animals, you can get married, decorate the town, create clothes and participate in fashion festivals, and befriend animals. Courtship works in a similar way to previous games. You can also befriend the townspeople and see events with them when your friendship is high enough. Befriending animals unlocks new animals. If you place certain combinations of decorations around town you can get benefits in terms of shipping price, and the rate at which your animals gain affection.

There’s a lot of customization in this game. There are heaps of clothes to unlock, which besides from wearing you can use to win fashion festivals or sell. There are lots of different furniture types for your house and decorations for your farm. As the game progress you can also build different styles of animal barns.

There are also optional requests you can complete for the traders. Some of these will unlock patterns and blueprints, while others will reward you with various items. I mainly focussed on completing requests for patterns, but the other requests were sometimes useful to get items I was lacking in.

This game feels a bit faster than previous games, and I also felt like I had more control over when things were unlocked (based on how much effort I put into meeting the requirements). Animals don’t unlock until certain seasons, and the traders also have a time based requirement as well as a shipping requirement, but I never unlocked the traders on the first day it was potentially possible, so that never affected my game.

In terms of drawbacks, in comparison to the Rune Factory  the town feels empty, even though there are extra events with townspeople you make friends with. I also disliked the maximum size of the storage containers. It wasn’t enough for me so I ended up having multiple fridges and storage boxes cluttering up my house to store everything.

Overall, I really enjoyed this game. It’s a bit faster and more challenging than previous games, there’s heaps to do and I enjoyed planning conquests and unlocking traders. I’d highly recommend this to anyone who’s a fan of other Harvest Moon games.