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Harvest Moon
Platform:  Gameboy
# of Players:  1 (2 with link cable
Publisher:  Natsume
Features:  Link cable
Ratings:  Teen
Memory Req.:  
Could it be that one of the most popular games on he Gameboy these days has nothing to do with Pokemon, Mario or any other license? What's more is that this fabled game contains no fighting, shooting, or even any known cartoon characters. What could it possibly be about? Well, would you believe farming? Yes, the farming simulation known as Harvest Moon first took the American gaming public by storm and now it is out on the Gameboy Color. (A N64 version is in the works).

You are probably thinking "how exciting can farming be? Well after one hour planting crops, milking cows, and feeding the chickens you will definitely become hooked. The game starts off like you would expect it to. You wake up at 6 in the morning and have to start your day. The first thing you have to do is clear the land and get it ready for crops. Then you buy seeds from the store and plant them in the fertile land. Water them daily, harvest them when the are ripe and sell them for some cool cash.

Actually the game is far more interesting than that. There are many tools to aid you on your mission to have the perfect fields of green. Sprinklers, fertilizer, and other devices can help you with your farming needs. If merely growing crops gets too boring then you are going to want to buy a cow or some chickens. Then, if they are fed daily, they will give you milk and eggs to sell or eat. All of this excitement can wear your character down so you better relax and have a drink at the bar, the juice bar that is. And for god's sake get some sleep. Working through the night can really exhaust a man.

Sure farming and raising cattle does not sound all that exciting but you'd be surprised how addictive it can get. I found myself really getting attached to all of my crops and cows and stuff. Once I started I just wanted to create more and more. The more that I learned and the more efficient I became the more that I wanted to play. The game does a good job of revealing a bit at a time in order to keep it interesting. For example there are little rewards that come with doing a good job. You can have the local carpenter build you a bigger better house or invite the local ladies to a picnic. All of this depends on the prosperity of your farm.

There are definitely some low parts in the game and it gets especially monotonous when you are broke (just like real life) but all in all the game remains interesting for a long period of time. The best part is that it constantly is saving so you can turn it off and come back to the game at nearly any point.

Chris Shade

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