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Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town review

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Need to know

What is it? Tired farming sim.
Expect to pay $50/£43
Developer Marvelous Inc
Publisher Xseed Games, Marvelous USA
Reviewed on Intel Core i7-7700, CPU @ 3.60 GHz, 16GB Ram
Multiplayer? No
Link Official site

After getting a veggie patch of my own in real life I’ve finally figured out why every farming game begins with mastering turnips—they are quick and easy to grow. And while you’ll never be able to make a living off of them like you can in Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town, at least the real ones will have some flavour.

Things kick off with a letter from a distant mayor. Before you know it you’ve taken over your dead grandfather’s dilapidated farm, desperately trying to scrounge for berries in the wild to afford your all important turnip seeds. There’s a town filled with people to woo, events to attend and even a mine to explore. Sound familiar? This is the inspiration for the agricultural colossus that is Stardew Valley.

Time for a confusing history lesson. Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town is a remake of the 2003 Gameboy Advance classic Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral town. The Harvest Moon name belongs to the old publisher Natsume, hence the change to Story Of Seasons here—even though it’s the same game, which is itself a remake of Harvest Moon: Back to Nature, released on PlayStation 1 back in 1999. The original is well loved and helped popularise the sedate toil of farm work, but yikes it’s showing its age.

(Image credit: XSEED Games)

Mineral Town itself is a pretty place to live—everything has cute, round edges and the only danger you’ll ever face is a late bedtime. There’s a lovely little library, a scenic mountain path to stroll along and a beach to relax on. It’s all very idyllic, but small since it’s based on the map of a 21-year-old game. If you played the original you’ll love finding everything exactly as you remember it, but if you’re looking for a farming fix after life in Stardew Valley you’ll be left wondering what all of the fuss is about.

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