Background

Here's your chance to get away from the smog and traffic of the city and experience life in the country in the farming simulation Harvest Moon. You'll literally enjoy the fruits of your labor as you plant seeds and watch them grow into all kinds of fruit-giving trees, vegetables, and everything else you need to survive. You'll have to consider several factors when planning your farm: when the harvest season occurs, the changing of the seasons, and natural disasters that nobody can predict. In the world of Harvest Moon, it's not who you know, it's what you sow

Gameplay

All the thrills of farming with new color surprises. Since this game is compatible with Game Boy Game Link Cable, you can exchange animals and seeds with your friends to create your own unique ranch. Best of all, Harvest Moon offers a greater variety of characters, crops and animals to choose from, making each game's outcome more fun and less predictable.

Features

  • Build and run a farm while building and living a successful life.

  • A brand new Harvest Moon world with 40 new characters.

  • Revived marriage system, the ability to raise a child.

  • 6 chapters of your life spanning 30 years.

  • For 1 player

Official URL

Official Site
Aloe and 105 others own Harvest Moon 64
keiti18 and 17 others played Harvest Moon 64
One of the greatest games ever ^_^ That party picture will be MINE! HarvestMoon64 N64
This game is okay. HarvestMoon64 N64
I want to convice Nintendo to add it to the Wii Shopping hannel so I can get it... I already have the other one that's on there. HarvestMoon64 N64

You know what I don't get? I don't understand what makes life simulation games so fun. Games like Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing have no purpose; there are no immediate goals, there is no endpoint, and to be honest, there really is no motivation to do well in the game other than having the satisfaction of succeeding. You just... live. And yet this genre of games is wildly popular, and in my opinion very entertaining. Why is that?

What got me thinking about this was a game called Final Fantasy Chronicles: My Life as a King. My friend is addicted to this game, and I don't really understand why. Basically, you play as a new king who is trying to keep the town running smoothly. To do this, you run around town, and instruct people to do stuff, like fight monsters and learn new abilities.

...and that's it. You don't get to actually fight the monsters, and you don't get to use the new abilities. You just instruct people to do these things, and sit back and wait for the results. You occasionally get to build a new building somewhere in the town, but other than that your day consists of making orders and running aimlessly through the town, trying to find more people to give orders to.

Where's the appeal in that? You don't do anything except help your town grow. And you barely even get to do that, with only a few commands at your disposal. But I guess this is just one type of game in the Life Simulation category, which includes titles like Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing. And this is a genre which I am addicted to, and cannot figure out why.

Harvest Moon is a bit more structured than Animal Crossing, I guess, since you want your farm to succeed and you want to nurture it until it becomes a large farm with lots of animals and crops. Plus, you get to option to marry someone if you properly woo them. But to attain this goal you have to work, meaning that you will spend your days planting, hoeing, harvesting, selling, lather, rinse, repeat. Sounds pretty tedious, right?

Wrong. Not only is the Harvest Moon series very popular, it is also extremely fun to play. I remember renting Harvest Moon 64 back in the day, and playing it for hours on end. For some reason, I was completely immersed in this rural atmosphere before me, and I loved it. I could spend days planting carrots, selling carrots, eating carrots, whatever. There's some sort of charm that surrounds this genre, which is hard to understand considering the mundane premise of living life on a farm.

Animal Crossing is even less structured. You move into a town with a few animal neighbors, and your goal is to, well... uh... live? Honestly, there is no goal in Animal Crossing; you just play. You can fish, catch bugs, rearrange the furniture in your house, whatever. There's no real goal in Animal Crossing; the game only encourages you to have fun and live.

Sure, there are things you can accomplish. If you want you can try to collect every fish, bug, and fossil in the Museum. You can upgrade your house to the biggest available, as long as you pay off your mortgage. You can even upgrade the town store by simply shopping there. These may not sound like very fun goals to achieve, but remember that you don't have to do any of these things. If you want, you can spend your days planting new trees around the town and keeping it weed free.

And although I may describe it as being a boring game with little to do, I am absolutely enthralled by it; moreso than Harvest Moon even. I've spent an entire day running back and forth along the shore, fishing whenever I see the shadow underneath the water's surface. I've spent some days making a horror movie with my friend over WiFi (haha, that was a fun day). As long as you have the imagination to keep the game fun, the game will keep you entertained.

But why? Why are these games so entertaining? I've tried to find an answer to that question, and I can't. They seem so... basic. So mind numbingly boring. Without any real purpose, the games just seem like they would be unfun. But every time I pick the game up, I have a ball.

Maybe the lack of a purpose is what drives the games. Maybe because I have the choice to let the weeds grow in my town, it drives me to want to clean them up. Maybe because I don't have to pay off my mortgage, it drives me to sell fish to Tom Nook and get that bigger house. I don't really know. But whatever the case, the appeal of these life simulation games doesn't seem to be fading.

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