Back in 2000 there were over 2,166,780 farms in America which has declined at a steady rate. As of 2017 there were over 2,048,000 farms. With the weakening of the farming community, it’s up to us gamers to fill the void. Over the past few weeks I have showcased several indie farming simulators and this week is no different. I’d like to welcome you to Fantasy Farming: Orange Season demo.
The Fantasy Farming: Orange Season demo has many elements one would expect in a farming RPG, the growing of crops, taking care of animals, and town exploration. However, there are several elements that surprised me in the most delightful way. The marriage system has more spouses than one could ever ask for, rival marriages, mini games, and festivals inspired from events celebrated around the world. Gamers can also invite a villager to hang out with them while they go about their day, as a work-date experience. The aspect that I am most intrigued by is the rival marriages, I remember this in Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town and Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town. The idea that I can influence who an NPC marries is exciting and I hope that if I marry someone’s potential spouse, they aren’t out of luck.
For you modders, you’ll be interested in the fact that Fantasy Farming: Orange Season is completely open code. The developers, Hudell Tales, encourages total customization of their product and hope to see what inventive mods people can create. This is not something I have come across and thought it was a fascinating addition. With all these different features, how could I not give it a try?
After the quick download off Steam I was thrust into the create a character page and was impressed by all the options. Several different skin tones and hair colors, of course I had to become an alien with blue hair. After naming my future dog, Bayge, and farm, A Shrine Atop A Hill, the tutorial begun. I was pleasantly surprised that it was sort and full of humor. The Mayor and her brother gave me the basics of what to do, controls and whatnot, without overloading me with information. I often feel games have either too many moving parts in their tutorials or not enough however, this was perfect.
After growing some turnips and meeting potential love interests, I was hooked. Fantasy Farming: Orange Season is the perfect blend of classic Harvest Moon and modern game-play. I highly recommend anyone that loves casual gaming to give Hudell Tales a try, the demo is free and it’s a really great game. Overall, while real farming in America may be declining, virtual farming is on the rise. In the end, these games may inspire the next generation of gamers to grab their cheap hoe and start tilling their own little plot of land.